Davide Grasso wants Maserati to become a symbol of profitability.
Maserati is going through somewhat of a transformation, yielding stronger sales and increased profits thanks in part to products like the MC20. But CEO Davide Grasso also has something to do with it, and in a recent interview, Grasso has declared his vision for the future of the Maserati brand.
He shared with Autocar how he plans to change things at Maserati. Like Mercedes-Benz, the automaker will no longer chase sales volume but focus instead on higher profit margins.
"We have banned, internally and externally, the notion of volume, simply because it orients the company and the brand on something which is very internally driven and very manufacturing-capacity driven. If you go down that path as a luxury brand, then you can incur some fatal mistakes."
Grasso hopes to increase profit per unit and reshape Maserati into a symbol of profitability in the industry. "Our margins [are] expanding and will keep expanding. Our goal is to have benchmark margins in the industry.
"Margin is an appreciation that the customer gives. It is a rough measure of the position the customer gives to the validity and the strength of the brand and the product that you promote," he added.
The CEO said Maserati's next goal is to achieve a 15% adjusted operating margin income in the next 18 months. The next goal is 20%. Last year, the company's profit margins tallied "between 5.5% and 6%," which has since exceeded the 6% mark.
Maserati is hoping to chase more significant profits with the expansion of its Fuoriserie program. Like Bentley Mulliner or Rolls-Royce Bespoke, the personalization department hopes to offer customers heightened levels of customization. Whether you want a high-end paint job or ultra-exclusive leather, the Italian automaker should be able to meet your needs.
"The core of that move lies in the fact that it's all about the customer," explained Grasso. "The modern luxury customer is willing to pay more to have personalized objects, if you will, that distinguish him or herself from the rest." Whether that's comfort, style, performance, or all of the above, everyone wants to stand out.
The CEO admits that being under the Stellantis umbrella has been vital to Maserati, particularly in shielding it from issues like the semiconductor chip shortage. "Being part of a large group with 13 other brands has allowed us to actually participate in the pool of chips that was provided to Stellantis," he says, rather than pausing production to a lack thereof.
That's not to say the automaker has had it easy. The introduction of the Grecale SUV was put on hold for six months due to the chip shortage.
Soon, the luxury automaker will launch the all-electric Folgore lineup, comprising the Grecale, Granturismo, and Grancabrio models alongside their ICE equivalents. Future plans include the introduction of an electric Levante successor, while a battery-powered Quattroporte is rumored to replace both the existing model and the smaller Ghibli.
Should the company remain on this upward trajectory, Maserati may seek a public listing. Several rivals have enjoyed great success as public companies, so it could work for the Italian brand.