By Edward Stephens
Italian performance car maker Maserati is planning to sell a massive 50,000 cars a year globally by 2015 – more than eight times its sales figure for 2012.
The ambitious plan will bring with it a drive for new dealers in the UK taking the current number of 13 to 20 by 2015.
Currently there are 110 dealers in Europe and this will be expanded to 150.
Globally the company has 250 dealers but intends to grow that number to 425 by 2015 with an eventual target of 500.
Giulio Pastore, managing director of Maserati Europe, said: “It’s a bold plan but we are confident that it can be done.
“By the end of this month we will have sold 6,000 cars during the full year so to increase from that to 50,000 cars per year is ambitious, but we are totally convinced that it is a realistic target."
The plans are part of Fiat Group's stategy to realign its brands in the UK. It will see Maserati taking on the position of the prestige mark to battle BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, while Alfa Romeo will set its sights slightly lower down in the market, taking on Ford and VW, while Fiat becomes a small car brand.
The company’s programme for sales and dealership growth is founded on its plans for at least four new models, backed by a €1.2 billion investment.
The all-new 3.8-litre, V8 Maserati Quattroporte will be in UK showrooms around June, with a price tag of around £110,000.
By the fourth quarter of next year the company’s brand new Ghibli – a rival to the BMW 5-Series – will be launched and in 2014 the Levante, an all-wheel-drive SUV will be arriving in showrooms.
Both of these cars will herald a new era for Maserati as both will be available with diesel engines, the first time ever for the Italian car maker.
“We are expecting these to give us a massive boost in our sales in Europe and the UK because of the demand for diesel cars in both markets,” said Pastore.
“It will be in the lead up to these cars going on sale that we will be looking for more UK dealers as we expect that more that more than 80% of Ghibli and Levante sales will be diesel.”
A fourth model is planned for 2015 but the company is not revealing any details about it at present.
The UK is currently Maserati’s third largest market taking five per cent of global sales, which represents 22% of European sales. The USA takes 45% and China 15%.