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Maserati CEO sees future with second SUV, cold on autonomous driving

Reid Bigland, head of both Alfa Romeo and Maserati, outlined some thoughts about future product for both luxury brands.

The Canadian executive sat down for an wide-ranging interview with Auto Motor und Sport, and discussed everything from sales figures and upcoming vehicles to technology.

Bigland talked up Maserati’s impressive sales growth over the past few years, with the brand jumping from around 6200 sales in 2012 to roughly 42,000 in 2016.


Above and top: Maserati Levante.

All of that has been driven by the Levante crossover, which found 18,000 new homes in the US, and 15,000 in China during 2016. Counting just those two markets, the Levante is responsible for over 75 per cent of all of last year’s Maserati sales.

When asked if a second SUV is possibility, Bigland replied, “If customer preference continues to evolve, certainly”. He also noted a majority of Porsche’s sales come from the Macan and Cayenne crossovers, but the Germany company is still seen as a sports car brand.

As for the upcoming Alfieri, Bigland stated the much delayed coupe would be pitched as a “real sports car” to better differentiate itself from the 2+2 GranCoupe and GranCabrio.

Bigland declared “fully automated driving does not fit our brand” and “Maserati embodies, in many ways, the complete opposite of an autonomous driving car”. Although, he did note the company’s cars “need technologies such as track assistants, collision monitors, or parking aids to remain relevant with the competition”.


Above: Alfa Romeo MiTo.

Shifting to Alfa Romeo, Bigland ruled out a “classic” hatchback replacement for the MiTo and Giulietta models, which are still important for the European, Japanese and Mexican markets.

Keen to not exclude “compact Alfa models in the future”, the executive said the “segment of the compact SUV could be interesting here” if it fits into the “new dynamic brand philosophy”.

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Le Minh Hieu is a national-level weightlifter and a Singapore Weightlifting sports performance coach. Hieu's biggest passion is helping everyone find confidence, happiness, and health through fitness.