Fiat has announced that the ownership of sports car maker Maserati will be transferred as soon as possible from Ferrari to the Fiat Group.

Fiat Group to run Maserati

blurb: Fiat has announced that ownership of sports car maker Maserati will be transferred as soon as possible from Ferrari to the Fiat Group.

Fiat has announced that ownership of sports car maker Maserati will be transferred as soon as possible from Ferrari to the Fiat Group.

Fiat subsidiary Ferrari currently wholly owns Maserati. It is expected that Maserati and another Fiat venture, Alfa Romeo, will co-operate closely, particularly in important international markets.

However, Maserati will also continue its co-operation with Ferrari, which has helped revitalise the Trident, especially in terms of its technical, engine and sales setup.

“This is a significant step forward for both Maserati and Alfa Romeo. The synergies between the two marques will bring benefits to both, and will allow us to strengthen our portfolio offering in the sports car market,” said Luca di Montezemolo, chairman of Fiat and Ferrari.

“Maserati is now at a significant point in its development. In 2004 it achieved substantial sales growth to 4 600 cars and received tremendously positive international acclaim for its Quattroporte model.”

“This move is essential to the future development of Alfa Romeo,” said Sergio Marchionne, chief executive of Fiat. “We believe that, as part of the re-launch of Fiat Auto, we need to devote great attention to the distinctiveness of our brands.

The technical and commercial collaboration between Maserati and Alfa Romeo will give the latter the necessary impetus to re-establish itself as a leading contender in its segment, and to expand its presence in international markets, as has occurred for Maserati.”

Fiat is fighting years of losses and on Thursday Marchionne fired Fiat Auto chief executive Herbert Demel and assumed the position himself. In a statement, Marchionne said, "Today's decision to take direct responsibility of Fiat Auto is aimed at concentrating Fiat group's efforts to the recovery and relaunch of Fiat Auto."

Recently Fiat was paid about R12 billion to terminate its joint ventures with General Motors and to prevent attempts by the Italian multinational for the US manufacturer to take over its embattled Fiat Auto division.