Luxury Italian car manufacturer Maserati, which was established 102 years ago this month, is taking at least a two-year break from the production of sports cars with their focus shifting instead to selling hatchbacks and SUV’s. The GranTurismo and GranCabrio are about to be pensioned off, with production at the Viale Ciro Menotti HQ in Modena in northern Italy due to end in 2017. The Maserati tag line itself is ‘luxury, sports and style cast in exclusive cars’ so this is a huge detour for the Italian brand’s 19 UK dealerships as their emphasis will shift to four-door saloon style cars and crossovers. With this brave shift, it will still of course be upholding its brand mission statement which is to ‘build ultra-luxury performance automobiles with timeless Italian style accommodating bespoke interiors, and effortless, signature sounding power.’ It really gives us an indication of the type of vehicle and the strategy that Maserati are taking, one that does appear to be working as the company is projected to outperform its targets this year with a new record number of sales. These are already up by 21 per cent. The Maserati brothers set up the company in 1914 but the family was heavily involved with automobiles since the beginning of the 20th Century. Between them they had hugely ambitious plans for the brand and they would surely be immensely proud of where it stands today. Maserati executives are keen to point out that the GT twins will be replaced. Giulio Pastore, Managing Director of Maserati’s European division, has indicated in the media that a standalone coupe and convertible were being considered, rather than a single CC-style folding hard-top option.