The success of the Jeep Grand Cherokee means that Sergio Marchionne will be looking to expand the use of this platform across the Fiat-Chrysler range to other new models. A Fiat crossover using this platform has been talked about for some time, but it seems that Marchionne could be considering both a Maserati SUV and an Alfa SUV based on the Cherokee.
To be honest, the reports have been slightly beaten up across the internet from the original article appearing in the Detroit News in which it was said:
There has long been speculation about an Alfa Romeo version of the SUV, but Marchionne talked about the high-end Maserati brand potentially adding SUVs based on the Grand Cherokee as well…. “I’ve never seen a vehicle have this kind of support,” Marchionne said.
So Marchionne didn’t confirm the Alfa SUV and neither do we get a quote directly associated with the Maserati SUV. What is interesting is that Marchionne clearly believes the quality build and platform of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is what’s driving demand - not the brand appeal or style of the car itself.
The new Fiat Group crossover and SUV models would contribute to an expanding line-up expected to reach the ambitious targets for the Alfa brand and Fiat overall, set by Marchionne for the year 2015. This is the first indication of exactly what we’ll be seeing as although Alfa Romeo has the new Alfa MiTo and Alfa Giulietta directing sales at the moment, no replacement model for the Alfa Brera had been announced and even plans for the new Alfa Giulia sedan were looking shaky.
We can’t help wondering if the crossover and SUV category in the Maserati and Alfa brands is worth pursuing. Alfa Romeo could probably get away with a SUV, but we’re less convinced that Maserati can. We also would have loved to have seen a snazzy new Alfa coupé - that would have been something to write home about.
Marchionne is a practical man though, and the sales results of the Jeep Grand Cherokee make sense in this context. A new Fiat Crossover, perhaps more upmarket than the Panda or Fiat Sedici could really work and on the local market, too. Hopefully there’s more news to come soon and if it’s like this, the Alfa Romeo and Maserati futures could be more interesting and optimistic than first thought. More reports on Autoblog.com and Autoblog.it