Maserati intends to hike the output its Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans by around 20 percent in September from 750 to 900 weekly, people privy with the matter told Bloomberg. The carmaker is building the models at its site in Grugliasco, Italy. Orders for Maserati’s vehicles are seen to increase to 40,000 cars this year, more than double the figure in 2013, the sources said.
To accommodate the increase, Maserati plans to add two shifts every Saturday at the site and cut summer breaks from three weeks to just two in August, according to Vincenzo Aragona, an official with Italy’s Fismic union.
Fiat is also planning to transfer around 350 employees from its Mirafiori site in Turin to the Maserati plant. Fiat and union leaders are set to discuss the plans this week, according to the Fismic and Fim unions.
Fiat chief executive Sergio Marchionne is shifting Maserati upscale since growth in the volume market remains limited in Europe. To increase capacity usage at Fiat plants, the carmaker is expanding the Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands.
Maserati posted record monthly deliveries of 3,068 cars in May and 12,512 units in the first five months of 2014, according to a representative from the carmaker. Maserati delivered a total of 15,400 cars last year.
The plans to move Maserati upscale will entail rehiring thousands of workers furloughed after the 2008 financial crisis. Fiat intends to spend EUR55 billion ($74 billion) for Maserati.
As unwrapped in China at the at the 2013 Shanghai Motor Show, the all-new Maserati Ghibli is set to arrive a few months after the new Maserati Quattroporte. With this all-new vehicle, Maserati now has two four-door saloon models for the first time ever.
Compared to the flagship Quattroporte, the new Maserati Ghibli is smaller and lighter as well as less expensive and more economical. With this new model, Maserati could realize its plans to build 50,000 cars annually by 2015.
New Maserati Ghibli is powered by a range of high-performance engines like its twin turbo-charged, 3.0-liter V6 petrol mills. Compared to the Quattroporte flagship, the Ghibli is more focused and design to offer a sportier drive. Its most powerful variant, the Ghibli S, comes provided with 410 hp (301 kW) of max output that allows it to sprint from nil to 62 mph in just 5.0 seconds and reach a top speed of 177 mph (285 km/h).
Interestingly, the new Ghibli is the first Maserati to have a diesel engine -- a turbo-diesel V6 – as at its core. This engine still delivers the driving pleasure and refinement typical of Maserati cars while allowing the Ghibli to return just over 47 miles per gallon of fuel (fuel consumption of below 6 liters per 100km) on the NEDC combined cycle. Furthermore, the diesel version of the Ghibli diesel is bound to become the first Maserati featuring Start-Stop technology.
While the Ghibli is underpinned by almost of the same core architecture that underpins the larger Quattroporte -- including its chassis, suspension system, and crash safety elements, as well as engines and LED headlight technology – it is shorter overall by 291 mm and lighter by 50 kg. Its wheelbase is also shorter by 173 mm.