Mirafiori to be re-tooled. Levante sales not good

P R

Junior Member
Messages
684
#1
Following on from the plan announced last week on the FCA factories in Italy, they have released this..... its not looking rosy for the Levante..

MILAN -- Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will partially lay off more than half the workforce at its under-used Mirafiori plant in Turin, as it retools the factory to build electric cars.

FCA told unions on Tuesday that 3,245 blue and white-collar workers will be laid off temporarily "for plant restructuring."

The factory currently builds only the Maserati Levante SUV, whose sales have been falling in its main markets of China, Europe and the U.S.

Starting in 2020, the factory will add production of an electric version of the Fiat 500 minicar.

The layoffs will affect all the workers in the Mirafiori assembly plant. Some 2,445 workers will be partially laid off on Jan. 1. 2019 and 800 more will follow by March 4. The layoffs will last until Dec. 31, 2019.

Employees will attend training for electric and hybrid powertrain technologies, FCA told unions.

Levante production will continue with workers taking turns to go into the factory to work on the line or staying at home. During the layoff period they will receive a reduced salary from a program funded by the Italian government and employers.

The Mirafiori plant has about 5,000 employees including workers in its assembly, stamping and powertrain areas.

Besides being in Fiat's Turin home city, it is also the automaker's oldest factory in Italy. It is also home to an FCA manufacturing headquarters that employs about 5,000 office and engineering staff who are not affected by the layoffs.

Mirafiori has been under-utilized since the 2008/2009 global recession. It once produced volume models such as the Punto small hatchback, which has been discontinued, and the first-generation Panda minicar. The Alfa Romeo Mito, the plant's second production model with the Levante, was discontinued in July.

According to the FIM-CISL union, Mirafiori production fell 31 percent to 25,881 units in the first 9 months.

Levante sales declined by 24 percent in Europe in the first 10 months to 3,777, according to JATO Dynamics market researchers. Levante sales in the U.S. fell 14 percent to 4,205, according to the Automotive News Data Center.

FCA said on Nov. 29 that it plans to spend more than 5 billion euros ($5.7 billion) on new models and engines in Italy over the next three years to try to make better use of factories and boost jobs and margins.
 

BJL

Centenary Club
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1,215
#6
I looked at the Levante and decided against it within a day after driving the gutless diesel version with the artificial exhaust burble which I thought to be patronising and cheap.
Unfortunately it appeared to be competing with Lexus making the interior too cramped and too luxurious for practical utility work. What it needed at launch was what they are producing now i.e. the V8 tt version and going after Range Rover sales but as usual those stupid people at Maserati bring out the shopping version first and claim it will conquer the mass market. Dream on.
 

BJL

Centenary Club
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1,215
#12
It felt, to me anyway, heavy and sluggish in normal mode but in sport you had to put up with the artificially generated rumble from the exhaust which is childish and embarrassing in a car wearing the noble Trident. A bit like putting a sock down yer pants. It felt livelier in sport but just initially due to gearing. Compared to the new Velar d300 HSE R Dynamic with 700 Newton’s of push and pull for roughly the same price it felt lacking.

Plus SUVs generally do plenty of miles and for me it has to earn its keep. 15k a year on a RR is normal, do the same in the Levante and can you imagine the value at 3 years with 45k on the clock. Just my tuppence worth.
 
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50,259
#13
It has been written on the walls....Maserati joined the diesel race too late with the Levante. Now the petrol one is coming out and again it's too late with hybrids the name of the game. Of recent years they just seem to be behind the curve. Has trying to join the mass market/company car market with the range been the wrong decision...Well that's a debate isn't it. I can't believe how the Ghibli has lost pennies recently.
 
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27,984
#14
I suppose we can all say we were right looking back at this fiasco of the Ghibli and Levante. I take no pleasure from that.

Maserati is a small number, expensive V8 Sports Tourer company. Stick with this and make it work rather than putting the company in peril by trying to take on the big boys.
 
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7,303
#15
I suppose we can all say we were right looking back at this fiasco of the Ghibli and Levante. I take no pleasure from that.

Maserati is a small number, expensive V8 Sports Tourer company. Stick with this and make it work rather than putting the company in peril by trying to take on the big boys.
I guess they got carried away at how many of the Torino produced models they could sell. The three of them are ok cars but technology moves on so fast that Maserati replacement and update cycles are too long at the price point they are now in. For the more traditional market they were in people bought cars for different reasons. Let’s face it an M4 is far cheaper and much better on most yardsticks than my GranTurismo but that was the case when I bought the Maser in 2011 and it was the right decision for me.

Matt is right, they should stick with what they know and that means more expensive cars and not built in a Fiat factory ‘up north’ - Modena is far better!
 
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27,984
#16
Indeed Bob. I think they put all their eggs in one basket and took a gamble and it hasn’t paid off.

Would we all agree that Maserati is in a worse place today than it was 10 years ago?

A successful 4200 and QP run with the GranTurismo just coming out. S and limited production models.

Where were Maserati financially 10 years ago?...in the black or in the red?
 

P R

Junior Member
Messages
684
#18
I think you're all being a little bit pessimistic here. Before the Torinese cars arrived werent Maserati selling around 8k cars per year. They were most certainly losing money on that. Mr Marchionnes mantra was that non of the brands should be ran at a loss. Now, they are selling in the region of 50k cars per year, and through a large part of the 2014 - 2018 period they were making record profits on record margins.
Latterly of course, things have derailed somewhat, notably on dieselgate and the Chinese import tariffs.
They have dropped the ball somewhat on 2 fronts in my opinion, one is no real development of the Ghibli, and secondly they should have released the "halo" Alfieri 2 years ago.
 

BJL

Centenary Club
Messages
1,215
#19
They may have only made about 8000 cars a year but nearly everyone was built to order in Modena and had Ferrari DNA running all through not just assembled in Turin from the GM parts bin and then pushed onto the lease market. Plus they will struggle to build 25000 cars this year and with their new overheads that will create a massive loss.
The Kubang/Levante first appeared as a concept before I even had my QP. Well over 10 years of thinking about something then getting it so wrong is just bad management.
Ferrari make a stonking profit by just being Ferrari. Their USP is create a dream and let the people live it but on our terms. Maserati should be hanging off their coat tails and creating a more discreet alternative to Ferrari and making sure the Trident is known to all as a founding member of the Super car Golden Triangle.
 
Messages
27,984
#20
I think you're all being a little bit pessimistic here. Before the Torinese cars arrived werent Maserati selling around 8k cars per year. They were most certainly losing money on that. Mr Marchionnes mantra was that non of the brands should be ran at a loss. Now, they are selling in the region of 50k cars per year, and through a large part of the 2014 - 2018 period they were making record profits on record margins.
Latterly of course, things have derailed somewhat, notably on dieselgate and the Chinese import tariffs.
They have dropped the ball somewhat on 2 fronts in my opinion, one is no real development of the Ghibli, and secondly they should have released the "halo" Alfieri 2 years ago.
As you have a Ghibli, I accept your response. Its difficult for us to put our feelings across without upsetting members who have these cars so don't take it personally, its more of a shot at Maserati, not its customers.

I do however agree with you that they should have produced a Ghibli Stradale and showed just how good the car could have been. This points that they have no interest in performance and are only interested in shifting units but it looks like its come back and bitten them on the @rse!