For Sale By:Private Seller
Interior Color: Blue
Options: 4-Wheel Drive
Drive Type: 4X4
Exterior Color: Blue
Trim: 1/4 Ton
Lima, Montana, United States
Maserati has been teasing its crossover project since 2011, which is when it first showed off the Kubang concept (pictured above). Still, the production version, rumored to be called the Levante, remains a complete mystery. The CUV was first rumored to borrow the platform from the Jeep Grand Cherokee, but new rumors indicate that the Italian, luxury crossover might actually take the underpinnings from the Quattroporte and Ghibli.
In a brief interview, Maserati CEO Harald Wester told CNN Money that the Levante wouldn't use Jeep's platform. Motor Trend spoke with an unnamed Maserati engineer who confirmed the rumor. Officially, the company says that no decision has been made.
We can add this to another long list of rumors about the Italian CUV. It was originally supposed to be built at Chrysler's Jefferson North assembly plant in Detroit. Then, plans were changed to build it in Italy.
Hot on the heels of Ford's earnings announcement for the year that was, Chrysler today reported a 2012 net income of $1.7 billion, up substantially from the comparatively minuscule $183 million profit earned in 2011 when it repaid its US government loans.
Chrysler's good year ended with an excellent fourth quarter that saw net income rise 68 percent from $225 million in 2011 to $378 million. Where are all those extra earnings coming from? Market share, which Chrysler saw increase to 11.4% last year on sales of 1.65 million vehicles. In fact, the Auburn Hills, MI-based automaker out-paced the industry's market growth of 13 percent last year with sales up 21 percent for the year.
The company also revealed an updated product plan for its Chrysler Group and Fiat brands that looks all the way out to 2016. It's an updated version of the plan introduced in 2009 shortly after Fiat took control of the American automaker, and includes such new additions as an Alfa Romeo model, likely the 4C, to be introduced in the US this year, as well five more Alfa models by 2016. Likewise, Fiat will be growing by an additional seven models in the coming few years.
If you've noticed that there have been more recalls than usual this year, you may be on to something. According to a report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the US market is on pace to break a record for recalls. In 2013, 22 million cars were recalled. We're only a third of the way through 2014, though, and we've already halved that figure, with 11 million units recalled. That's wild.
Considering the past few months, it shouldn't be a surprise that General Motors is leading the charge, with six million of the 11 million units recalled coming from one of the General's four brands. Between truck recalls, CUV recalls and the ignition switch recall, 2014 hasn't been a great year for GM.
Other recall leaders include Nissan (one million Sentra and Altima sedans), Honda (900,000 Odyssey minivans), Toyota (over one million units in a few recalls), Volkswagen (150,000 Passat sedans), Chrysler (644,000 Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee SUVs) and most recently, Ford (434,000 units, the bulk of which were early Ford Escape CUVs). So while it's been a bad year for GM so far, its competitors aren't doing too well, either.