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Maserati targets 1500 annual local sales in mid term

On track: While the Levante SUV will be its biggest seller, Maserati is expecting to sell about 300 Ghibilis next year in Australia.

New GranTurismo and Alfieri to further push Australian Maserati sales

Maserati logo13 Dec 2016

MASERATI Australia chief operating officer Glen Sealey has revealed the company has expanded its annual sales target by a further 50 per cent to 1500 units once it has its “absolute full model range firing” mid term.

Speaking with GoAuto ahead of the facelifted Quattroporte launch earlier this month, Mr Sealey said the Porsche Cayenne-rivaling Levante large SUV would start rolling into dealerships in December but was already sold out until April next year.

Maserati is on track to only sell 500 vehicles in 2016, while the target for 2017 is 590 units of Levante with the Ghibli large sedan remaining steady at about 300 units, leaving the Quattroporte (60) and GranTurismo/GranCabrio (50) tail ending the total. All figures also include 10 per cent of volume for New Zealand.

“What we said is we would do 1000 units with Levante in play (in 2017) and then ultimately we would look to 1500 units but that would be by the time we had new GranTurismo, more variants of Levante and other models coming through,” Mr Sealey said.

“We’ve always said our plan … was step one to stabilise the brand at 150 (annual sales) in Australia and New Zealand, step two with Ghibli and Quattroporte was to achieve 500 units per year and step three was to achieve 1000 units per year with Levante (on board).

“There is still a step four later on but that’s dependent on further models coming into the market. With the absolute full model range firing, eventually we could do 1500 (sales) in this market.” Mr Sealey failed to specify when the new GranTurismo and “other models” were expected to arrive in the local market, however reports the Alfieri coupe would arrive before the end of the decade were not denied.

Last month Maserati North Europe regional manager Peter Denton told British online publication Just Auto that the petrol-engined Alfieri was expected to arrive in about 2019, with the battery powered sportscar to follow in 2020.

“We’re excited to have any new Maserati model come through and we’ve always got our hands up for many cars,” Mr Sealey said.

“For us, Peter (Denton) is talking about vehicles in 2020 and we’re always excited to hear those plans.

“I’ve seen those plans and they’re exciting plans, and for people who are engaged and become part of the Maserati family, they are going to enjoy the product offerings to come.” He confirmed that plans were in place to push the Maserati brand towards its annual production cap of 75,000 units, but the plans did not include a smaller sedan or SUV than the current Ghibli or Levante (see separate story). Mr Sealey added that “not long ago” the brand was only producing 6000 cars annually.

Two-door sportscars such as the decade-old GranTurismo and GranCabrio will next year make up just 5.0 per cent of annual sales volume, despite a coupe body style configuration previously being at the heart of the brand.

“We’ve seen the brand grow, but we’ve seen the brand grow in a way that it’s been protected,” he continued.

“The Maserati brand moving forward has a terrific proposition for its customer base and for its dealer network. Those plans stretch … well, we’re a car company and every platform we invest in is €1 billion, so of course we have plans stretching out beyond 2020 today.” However, he insisted: “For us we’ve really got to concentrate on building that year for us which is next year, to make sure the brand takes that next step.” That ‘next step’ would be to ensure the exclusivity factor of Maserati models remains a focal point for the brand, encompassing the associated personalised service and resale value aspects, even as volume doubles next year.

Even prior to the arrival of a greater number of new models, Mr Sealey said based on current trends there was potential the brand “undercalled” the expected sales volume for the Levante.

“We’re yet to have any real (Levante) dealer demonstrators out into the network with those cars not due to arrive until really the end of December and early January, but we have our production sold out well past March/April next year,” he explained.

“We were absolutely right when it came to Ghibli (sales forecasts), we were aiming to do as a brand 500 per year and we’ve been closer to 600 per year between Australia and New Zealand – so we undercalled it, but I’d rather be conservative than get it wrong.

“We’ve got a very conservative call on Levante, it’s a big segment in Australia, we’ve got a very strong brand and it’s a great SUV in the marketplace, so we may have undercalled it.

“But for today, it’s important that we ensure the brand remains exclusive.”

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