Not so long ago, after German carmaker Audi introduced its all-new A3 saloon priced between Rs. 22.95 lakh as the premium brands aim to tap the lower end of luxury market of India. And from what we hear, the Italian automaker Fiat is planning to introduce its premium brand Maserati in India. Fiat is planning to open company-owned stores in most significant cities including Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai to sell the sportscar, which is a 100-year old brand and a part of global luxury portfolio of Fiat that also includes Alfa Romeo and Ferrari.
If introduced in India, the flagship sedan – Maserati Quattroporte, GranCabrio convertible, Ghibli sedan and GranTurismo coupe could be offered in Rs. 1.5-3 crore price range. Nonetheless, Nagesh Basavanhalli, Managing Director and President at Fiat Chrysler India said that it was premature to comment. The automaker has been struggling to reinvent itself in India with sluggish sales of current vehicles and plans to introduce its Jeep and Abarth brands over the next year.
Luxury automakers in India are moving down-market and shifting production of cheaper and compact vehicles to local facilities for cutting costs, widening their target market to include middle-class, female and young drivers to boost sales. In an effort to increase sales that far leg emerging Asian rival China, the German big three of BMW, Audi and Mercedes Benz want to win shoppers outside the uber-rich with locally-manufactured compact cars and hatchbacks. Given this scenario, is it a good time for the Italian automaker to introduce the pricier Maserati?