Coming in 2012: Maserati SUV with Ferrari engine

sergio_marchionne.gi.top.jpgSergio Marchionne, CEO of Fiat and Chrysler Group, announced that the two companies will team up to build a Maserati SUV, on sale in 2012. By Chris Isidore, senior writer


DETROIT (CNNMoney) -- Maserati will get its own SUV model next year, built on the platform of Jeep Grand Cherokee at the Chrysler Group plant in Detroit, the companies announced Tuesday.

Sergio Marchionne, the CEO of both Jeep parent Chrysler Group and Maserati parent Fiat, said the new vehicle will debut in 2012, and that it will contain an engine designed by another Fiat unit, Ferrari.

"It will be a rock and roll engine," he said. It may come in both a V-8 and a V-12 version.

Tuesday's low-key announcement at the Detroit auto show was made during a radio interview with Marchionne and in various briefings with groups of reporters. There was no prepared statement from Chrysler or Fiat, nor was there any artwork of what the vehicle might look like.

Maserati is a high-end sports car line, known for handmade craftsmanship, powerful performance and prices in excess of $100,000.

Marchionne said Fiat had made great progress in rejuvenating the Chrysler Group's lineup of cars since it took control of the company during its 2009 bankruptcy, although he was characteristically blunt in his assessment of how much work still needed to be done.

"We now have a lineup we're not ashamed of," he said. But he conceded there are some Chrysler models which are just not attractive to consumers and can only be sold to fleet buyers like rental companies.

"To call the [Dodge] Caliber a retail vehicle would be an abomination," he said.

But he stressed that fleet sales declined as a percentage of Chrysler's overall sales throughout 2010, and should decline further in 2011 as new models are introduced.

He announced that Chrysler's target for 2011 sales would be 2 million vehicles worldwide, up from about 1.6 million in 2010. He also said Chrysler is aiming for 10% of the U.S. market this year, up from 9.4% in 2010.

Marchionne repeated earlier statements that he hoped to hold an initial public offering of company shares sometime this year.

The majority of the Chrysler's stock is owned by a union-controlled trust fund. The Treasury Department holds a 9% stake in return for the federal government's bailout of Chrysler last year.

Marchionne said Tuesday said it is likely that Fiat will move to raise its stake in Chrysler Group to 51% from its current 25% before the IPO, through a combination of hitting pre-determined performance milestones and the purchase of additional shares. To top of page

Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 17,042.90 -28.32 -0.17%
Nasdaq 4,493.39 -12.46 -0.28%
S&P 500 1,972.29 -5.51 -0.28%
Treasuries 2.51 0.02 0.68%
Data as of 5:14pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 14.79 -0.32 -2.12%
Bank of America Corp... 17.05 0.04 0.24%
eBay Inc 56.63 3.97 7.54%
Apple Inc 100.75 0.64 0.64%
General Electric Co 25.62 0.20 0.79%
Data as of 4:00pm ET

Sections

CNNMoney's Italian-American investing correspondents did a taste test of Olive Garden's food. They agree with hedge fund Starboard: It's not very appetizing. More

Even limited air operations could cost up to $4 billion a year, says a think tank, while large ground forces could cost $1.8 billion a month. More

Microsoft showed off the new Windows 10 at an event for business customers Tuesday. More

On Wednesday, 17% of First Green Bank's 66 employees will get a raise under the company's new "living wage" program. The guarantee: At least about $30,000 a year. More

This mom of four only makes $29,000 a year and is losing $400 a month because the state is garnishing her paycheck over a debt. Now she is about to be evicted from her apartment. More

Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.