Maserati Likely to Build the Levante in Italy After All


So much for some extra business in Detroit.

Maserati is currently gearing up to get the Levante SUV into production. Set to be an Italian-styled re-skin of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Levante is reportedly part of a plan by Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne to dramatically increase Maserati sales over the next several years. And since the Levante's less expensive Jeep Grand Cherokee is built in Detroit, Michigan, it made sense that the former would be built alongside it. That was the plan - initially.

Now there's a new report claiming Marchionne intends to have the Levante built at the main Mirafiori factory in Italy as part of an investment plan to revive the country's struggling local auto manufacturing industry. Assuming a deal can be worked out with local unions, who really want the business, it's all but certain the Levante will be Italian built. This actually makes sense considering the SUV will be powered by the same turbo V6 and V8 engines that are under the hoods of the Ghibli and Quattroporte, respectively. And yes, the Levante will be sold in the US, a market essential to Maserati's future.

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