By on May 14, 2013

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It’s a thing in China: You don’t get the car service you expect, and instead of waiting for the J.D. Power questionnaire, you hire thugs with sledgehammers. Not to beat the dealer to pulp. No, to smash your car in front of a lot of cameras.  It so recently happened to a Maserati Quattroporte. According to Carnewschina, the owner of the car (starting at 423,000 USD in China) disagreed with the dealer over a $390 repair.  After a flurry of letters, the car was smashed.

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The wronged  Maser owner lives in Qingdao in Shandong Province. It just so happened that there is a minor car show in Qingdao, with lots of journalists in town.  The owner of the Maserati did set up a special Weibo account (Chinese variant of Twitter) where he chronicles the iniquity.

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According to Carnewschina, “the windows were all smashed up and the bonnet received some blows as well, but the vehicle is otherwise all right.” Apparently, the owner went for maximum show effect with  minimal destruction.

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In 2011, the owner of a Lamborghini, also in Qingdao, did the same. In that case, the car was totally smashed by nine hammer-bearing men.

Protest by public shame is a popular tactic. This Volvo XC60 SUV  was dragged through Hangzhou by an ox.

This Porsche Cayenne was simply put on a flatbed and parked in front of a Porsche dealer.

A year ago, I sat with foreign friends in a fancy restaurant in Beijing. At the neighboring table, a group had fancy dinners. Then a ruckus ensued. They complained about a cockroach that was found in a glass of water melon juice. My foreign friends, most of the 6ft-and-as-wide-as-a-subzero-fridge variety, became annoyed by the noise and transported the protesters outside. We didn’t have to pay for our dinner.

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36 Comments on “Chinese Maserati Owner Destroys Car Over $390 Repair Bill...”


  • avatar
    08Suzuki

    The people who had the cockroach in their glass got kicked out and their neighbors got the free meal? Isn’t that the type of thing that’s supposed to happen in Bizarro Opposite Land?

  • avatar
    rpol35

    In the case of the Maserati it’s more like “Protest by public stupidity”. That’s as idiotic has having a gripe, deciding to start a riot and then burning down your own neighborhood.

    • 0 avatar
      WaftableTorque

      It’s a different mindset in China. The worse thing you can do to an enemy is to cause them to lose face. Shame is worse than death, thus things that don’t make sense to westerners will have some logic in this context.

      Of course, as a westernized Chinese ex-pat, I think he’s cutting off his nose to spite his face. I’m still waiting for the next stupid story out of China where they only hire Caucasian chauffeurs as a status symbol…

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        “It’s a different mindset in China. The worse thing you can do to an enemy is to cause them to lose face. Shame is worse than death, thus things that don’t make sense to westerners will have some logic in this context.”

        You’re thinking of Japan. The Chinese just want to get rich and don’t have any qualms about how they get there.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      It reminds me of a story from a year or two ago out of Korea where a worker in protest of the working conditions set himself on fire & died.

    • 0 avatar
      Splorg McGillicuddy

      So… like Oakland, then?

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      “That’s as idiotic has having a gripe, deciding to start a riot and then burning down your own neighborhood.”

      Umm, residents of Detroit, New York, LA, etc seem to think burning down their own neighborhoods is helpful, but only after looting the area businesses. At least the Chinese destroy their own property.

  • avatar

    Maserati’s cars have sucked for so long, I’m surprised he hadn’t smashed it shortly after purchase.

  • avatar
    George B

    The intentional damage to the Maserati is painful even if it’s reversible. Now having your Volvo dragged down the street by Ox power is a creative and memorable protest that’s not destructive. Put a slow moving vehicle triangle reflector on the back and it might even be legal on US side streets.

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      My thoughts exactly. The Volvo protest is brilliant. The smashing just sad.

      We had a guy unhappy with his airplane. Eventually, he was offered a full refund, but he refused. I never found out what he was demanding, but he ended up selling it for a loss. Some people just get irrational. The only potential Maserati customers who would care about this sort of thing are customers Maserati doesn’t want. Most people able to buy one, other than some entertainers, understand these situations from experience.

  • avatar
    Roberto Esponja

    What a freaking attention whore moron. I’ve never driven one of these, but just last week I saw the French movie The Intouchables (highly recommend it, BTW), and a car like this one was one of the stars, and its engine sounds were like a drug.

    If you don’t like the damn car, put it up for sale dimwit…

    • 0 avatar
      wc1972

      There is utter dis-trust of due process in China when there are back doors for EVERYTHING. When this owner doesn’t believe that he will get fair treatment, whether it is true or not, he resort to extreme measures, while not as extreme as the other owner who actually destroyed the car.

