By on January 27, 2010

The search for “potential synergies” between Alfa Romeo and Maserati has already yielded its first bitter fruits, as Auto Motor und Sport reports that a special edition Alfa will be built as a loaner for Maserati owners who bring their cars in for service. Because there’s nothing Sergio Marchionne can’t fix with a special edition…

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  • avatar
    superbadd75

    So, uh, what exactly is wrong with just letting an Alfa be an Alfa? When the Cadillac dealership I used to work at put customers in loaner Aleros, they didn’t have “Oldsmobile for Cadillac” door sills. Although I guess maybe that’s because the quality gap between Olds and Cadillac is a lot smaller than it is between Alfa and Maserati and they didn’t want to confuse customers.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    Even bigger than the quality gap is the image/perception gap, which is what Sergio is trying to close. Though I’m not sure where the sale is going to be made. Perhaps the Maserati owner is expected to take a forced spin in the dealership’s ‘Alfa-for’ and say to himself ‘maybe I’ll buy one of these for the nanny.’

  • avatar
    Sinistermisterman

    I don’t see what’s wrong with Fiat doing this. They may as well write “Rusting, quickly depreciating, mechanically unreliable car – for – EXPENSIVE, rusting, quickly depreciating, mechanically unreliable car.”

  • avatar
    late_apex

    If Toyota starts giving out Corolla’s with a gussied up leather package to me when my Lexus is in for service I’d be pissed. Toyota of course will never do this because they know how to make a luxury brand feel luxurious and from my experience it seems they value maintaining the customers satisfaction.

    This move seems to be Fiat’s admission that the Maserati brand is still un-reliable and they expect a volume of service visits to great to provide luxury branded loaners. It also seems to indicate that Fiat see’s Maserati’s decreased market value and doesn’t feel giving out their equivalent to a gussied up Corolla as a loaner will further damage the brand.

    Another real possibility is that Fiat does not have the money to use luxury branded loaners that they then cannot sell without liquidation due to the brand worth being so damaged.

  • avatar
    srogers

    Maybe it’s just not realistic to lend out Maseratis as loaners, so instead they just try to make their customers feel special by loaning them an exclusive edition of a half-way interesting car.

    Really, if it were your business to make money selling Maseratis, what would you use for a loaner?

  • avatar
    djn

    @Srogers, a very big +1

    Alfa Romeos are not Corollas and have long been perceived as the baby Ferrari, baby Maser. I’m sure those Maserati owners have owned Alfas in the past and are probably smiling with nostalgia thinking about the days when they had less money and more hair. This is just another indication that Sergio knows his customers far better than many of us here.

  • avatar
    FromBrazil

    Ummm, not so fast. It’s just like at Ferrari dealerships where you get a special Ferrari style Panda for when your car is down.

    It’s a marketing action.

    And as such, what’s really the problem here?


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