Maserati is idling production at its Grugliasco and Mirafiori factories in Italy until mid-January to reduce its inventory. Maserati normally shuts down production around the holiday season, but this year it’s extending the shurtdown due to slow sales.
Last year the Grugliasco plant, which builds the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans, was shut down for three weeks, but this year it won’t reopen until Jan 15 after a four-week shutdown that began Dec 15. Production of the Maserati Levante SUV at the Mirafiori plant will stop from December 20 to January 15. Last year, Levante production stopped for only one additional day beyond statutory holidays and weekends. Lastly the Modena plant, which produces the Granturismo and Grancabrio models, will reopen January 8 after being idled since December 15.
The extended shutdown is due to declining sales in several markets, like China. “It is clear that production is slowing down and investment in new models are on hold,” stated Federico Bellono, head of the FIOM union.
The Levante SUV is one of Maserati’s newer models, but sales have already started to decline. Maserati sales were up 40 percent to 35,500 units through September of this year thanks to the Levante demand. But the past two months Maserati’s sales have dropped, 4 percent in the EU and 15 percent in the U.S.
It’s being reported that Maserati is planning a second SUV that will be introduced around 2020, but if sales continue to decline, it’s not known if the future SUV will be in jeopardy.
Source: Automotive News