“MASERATI DNA DEEPLY INGRAINED IN LEVANTE”
Levante, the SUV launched by Maserati earlier this year, made its Qatar debut this month; and is all set to hit the Qatari market in June. The allterrain vehicle's world premiere at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show was said to be a landmark development in the company's history. Levante is based on the evolution of the sedan platform, designed exclusively by Maserati. The car chassis has been specifically developed to offer unique onroad drivability and competitive off-road capability, with day-to-day comfort and practicality. So, what does the launch of Maserati's first-ever SUV mean for the Italian luxury vehicle manufacturer? In an exclusive interview with Qatar Today, Umberto Cini, the company's Managing Director for Middle East, Africa and India, talks about the entire process behind the manufacturing of the Levante.
“When I joined Maserati in 2004, we initiated talks about the possibility of having an SUV. It was at the end of 2003 that Maserati presented to the world the first-ever SUV concept car called Kubang. But it was only a project and not intended for production,” says Cini, adding that though Maserati had been in the market for decades, it was the company's merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles that enabled it to gain knowledge about the technology and infrastructure for designing an SUV. Cini also said that the Levante project undertook a lot of design amendments and mechanical tests before reaching the production stage. “In terms of the cost incurred, the FCA group invested approximately 1 billion
Umberto Cini, Maserati’s Managing Director for Middle East, Africa and India (left) with Charly Dagher, General Manager, Maserati Qatar at the launch of Levante.