Wasting no time, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles has already kicked off production for the Maserati Levante.
Due for a formal unveiling this week at the Geneva Motor Show, the Levante represents the first SUV in Maserati’s century-long history. The production model comes more than a decade after the brand unveiled the Kubang concept.
The first examples have begun rolling off the assembly line at FCA’s Mirafiori factory in Turin, Italy. The underutilized plant has also been used to produce the Fiat Punto and Alfa Romeo MiTo.
Reports surrounding the 2011 concept suggested the SUV would be built upon the Jeep Grand Cherokee platform and built in Detroit, however Maserati instead opted to adapt the Ghibli and Quattroporte chassis architecture for the high-riding model. It is said to be produced from “100 percent Maserati parts.”
The SUV will play an important role in Maserati’s plan to achieve 75,000 annual sales by 2018. The figure represents 15,000 additional units in just four years. The brand had achieved a stratospheric climb of 137 percent in the US between 2013 and 2014, though sales receded with nearly a 10-percent drop in 2015.
The Levante will arrive in showrooms throughout Europe this spring, before heading to other markets later in the year. The company has not confirmed US launch plans, despite America’s growing appetite for SUVs.