Maserati expects to sell over 35,000 cars this year and reach its 50,000 sales target in 2015, subject to the availability of a new sport utility vehicle (SUV) to be launched late next year, the head of the brand said in Paris.

For the end of the year we will be significantly beyond 35,000, but not beyond 40,000," Harald Wester told Reuters in an interview. The brand sold 15,400 vehicles in 2013.

Wester said Maserati was still on track to launch the much awaited Levante SUV by the end of 2015 and plans to build at least 25,000 a year from 2016.

Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of the Paris show, Wester said the idea of keeping annual Maserati sales capped at 75,000 - a level it hopes to reach by 2018 - still stood but he "would not be dogmatic about it".

"The core of the message was: Maserati will remain an exclusive brand," he said. "We will not offer a product below the Ghibli (sedan), we will not compete on price as other people are doing. Volume is not the most important parameter for the business."

He told the news agency the number of dealers selling Maserati products would grow by another 100 from the current 354 by the end of 2015 and that should be sufficient to sell the vehicles, even at future levels of around 75,000.

After the Levante, the company has promised the Alfieri, a sporty two-seater, which will also come in a cabriolet version.

The United States remains Maserati’s main market, closely followed by China.

Wester, who also looks after Alfa Romeo at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, told Reuters the company would "work very hard" to get close to last year's sales figures of 74,000 for that brand.

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