Maserati: No Plans for SUV Below Levante – For Now
Statement Suggests Crossover in Alfa Romeo’s Future
The auto industry has gone crossover crazy, with variants popping up in just about every conceivable size and price level. This has resulted in an ever-increasing number of “crossover coupes” and a growing number of compact premium models such as the sub-Cayenne Porsche Macan. However, Maserati brand boss Harald Wester told Autocar that he doesn’t envision a Maserati SUV positioned below the forthcoming Levante for the foreseeable future.
Wester hedged his comments slightly by saying “In this business, you should never say ‘no’ in a dogmatic way, but my personal opinion is that Maserati wouldn’t want to go below the Levante in size.” Based on the rumors we’ve heard about ambitious growth plans for the Alfa Romeo brand in North America and globally, we can’t help but think that an Alfa SUV is in the works, and that higher unit volume and availability than the exclusive Maserati brand is part of the plan.
The Levante SUV is expected to be revealed at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. After initial plans to build the Levante in Detroit on the same line as the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Durango, the production site was ultimately shifted to Italy, presumably for more legitimacy among luxury customers. However, Mercedes-Benz builds $100,000-plus models at its Vance, Alabama, plant, and BMW’s South Carolina plant is the exclusive worldwide source for the X5 SUV.