      Chances are that this owner has not treated unfairly, but he is so used to the privileges he enjoys (obvious if someone can spent half a million on a car in China), he demands specials treatment again by putting up this show, not unlike a kid crying for a toy.

  • avatar
    jacob_coulter

    How childish is the public “car smashings” the Chinese love to engage in? Whether it’s this or “evil” Japanese cars. It’s like 4 year olds having temper tantrums. Do they realize how stupid they look?

    Hate to see what happens when the Chinese Ponzi economy that always grows at a double digit rate takes a dip that not even the government can claim otherwise with a straight face. It’s going to get ugly very quickly.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    Too bad it wasn’t the 2013 model.

  • avatar
    Cubista

    Too bad it wasn’t a Panamera.

  • avatar
    Pinzgauer

    Makes me wonder what he’ll do when he gets the bill for this repair?

  • avatar
    FAHRVERGNUGEN

    So THAT’S what one does with a massive trade imbalance…

  • avatar
    Lampredi

    So some Chinese guy decided to show the world he’s got more money than sense. Why is this “dog bites man” story given any attention at all?

    (I hope they made him humbly pick up the debris and clean up the mess in public, though. It was, after all, an Italian piece of art he shamelessly trashed, and he deserves to lose face because of it.)

  • avatar
    wsn

    “starting at 423.000 USD in China”

    1) Do you mean “,”?
    2) I am fairly certain that the buyer didn’t pay US$423,000 and used Chinese Yuan instead.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Nit picking. Bertel provided a conversion for us, a helpful thing unless you know each day the Yuan to USD exchange rate.
      I have seen Europeans use “.” instead of “,” when writing large numbers.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Yes, “.” and “,” get reversed in, say, the German usage for writing numbers.

        Mr. Schmitt is German, after all…

        (And what mike said; we’re not Chinese. We don’t know what the hell a renminbi is worth, but we know dollars.

        Given that exchange is trivial, it does no violence at all to the facts to do a conversion for reader convenience, just as I’d expect a European report of American car prices to convert to Euro.)

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        You mis-understood my point.

        Maserati starts at $126k in the US, which is likely the same model that goes for “$423k” in China.

        Some brands sell a different line-up in China. Such as Acura starts with TL in China. The way BS states it may confuse people which model it was referring to.

        I believe BS’s intention was not to list a particular MSRP, but rather to say Chinese pay much more (mostly import tax) for the same car. If that’s the purpose, it’s best just to say “the import tax/fee is X%”

        • 0 avatar
          wumpus

          Because that still wouldn’t tell you much about the price?

          While Masserati hardly has a monopoly on GT sedans, they certainly have a monopoly on Masseratis. As such, they can price the things roughly anywhere from cost+sinofication+taxes/bribes/etc to gray market purchase+self-sinofication+taxes+personal bribes,etc (of course some car companies have been crazy enough to go beyond that either way, consider the Mercedes-paid-European-vaction of yore). That’s likely a pretty large range and Masserati prices probably are designe around assumed Chinese volume and what Mercades will go for. US&UE prices * taxes isn’t a big consideration.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Im so confused

    He smashed his own car because he was angry at the dealer?

    And this is the country people are banking on becoming the next global superpower?

    • 0 avatar
      Landcrusher

      People bank on horses to win races, but I wouldn’t bank on China. A recent economics study showed that China’s success has been due to nothing fancier than leaving certain parts of the economy free of central planning rather than genius central planning.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    ” Isn’t that the type of thing that’s supposed to happen in Bizarro Opposite Land? ”

    Yes , China , as mentioned .

    No worries, this is why they’re treated like Children most of the time : they act like Children most of the time .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Uppity Shandong once again.Is this what you do when you can’t protest the government? Smash your own car?

  • avatar
    brid1970

    Looks like the hatchet men hired to get the job done were well briefed beforehand. Notice that the damage was carefully limited to exterior skin and glass. No damage was inflicted on structural members like roof pillars. In the end the car was left sitting on all fours. And so this 400K dollar car remains very salvageable.
    Compare it to the merciless damage inflicted on Japanese brand cars during the recent Diaoyu/Senkaku protest demonstrations. Those cars were totaled.
    Clearly the objectives were different…..

    • 0 avatar
      Greg Locock

      He’ll have a nasty shock from all the broken glass inside the doors, rattling around. Plus more of the same if any glass from the windscreen has fallen into the HVAC.

  • avatar
    Cubista

    This has been bugging me all day. What could possibly break on a six-figure car that could cost only $390.00 to fix?

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Perhaps he should have gotten the coveted Buick, after all it too has three portals on each side and probably more dependable. Of course beating-up a Buick probably wouldn’t draw international attention.

    With their sudden wealth, I can’t help but wonder how old reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies would be received there


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