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Maserati sweats on Quattroporte supply

In demand: Maserati is holding 17,000 orders for its new Quattroporte, putting pressure on Australian delivery.

Global demand means 2014 delivery for most Maserati Quattroporte customers in Oz

Maserati logo16 Oct 2013

UNPRECEDENTED global demand for Maserati’s high-end sports car range is causing stock supply headaches for the Italian marque’s local distributor, Maserati Australia and New Zealand.

The company, an arm of independent importer European Automotive Imports, is preparing to launch the all-new Quattroporte next month with the prospect of little or no stock on hand.

Maserati Australia general manager Glen Sealey told GoAuto today that Quattroporte deliveries had been delayed by the factory which was trying to fill 17,000 back orders of the big sedan from around the world, as well as more than 5000 orders for other models.

He said his company now hoped to have some customer cars arriving before the end of the year to meet a rush of orders.

“At this stage, we have been unable to get cars,” he said. “Really, 2014 is shaping up as our year.” The original Quattroporte launch had been planned for September, but slipped out as global demand grew.

Mr Sealey said his company hoped to have better fortune with launch stocks of its new entry level Ghibli sedan that is due Down Under in about April, almost exactly one year after the BMW M5 competitor was launched at this year’s Shanghai motor show.

32 center imageLeft: Maserati Ghibli. Below: Kubang concept for Levante SUV.

He said Maserati understood that Ghibli, which opens up a new high-volume segment for the brand, was an important model for the Australian market, and had promised to give priority to stocks for customers here next year.

“We hope to have particularly good supply of Ghibli,” he said.

Maserati said that at the end of September, it had taken 17,000 orders for the new Quattroporte, while orders for the Ghibli had all but doubled in September to 7900 cars from around the world.

Such is the growth that the total order bank of more then 22,000 units is almost four times its 2012 total sales tally of 6300 units.

Mr Sealey said demand was strong around the globe, especially from big markets such as the United States and China Maserati hopes to grow that volume to 50,000 units globally by 2015, but Mr Sealey said that although the numbers were big by Maserati’s standards, the volumes were still “a drop in the ocean” in the overall market when compared with numbers done by competitors such as Porsche.

“Even though they intend to sell 50,000 cars a year, it is important to remember that Maserati will remain an exclusive brand,” he said.

So far this year, Maserati sales in Australia have topped 100 units, and are running almost 10 per cent up on last year to the end of September. About 90 of those are GranTurismo sports car variants.

Locally, Maserati hopes to raise those volumes to 1500 units a year by 2016 with the help of the expanded range.

With the addition of a new Quattroporte and the arrival of the first Ghibli next year, Maserati sales are expected to accelerate through 2014, when Maserati celebrates its 100th birthday.

From 2015, the Levante luxury SUV – another first for the company – is expected to boost the sales to a new level again.

The Levante is expected to be a cousin of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and will compete with the likes of Porsche’s Cayenne.

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