Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne says the market launch of the Maserati Levante "sucked".

According to MotorTrend, the outspoken 65-year-old said that the launch of the Italian brand’s first SUV suffered from “very poor execution”.

“I think we sucked at the launch of the Levante,” Marchionne said, bluntly.

Late in December 2017, Maserati reportedly temporarily halted production at its factories due to declining demand for its vehicles, after taking similar action in October of the same year.

Maserati has since, of course, unveiled the flagship Levante Trofeo, fitting it with a twin-turbo 3,8-litre V8 courtesy of Ferrari. And before that, in February 2018, FCA announced that Tim Kuniskis had taken over as the global head of the Alfa Romeo and Maserati brands, replacing Reid Bigland.

In South Africa, Maserati offers the Levante in “Diesel” (R1 650 000) and “S” (R1 950 000) guises. In the first quarter of 2018, Maserati sold 20 examples of its Levante locally.