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Marchionne changes tune on electric vehicles, says first electric Maserati model would debut in 2019

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On: Tue, Jun 21, 2016 at 3:04PM | By: Carl Malek

Marchionne changes tune on electric vehicles, says first electric Maserati model would debut in 2019

It is no secret that when it comes to EV vehicles and their profitability, Sergio Marchionne has a well-defined stance against them. He says that their profitability is non-existent, that that the Fiat 500e EV costs $10,000 for every one that is sold. However, when it comes to whether he is open to adding one in a higher price bracket, Marchionne has swerved from that position.

When asked by the folks at Bloomberg News during a recent interview, Marchionne said that FCA may begin work on a electric vehicle for the long anticipated Maserati Alfieri sports car. In addition, the system's success on the Alfieri could also spearhead the development of a hybrid version of the recently launched Levante SUV. The LevanteSUV would have a higher price point which would allow it to compete with the Tesla Model X SUV; it would also allow the company to make a better profit on it. In addition, the Levante Hybrid would help Maserati comply with stricter emissions and mileage regulations in its home market in Europe and here in the U.S.

However, don't expect Marchionne to change his tune when it comes to adding EV vehicles in more mainstream model lines due to their lower price points, which could make it harder for FCA to generate a profit, and make it more difficult to justify a legitimate business case for producing them. Instead look for FCA to continue its current initiative which involves the company putting smaller engines, as well as eight- and nine-speed transmissions, in its products which Marchionnefeels is a cheaper and more practical wayto try to increase the overall fuel economy and the driving range of its vehicles.

Marchionne has also not hidden his strong skepticism of Tesla's overall business model, claiming that for all the demand and growth the company has experienced over the past several years, the California-based EV giant has never made an annual profit.Marchionne also called Tesla "The iPhone of cars" stating that Tesla and the rest of the industry should stick to what they make and know best.


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