Someone has to step up once the Prancing Horse is spun off.
Sergio Marchionne has done a great job reviving Chrysler, Fiat and with the FCA group as a whole, but if his latest gambit works he will go down as legend in the auto industry. Last year we reported that FCA was planning to spin off Ferrari to grab some cash. The majority of the company (80 percent) would be owned by FCA shareholders so the company would still wield a lot of power over Ferrari. That being said Marchionne needs a new brand to fill the Prancing Horse’s shoes, and he believes Maserati can do just that.
FCA's head didn’t mince words when describing the luxury Italian automaker’s future post-Ferrari. "Maserati becomes the most coveted, exclusive brand that we have." Maserati is doing its part already, with profit margins sitting at 10 percent. Marchionne wants to raise that number to 15 percent and have global sales at 75,000 by 2018; its moved 36,448 units in 2014. Ferrari sells 7,000 cars a year and commands a 13 percent profit margin. Only time will tell if Maserati can grow from being a niche luxury brand into a powerhouse a la Porsche. Its Levante SUV should help boost overall sales, but it may need to realign expectations elsewhere. A Ghibli for $70,000 is a bit pricey.