“New customers will most likely be those with experience of a prestige brand but who are looking for something different, more individual. Maserati will give them the opportunity to drive not only a high performance brand but also one that provides true luxury,” says Al Clarke, Ferrari Maserati UK spokesman. Typical targets will be BMW M5, Mercedes-Benz E55 and Jaguar XJR drivers.
At present, around 400 Maseratis are sold in the UK annually, but this is expected to rise to 1,000 a year by 2007, says Clarke, driven by the Quattroporte model. Maserati, celebrating its 90th anniversary this year, currently builds around 3,000 cars a year at its factory in Modena, Italy, but plans to increase that to 10,000 in the same period.
However, the UK dealer network will remain the same size, says Clarke, with 16 joint Ferrari/ Maserati outlets.
“We could sell 10 times the number of Ferraris every year, but we are limited to a certain number. In that environment it is more important to aim for a quality service rather than the quantity of dealerships.
“The important thing going forward is to retain and develop relationships with our customers, to ensure they come back and back.”
Ferrari Maserati UK began distribution from its Slough headquarters at the beginning of October, after bosses in Italy decided against renewing Inchcape-owned Maranello Concessionaires’ contract in favour of bringing the operation in-house. The decision follows similar action taken worldwide.