Sergio Marchionne and crew surprised everybody by using the Super Bowl to premiere a long form ad (below) for the new Maserati Ghibli. One might question the wisdom of using the “big game” to promote a niche brand, but Sergio says he wants to sell 50,000 Maseratis a year and the Ghibli, which starts at ~$65,000, is a big part of that plan, so putting the entry level Maser in front of the biggest tv audience of the year makes some sense. The thing is that the ad is one of those that’s heavy on the stirring dramatic and philosophical voiceover and not quite so product intensive. You don’t get to see the actual car until more than a minute into the 90 second spot and then it flashes on screen for less than 10 seconds. The Ghibli site and configurator apparently crashed earlier under Super Bowl levels of traffic, but as of the middle of the third quarter of the game, it’s up and running. In case it crashes again, and you’d like to see what the Ghibli looks like, you’re in luck.
At the recent Detroit auto show, after the rich folks left, the show organizers allowed the media to come in and photograph the ultra-luxe cars on display at The Gallery, a event held at a local casino for 400 well heeled invitees. There was a Ghibli on display next to a Granturismo and a Quattroporte. I think it looks rather ordinary for an Italian [quasi] exotic. The front end seems pinched to me and the rear end looks like it could be on a Toyota or Hyundai. Franz von Holzenhaus’ Tesla Model S makes a much more attractive Maserati. The Ghibli will probably sell well though. It’s reasonably stylish from most angles and it has the name. After all, the Maserati name helped Lee Iacocca move some K car variants. I’m not sure what sales will be like in 2015 and 2016, though, after Ghibli owners discover what many Quattroporte buyers have learned: Maserati may be trying to compete with similarly priced German luxury sedans, but their cars may not be up to the rigors of daily driving the way those German cars are.
Ronnie Schreiber edits Cars In Depth, a realistic perspective on cars & car culture and the original 3D car site. If you found this post worthwhile, you can get a parallax view at Cars In Depth. If the 3D thing freaks you out, don’t worry, all the photo and video players in use at the site have mono options. Thanks for reading – RJS