Maserati’s Head of Operations, India speaks to us about the brand and its future in our country
ABOUT THE INDIAN MARKET: It’s a bit different I would say. We entered the market because we believe that there is a potential for Maserati and that customers are really interested in our products and in our brand, so I wouldn’t limit the brand because we have a product for each stage. We have sport which is the GranTurismo which is a practical, on-road race car, then the Quattroporte and the Ghibli, which are sports executive sedans, and Levante is a completely new segment. We are going to continue strategically based on all aspects and it is not going to be based only on the Levante. Our focus now is the Levante, then the Quattroporte, the Ghibli and eventually the GranCabrio and the GranTurismo, it’s all in the plan.
SUV market is the fastest growing segment worldwide for all manufacturers so yes, we expect that it’s going to be a higher number (when compared to supercars). The Ghibli is also selling in higher numbers than supercars.
(In India) The Levante will be launched in the diesel version, so there is no time difference. The only difference is that it will be right-hand drive, not lefthand drive. The engine is the same too as the one in the Ghibli. And there is no V8 expected in the near future. We will see about petrol in the future, but now only diesel. Because the petrol car is not available in right-hand drive for now.
Globally preferred engines:
Diesel or petrol, it's hard to tell the split because European countries are more inclined towards diesel because of the efficiency while you have the Middle East where they prefer a petrol car. In Asia you have a mixture of petrol and diesel, it has been difficult to say at the moment what the split between petrol and diesel is.
Current scenario of sales in India:
We have sold a few GTs and we also have the latest car on offer with the Zegna Silk interiors, which is quite unique. At the moment the MY17 is not launched in India but we still offer the MY16 with the Zegna Silk interiors for the Quattroporte. We expect the GranCabrio and GranTurismo to be updated soon too.
News for India:
We have the Levante, we have the new MY17 Quattroporte, and later on towards the end of the year, the Ghibli. So it is a lot of changes. To summarise what we have planned for the market: we expect to have a wider reach so all the products need to be available. We are in the double-digit range in India. While we want to grow, we still want to maintain our exclusivity.
While we want to grow, we still want to maintain our exclusivity
In India and worldwide, the Levante is competition to Cayenne, not in-between but direct competition. It isn't competition to the F-Pace actually, that’s a lower segment, so you have the X6, the Q7, the X5 and the GLE but those are for instance, locally produced. In terms of price, it will fall between the Ghibli and the Quattroporte.
Of course, like other companies we intend to grow, so is the network. Our plan in the long run is to expand because at the moment we don’t have a cover reaching the east of the country and then we intend to expand the network more. In the south it can be with the same partners or it can be with new partners, so we will see depending on the demand and the potential, we will grow the network accordingly.
In terms of numbers, currently the biggest market is northern India, like any other manufacturer followed by the midwest.
About demonetisation, it’s really too soon to say as all of the transactions are done in advance. It’s really too soon to say if there is any, of course the overall result is yet to be seen.
Good news for customers:
Having an owner’s club and drives are all big plans. We have a lot of things to do next year, of course. We are planning some events then let’s see how it goes and what the next year brings for us. It is a big year for us and for Maserati customers.