Fiat Group has informed its unions that a second shift will be added at its Turin site in Italy starting April 29, 2013, a source privy to the carmaker disclosed. Workers at the Turin plant will work on a second model, the Ghibli sedan, which will be shown at the Shanghai auto show on April 20, 2013. The site currently builds the Maserati Quattroporte sedan, and will commence production of a third model, the Levante sports utility vehicle, in 2014.
Fiat Group is eyeing to increase the sales of its Maserati luxury marque by offering a bigger model lineup, as a vital part of its strategy to offset declining sales in Europe. The carmaker posted EUR738 million ($963 million) in losses in Europe in 2012, which further made the future of its plants and workers bleaker.
Fiat is investing EUR1.2 billion in Maserati, which includes revamping the Turin site for Maserati and its sibling brand, Alfa Romeo. Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is counting on Maserati and Alfa premium brands to help make its loss-making European operations profitable once again by 2015-2016, seeking to emulate the global sales success of luxury marques like BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
Marchionne hopes that Maserati and Alfa will help spark a production rise at its under-utilized plants in Europe, particularly those in Italy. Marchionne plans to increase Maserati's annual sales to over 50,000 by 2015 from just around 6,000 in 2012.