Things have not been rosy for Maserati, but that’s not stopping the Italian automaker from swimming against the tide. Instead of going full electric, Maserati North America boss, Al Gardner said “this is a brand that needs combustion engines. It needs that raw emotion.”

That doesn’t mean it won’t embrace electrification, though. MotorTrend reports that the company will introduce a number of hybrid, plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles by 2022 as part of its plans to drive up sales figures, but the Maserati family as a whole will never go full electric.

In fact, Gardner says the Maserati brand needed to return to its roots – it was founded as a race car company in 1914 and remained race focused until 1947 when it introduced the first A6 grand tourer. Today, its hallmark trait is the twin-turbo V6 and V8 engines that are built by Ferrari.

While there are clear plans for the future, Maserati still has to push through rough waters. It struggled in the first quarter of 2019, with shipments down 41% and net revenue down by 38%. That’s on top of a 28% drop in sales in 2018. However, the brand is getting additional sales and marketing assistance on a global level, FCA CEO Mike Manley told investors on a call to report first-quarter earnings.


Maserati Alfieri Concept

There are also improvements to look forward to under the stewardship of Harald Wester, who is the newly-appointed CEO and chief technology officer for Maserati. The brand is regaining momentum, Manley said, even as it awaits new products and battles slowing sales in China.

Earlier this year, Manley said Maserati will be managed as a luxury brand, and that the line-up will be replaced by the end of 2022, of which will also see the introduction of two new models. The first will be a sports car (due for unveiling at the 2020 Geneva show), said Gardner, and the other is a midsize crossover that’s positioned below the full-size Levante.

Speaking of the Levante, it’s three-years old now, but Gardner says product awareness is a mere 22% compared to other performance-oriented SUVs which have at least three times that. Maserati needs to get on people’s radar, and Gardner is convinced that a test drive will make the driver fall in love with the Levante, especially the new 550 hp GTS and 590 hp Trofeo.