For sheer numbers, Italian maker Maserati is about to become the prestige Mazda
NEW names and a new SUV will drive a rapid and radical rise in Australian Maserati sales.
The Italian carmaker forecasts an unprecedented tenfold increase in local deliveries in just three years.
The prediction comes as Maserati confirms Levante as the name for its upcoming SUV, previously displayed at motor shows as the Kubang. It comes via Emilia Levante, a street in Bologna where the Maserati brothers first dreamt of their car company.
It has also confirmed the continuation of the Quattroporte name and position, but announces the decision to build a new fourdoor prestige sedan that renews the Ghibli name.
The head of Maserati in Australia, Neville Crichton, exclusively told Carsguide: ‘‘ We’re looking for a massive increase in volume. Over the next three years we see massive growth.
‘‘ There is a new SUV, a new Quattroporte, and the new E Series. That will mean tenfold growth over three years.’’
Maserati used the Paris show to unveil its latest hotrod, the GranCabrio MC, but all the talk is about future growth as the company predicts a volume increase to 15,000 cars by the end of 2015. ‘‘ Our target is we’re going after Mercedes customers and BMW customers,’’ Crichton says.
‘‘ We’ll have much better cars. It’s going to compete seriously with Mercedes.
‘‘ Our competition will clearly be mainstream competition, Mercedes and BMW. We’re not going after Bentley; we sell double Bentley now. We’re not going after Aston; we sell treble Aston now.’’
The Ghibli is set to debut next year and the Levante will arrive in 2014 as part of the company’s centenary. The Ghibli name was first used by Maserati on a two-door GT in 1967, then returned on another two-door in 1992.
Crichton dismisses fears about Maserati’s quality and also confirms a major dealer development in Australia.
‘‘ We have no problems with warranty now with Maserati. Nothing,’’ he says. ‘‘ The earlier cars, with the older transmissions, they’re gone. They’re history. The new cars have an eight-speed transmission.
‘‘ On the dealer side, we’ll be putting an additional dealership into Sydney, on the north shore, and an additional dealership at Brighton in Melbourne. We’ve just appointed a new dealer in Adelaide. Perth and Brisbane can only accommodate a single dealer and I think they’re doing a good job for us.’’
Forerunner: Maserati’s GranCabrio MC was unveiled in Paris