FCA: No Profits for Maserati Until at Least 2020
Officials at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV don’t expect the company’s Maserati luxury car unit will post a profit until at least 2020.
The unit reported a pretax loss of €119 million in April-June as dealers reduced their inventories of unsold cars by 3,000 units. Maserati also cut factory shipments by nearly half as retail sales fell 17% to 7,200 cars.
The decline follows a 32% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2019. Analysts blame an aging lineup of models. Maserati hopes to revive sales with 10 updated or all-new models, including a second crossover model, in 2020-2023.
Skeptical analysts consider the current sales decline a reality check for overly ambitious targets that once expected deliveries to soar to 100,000 by 2022. The brand’s best sales year was in 2017, when volume reached nearly 49,000 units. Sales last year slid to about 35,000 cars.
Chinese electric-car startup Nio Inc. is forming a manufacturing joint venture with Beijing E-Town International Investment and Development Co., which is investing 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in the business.
If you have any question about the almost certain inevitability of 48-volt electrical architecture in vehicles to facilitate the creation of mild hybrids for fuel economy and the utilization of electric superchargers for improved performance, then the number of companies that are pursuing these technologies ought to be an answer.
Although the common wisdom has it that crossovers and SUVs have limitless growth opportunities, maybe the folks at Chevrolet have discerned something that indicates that there’s still something called economic gravity.