Affluent and aspirational driving enthusiasts in Wales will play a part in the revival of Maserati.
Much rarer than Porsche, BMW, Ferrari and Bentley marques on Welsh roads, Maserati is blooming again after a new dealership in Cardiff opened this spring to serve fans of the trident-badged brand throughout West and Mid-Wales.
The importance of the UK and Europe to Maserati cannot be underplayed.
Peter Denton, Region Manager Maserati North Europe said his is the third largest area behind China and the US.
In 2012 Maserati was making 6,300 models based on three versions, Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio but it added the Ghibli the following year and has announced its Levante SUV in 2016, so by the end of this year it will be on target for 13,000 new car sales.
The arrivals of the newer models, and particularly the Levante, will give it access to a market segment which accounts for about a million cars today in Northern Europe. In actual numbers it means Maserati is likely to grow from 6,300 to 75,000 cars by 2018 while revenues will rise from €1.7 Billion to €6 Billion at the same time and it will reinvest the money in new models and facilities.
In the UK it is planning to gradually raise its dealership directory to 19 outlets by the end of this year and add another seven locations before 2018. In 2015, Maserati UK saw sales rise 20% to over 1,400 new cars, slightly more than Bentley.
This year, the Quattroporte and Ghibli saloons will get the very latest Euro6 engines, but the unique Maserati chassis has been refined to improve both ride and handling and the cars get the latest alloy wheels.
Levante will appear in the UK towards the end of 2016 and it will also use a modified version of the saloons’ chassis but has been carefully designed to be as sleek as possible through the air despite being an SUV (right).
Indications are that it will be under £55,000 on the road.
Lyn Evans, General Sales Manager at Motorline Maserati, Penarth Road, Cardiff, said the arrival of the Levante will be a turning point for the business in Britain, and particularly in Wales.
“The SUV market is very strong in Wales and we think the arrival of the Levante in this sector will not only turn heads but also make buyers realise they can afford a Maserati.”
Motorline Maserati has renovated its Penarth Road, Cardiff showroom to reflect this Italian brand and it can hold eight cars with more outside, and will be using it for invitation-only events as well. Some of the first to take delivery of their Maserati’s are savouring the experience.
“From our initial contacts with the business community in Cardiff we know there is enormous untapped demand for luxury quality cars,” he added.
“Motorline Maserati is coming at the right time to fulfill that need with a range of distinctive models to be completed this year with the Levante and we are very excited by the prospects.”