Maserati recently unveiled its new sport-utility vehicle, the Kubang, at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The new model, which is due out on the market in 2013, shares its name with a crossover wagon the company showed in Detroit in 2003 but uses underpinnings from Chrysler’s Jeep brand.
The Kubang represents a broad plan under which Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Chrysler Group LLC and its parent company Fiat SpA, seeks to merge Chrysler and Fiat into a single car maker with the size and product range to compete with giants like General Motors Company and Toyota Motor Corporation.
The Kubang will be built in Detroit, at Chrysler’s previously run-down Jefferson North plant. Marchionne had the plant cleaned up and repainted after taking over at Chrysler, but the factory still seems an unlikely place to assemble a luxury SUV that is expected to sell for around $100,000.
Maserati, which for several years was a close sister company to exotic sports-car maker Ferrari, still represents a niche market. Its two models, the Granturismo two-door sports car and Quattroporte sedan have six-figure sticker prices. With the coming SUV it hopes to compete with other luxury utility makers like Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and BMW.
Source: The Wall Street Journal