Fiat S.p.A, owner of Maserati, has announced the new Maserati SUV will be built at Chrysler Group's Jefferson North production facility in Detroit. A concept version which will be based on the Jeep Grand Cherokee is set to be unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show next month.
The new SUV will use technology from both Fiat and Chrysler, and will fall in line with CEO Sergio Marchionne's plans to expand Maserati as well as Alfa Romeo in the near future, using a collaboration of Fiat and Chrysler utilities. With the new Jeep Grand Cherokee just being released, the new Maserati is expected to use some of its mechanical expertise, particularly in the off-road department.
Of course, the question punters are asking is, with the exotic Italian marque offering a vehicle that is produced in the US, will the Italian passion and flair be lost? Harald Wester, Maserati's CEO, provided confidence that the new SUV would be pure and Italian, saying earlier in the year that the new vehicle,
"Will be a product that respects the entire heritage, image, characteristics, and customer expectations of this brand. What ends up in the dealer shops should be 100 per cent Maserati."
What do you think? Should a Maserati, no matter what segment of vehicle, be produced somewhere in Italy to hold tradition? Or doesn't it really matter where it's built? Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments section below.
We'll be sure to provide full updates on the Maserati SUV concept when details and images are released/leaked.