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2014-05-23 10:28

BACKUP PLAN: Fiat chairman John Elkann has announced at the Maserati factory in Italy that the automaker will focus on its luxury brands Maserati and Alfa Romeo for a recovery. Image: AFP/Marco Bertorello

GRUGLIASCO, Italy - Italian automaker Fiat's chairman John Elkann on Thursday (May 22) said the company was pinning its hopes for recovery on the luxury market as he showed off the factory where the famous Maserati brand is produced near Turin in northern Italy.

Elkann said at the plant in Grugliasco, where there was also a shareholder meeting celebrating Maserati's 100th anniversary: "A big part of Fiat's premium strategy is based on brands like Maserati and Alfa Romeo.

"The two brands aim to produce unique cars capable of putting together the most advanced technical excellency with the Italian style loved around the world."


Fiat sold 2367 Maseratis in the first quarter of 2014 year - 331% more than in the same period in 2013 - and is aiming for 50 000 a year by 2015.

There was a marked increase during the quarter in Maserati sales in Italy and other parts of Europe where the market had been badly hit by the economic crisis and the number of units sold also went up 342% in the US.

Alfa Romeo aims to ramp up production from 74 000 in 2013 to 400 000 vehicles a year in 2018.

Fiat as a whole sank into the red in the first quarter, losing the equivalent of R4.5-billion, mainly on costs associated with its takeover of US automaker Chrysler.

Vehicle shipments were up nine percent from the year-earlier quarter to 1.1-million units, and net revenues gained 12% to the equivalent of R310-billion.

Gains came in sales in North America and the Asia-Pacific region, and revenues from luxury brands nearly doubled, including Maserati, where revenues were four times higher in the quarter.
Read more on:    alfa romeo  |  fiat  |  maserati  |  chrysler  |  italy

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