Fiat's Maserati Trims Production as Ghibli Boom Fades

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV is cutting production of Maserati vehicles as a boom that was fueled by the more affordable Ghibli sedan fades.

In the first week of November, the luxury-car maker’s Grugliasco factory in northern Italy will halt production of models such as the $70,600 Ghibli and the $99,900 Quattroporte, Italy’s Fismic union said Wednesday in a statement. About 2,000 workers at the site will be put on temporary furloughs, following a similar move in September. Maserati declined to comment.

Fiat Chrysler is expanding Maserati to help offset the loss of Ferrari, which will be spun off early next year. Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne plans to follow up the 2013 introduction of the Ghibli with the Levante sport utility vehicle next year. The Italian-U.S. automaker is also considering a sports car for the brand.

After sales surged following the roll out of the Ghibli, Maserati’s operating profit slumped 30 percent to 43 million euros in the second quarter as deliveries dropped 13 percent. The decline stemmed from weakness in markets such as China, the brand’s chief Harald Wester said in an interview last month.

“We aren’t worried about the future,” Vincenzo Aragona, national secretary for Fismic, said in the statement. “Maserati’s investment in Grugliasco is one of the most positive events in the Turin area in the last 10 years,” and the manufacturer will use the break to prepare assembly lines for new production.

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