Guess which sex is supposed to flock to the Levante?
When Maserati promised it would start building the Levante, it was pretty obvious that the ailing brand was gunning to play its hand in the luxury SUV market to see if lady luck would give it her blessing. No one batted an eye at this news since luxury SUVs are popping up in nearly every automaker’s lineup. That may be a large piece of the puzzle, but according to Maserati boss Harald Wester, the company has a more specific audience in mind.
After all, it is 2016 so diversity is a must. Wester told Drive magazine that he hopes to diversify the brand by attracting a lot more women to the brand in addition to a younger audience. For bait, it will use the Levante. When asked what aspect of the SUV will bring women and children swarming to Maserati dealerships, he said styling alone will do the trick. He may be right, but how will that play out with macho SUV shoppers? If ambiguity can be used as a confirmation of sorts, then we should expect more Maserati SUVs in the future. Wester said, "The question is not whether we will do a second or third SUV or otherwise, which is nothing that we need to discuss right now; the question is ‘how will the technical base of our customers evolve’."
New SUVs also fit into Wester’s promise to plunge the brand into electrification and autonomous driving technology. These monumental changes for Maserati show that not only will the brand fully embrace changes in the auto industry that seem to be around the corner, but that the trident brand plans on having a strong future where it competes with Mercedes and other luxury brands with top of the line technology and a wide customer base. A change like this would mean we need to mourn the era when Maserati made the bedroom poster classic: the MC12. While these changes seem smart for Maserati, let’s just hope it doesn't make its way upstream to the company’s sister brand Ferrari.