Maserati revs-up Ghibli sales
05 June 2015
Maserati is shifting up from what it admitted was a slow start in fleet with its Ghibli executive saloon, and is expecting to hit a total of 1800 registrations this year.
Maserati's north Europe regional manager Peter Denton told BusinessCar that right-hand drive cars arrived later than expected and therefore missed the plate-change month of March 2014. "We had 600-700 orders at launch, but if we had that initial momentum in the delivery of cars we could have delivered more and convinced more people to take that leap of faith when their current lease was coming to an end," he said. "We're now seeing the benefit of people on their change cycle, but having missed the big month of March it compromised our performance for the year."
Leaseplan was the first leasing company on board with the brand, and Denton said "within months" it had put 250 cars through the firm, while most of the top 10 leasers are now offering Maseratis, with Lex the last to sign up.
"[A monthly lease rate of] £449-£499 has been achieved for the Ghibli diesel because they have confidence in our residual values," said Denton. "We worked hard with organisations like Cap to understand our volume aspirations and where we were positioning the car in terms of price and the structure we wanted to achieve in terms of dealers acquiring the used vehicles, and it gave them confidence."
Denton claimed Cap has moved the Ghibli up from an early 32% RV prediction into the early 40s. "It's education, confidence building, and us doing what we said we would do when we said we were going to do it, and not flooding the market with cars."
Six new Maserati dealerships have opened in the past 12 months - Glasgow, Maidstone, Cardiff, Oxford, Peterborough and Manchester - and they all are solus Maserati rather than joint operations with sister brand Ferrari as earlier dealers have been The target, said Denton, is to go from the current 18 to 26 by the end of 2016, and he said the arrival of the Levante off-roader late next year will help prove the brand is viable on its own.
"We understand fully that we can't achieve volume aspirations without a strong presence in the corporate world," he said, which covers the right maintenance programmes and fleet structure as well as "the ability to deliver the right ways to purchase, so everyone has the opportunity to consider Maserati because we offer a programme in line with the way they operate company cars"