In a shake-up of the status quo, Maserati posted a higher operating profit in the third quarter of 2014 than Ferrari, thanks in part to the Maranello-based brand’s golden handshake with now-former chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo. 

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Fuelled by strong growth of its Quattroporte and Ghibli sedans, Maserati made 90 million euros ($128m) between July and September, more than doubling its profits over the same period in 2013. 

Shipments in Q3 hit a peak of 8896 units, while annual volume sits at 26,428 vehicles.  At this time last year that figure was just 7548 vehicles, meaning the company has more than tripled its sales in 12 months. 

As such, it is well on track to achieving its interim goal of 50,000 sales annually by 2016 — including 1500 in Australia — a figure that will be hastened by the arrival of the Levante SUV, a rival for the Porsche Cayenne, in 2015.

The Prancing Horse brand, meanwhile, posted an 89m euro EBIT figure over the same period, up from 88m euros in Q3, 2013. The difference between the two brands is slim, but significant. 

However, dig a little deeper into the figures and it states that the 89m euro figure factors in 15m euros in “compensation costs” related to the resignation of former chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo in September. 

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It was announced last month that di Montezemolo’s total severance package would account to 27m euros all told. Fiat Chrysler chief Sergio Marchionne took the reins of Ferrari on October 13. 

Ferrari sales grew from 1499 units in Q3 2013 to 1612 driven by the LaFerrari, while YTD shipments sit at 5280 units, compared with 5336 this time last year. 

Ferrari currently limits global deliveries to 7000 units to boost exclusivity, though Marchionne has mooted upping this figure to around 10,000 to reflect more demand from growth markets such as China. 

On an annualised basis, Ferrari is still a better profit centre for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), posting an annual EBIT figure of 274 million euros (up 10 million euros) compared with Maserati’s 210m euros (up 48m euros).

Of course, Maserati growth is also good for Ferrari, since the Trident brand buys engines from Ferrari in big numbers. 

As we reported yesterday, Fiat Chrysler has announced that it will spin off Ferrari, with 10 per cent of the Italian luxury sports car maker to be floated on the open share market.

The remainder of Ferrari will be distributed among shareholders in FCA. Money raised by this move will help fund the company’s 48b euro five-year business plan announced earlier this year.