If the wavering working habits of a distant Italian luxury automaker have ever crossed your mind, now is the time to act, that is, if you have at least $70,000 to spend on a car. According to a new report, Fiat is scaling back Maserati production due to a sales slowdown following 2014′s banner year.
Automotive News Europe is reporting that Fiat will reduce production shifts at Maserati’s Grugliasco plant from 12 shifts to 10 per week, and keep workers in motion “for three weeks out of four up until July.” FCA’s Grugliasco facility builds the brand’s top-selling Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans and reportedly employs around 2,800 workers.
The decision comes weeks after FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne noted an expected lull in growth, saying “We knew we could not keep on growing sales of the Ghibli and Quattroporte. They have to slow down and settle and that is what is happening.” The slowdown is hardly a slump, however.
Maserati’s global sales surged 136 percent in 2014 to just shy of 36,500 vehicles, charging forward thanks to the new Ghibli sedan (23,500 sold) and super-luxe Quattroporte (9,500 sold). Overall, Maserati sold nearly six times more cars globally than it did in 2012, with the US being its largest market with 14,690 vehicles sold.
Despite some factory workers with a few extra hours of free time during the upcoming months, those folks may very well need the rest, because Maserati is targeting an output of 75,000 vehicles by 2018, aided by the addition of the new Levante crossover SUV and the production version of Maserati’s Alfieri Coupe.