Maserati’s flashy new supercar is the start of a reinvention — and that’s just what the storied Italian brand needs

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Maserati MC20 KL_6

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If in the past few years you’ve found yourself wondering what, exactly, was up at Maserati, you weren’t alone.

For a decent while, the Italian brand only offered four cars: the Levante SUV, launched in 2016; the Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, launched in 2013; and the aged GranTurismo grand tourer that launched during the second Bush administration. 

Poor sales have plagued the brand since at least 2018. In November of that year, The Drive quoted a story from Automotive News that said Maserati’s earnings dropped 87% — or about $17.2 million — in the third quarter.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley blamed the poor performance on brand mismanagement. He said, “With hindsight, when we put Maserati and Alfa [Romeo] together, it did two things. Firstly, it reduced the focus on Maserati the brand. Secondly, Maserati was treated for a period of time almost as if it were a mass-market brand, which it isn’t and shouldn’t be treated that way.”

A separate Automotive News story in August 2019 said Maserati would not see profitability until it began its new product launches this year. And it desperately needed some new products.

Now, we finally have some.

Enter the MC20 supercar — “MC” standing for Maserati Corse and “20” for 2020. Debuting in a Wednesday livestream from Modena, Italy, to New York City in a show of flashing lights, a drum routine (?), and a choreographed choral number (??), the MC20 became Maserati’s first entirely new car since the Levante’s launch in 2016. 

It was trotted out before an assembly of existing Maserati cars in a big stadium — not unlike the way Simba was presented to the animal kingdom, assembled at the foot of Pride Rock — and marked the brand’s first flagship halo car since the prohibitively expensive and rare MC12 from 2004. 

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While Maserati didn’t go to MC12 levels with the new car, it did make an appropriate halo car: Its on-paper performance and sticker price, $210,000 at the lowest, put it side-by-side with McLarens and Lamborghinis. 

It is on the shoulders of the MC20 that Maserati will kick off its new era of reinvention. Don’t expect a Maserati IPO à la Ferrari, but do expect an ambitious plan from Manley: the launching of 13 new Maserati models from now through 2024, led by the MC20.

At the MC20’s debut on Wednesday, Maserati’s director of brand and sales, Andy Love, told Business Insider that a new Quattroporte sedan, Levante SUV, compact SUV, and grand-tourer and grand-cabrio are in the works. He declined to answer specifically what the new, unnamed models in the 13-car launch plan would be, but confirmed that fully electric versions of all would be available.

Indeed, in announcing the MC20, Maserati said the supercar is “designed … for full electric power.”

The MC20’s positioning is meant to make a “big splash,” Love told Business Insider. This is the car to get people excited about Maserati again, the one that’s supposed to end up on bedroom posters. It certainly has …read more

Source:: Business Insider

      

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