By on October 29, 2014

Maserati GhibliHow does one make it in America? Grow your product portfolio by 50%. Grow your North American dealership network by 29%. Make all-wheel-drive a part of your business’s best practices. Spend $11 million airing a commercial during the Super Bowl while only bothering to display your product at the tail end of the ad. Name your products after a Mediterranean wind, the number of doors they possess, or a video game.

And continue to place one of the industry’s coolest logos on a highly visible portion of all your products.

Cue year-over-year Maserati sales growth in the United States of 307% through the first nine months of 2014, a gain of 6884 units.

Maserati’s U.S. volume has grown in 16 consecutive months. Already in 2014, with one-quarter of the year remaining, Maserati sold more cars than in any year in the company’s not terribly illustrious history; more cars in nine months than in the previous 32 combined.

Yes, Maserati remains a very low-volume brand. Only 1318 Maseratis were sold during the month of September, the brand’s best-ever month of selling cars in America.

But they’re not the lowest-volume brand, either, at least not lately. We’re not just talking about the obvious bit players like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Rolls-Royce, and Bentley, but Jaguar, too. Maserati outsold Jaguar by 49 units in August and by 176 units in September. Jaguar USA sold more than 61,000 new vehicles in 2002, a figure which tumbled in five consecutive years before rising slightly in 2008, falling to fewer than 12,000 units in 2009, and climbing back in 2013 to fewer than 17,000 sales.

Jaguar volume is down 5% through three-quarters of 2014 to 11,830 units, 2705 more sales than Maserati has managed. (Jaguar sells cars through 163 dealers in the United States, translating to eight sales per showroom per month.) We’ve already discussed the F-Type-centric nature of Jaguar’s current portfolio.

Naturally, Maserati’s goals are not Jaguar-based. Besides, Jaguar’s product lineup will expand in the near future with a far more affordable XE while the C-X17 Concept previewed a non-Land Rover crossover. Of course, Maserati plans to join the ess-you-vee game, too. In 2012, Maserati hoped to triple global sales between 2012 and 2015 to 50,000 units. The addition of the Ghibli makes this dream possible.

Maserati refused to provide model-specific sales data when asked last week, saying, “We are not able to disclose such granular information at this time.” If we use current Cars.com inventory levels as a general guide, the Ghibli would account for 59% of Maserati sales in the U.S., or around 5380 year-to-date sales. The Quattroporte would generate another 26% of the brand’s volume, or approximately 2370 year-to-date sales. Finally, the GranTurismo lineup would attract the remaining 15% of buyers, about 1370 sales so far this year.

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67 Comments on “Maserati Is Surging In The United States...”


  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    I suppose that the photo was taken somewhere in Tuscany. The surroundings appear so serene, so timeless.
    I wish I could photoshop-out the Maserati to better enjoy the photo.

  • avatar
    Steve_S

    Lets see luxury Italian nameplate with a new vehicle in the price range of a BMW 550 boosts it’s sales, brilliant!

    If they made a 3 series size car and priced it starting at $45-$50k guess what, they’d sell even more! Double Brilliant!

    • 0 avatar
      Ihatejalops

      Noooo. Then they’d be just another brand. But, if they stayed “premium”, meaning that they didn’t have a Toyota Camry priced car, they then can tell people they’re actually a brand for success rather than mass luxury. It’s an important distinction, if marketed right, would easily steal sales away from the German 3. Rich people like things that aren’t plastered everywhere. Also, Jag screwed this up too.

  • avatar
    petezeiss

    If that grille opening were a little higher this car would infringe on Mazda’s Snoopy nose, too.

  • avatar

    I saw 3 of them the other night on Boston’s Newbury St, a chi-chi locale where people generally go to be seen and to shop. And I do otherwise seem them every now and then.

    I don’t get the impression (from the one or two reviews I’ve read) that there’s a lot of substance to that style. And the style itself seems a bit overwrought. The Tesla is a much better piece of style, whatever one thinks of the power train. (Teslas are much more common in the general Boston area than Maseratis. I see them pretty regularly at the Whole Foods parking lot in Cambridge, on Alewife, where I’ve never seen a Maaserati, and I see them on the road fairly often.)

  • avatar
    forzablu

    I’m pretty sure Fiat/Chrysler financial will lease you a Ghibli for something in the neighborhood of $500 dollars a month…that has to be helping them move units… low lease payment + “nice/expensive” car w/ “status”… the 30k millionaires dream.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    The use of “cars for sale” websites for sales data is a favorite of mine; albeit a bit tedious. Good way to shut up the wagon zealots

    Maserati’s surge will gurgle once the warranty claims start rolling in. Car & Driver reviewed the Ghibli and absolutely slammed it. It was a real mess.

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      A good leasing program can do wonders for cars like these.

      The Germans figured this out. When Lexus entered the market, it became obvious that they would never win on reliability, so they opted for customer coddling, instead.

      BMW has mastered this by combining it with free maintenance and CPO programs. The free maintenance takes the worry out of it for the lessee and provides BMW with intel about which cars are best suited for CPO, while the CPO program itself helps to push up the residuals. Brilliant.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    I fin this to be an unforgivingly ugly car.

    I had a friend who bought one new in 2010 and it basically spent 1/2 the time at the dealer. It broke its front axle with about 5500 miles on the odometer during routine driving while coming back from a concert at DTE Music Amphitheater on a late Saturday night.

    His other vehicle was a Land Rover.

    This is a guy who literally fell ass backwards into large sums of money, all the time, so I guess that softens the blow of the horrendous depreciation when he dumps these types of vehicles that he constantly purchases.

    • 0 avatar
      Lie2me

      “His other vehicle was a Land Rover.”

      Are a lot of your friends masochists or is he the only one?

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        He’s not the only one, but he’s likely the biggest.

        He bought the Quattroporte on a whim, too. He told us he was going to go kick some tires and returned later that very day with the car.

        • 0 avatar
          mike89

          Is he also a time traveler ? Because the Ghibli came out in 2013…

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            LOL +1 Mike.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            What are you babbling about?

            Ghibli whatever.

            Are you claiming my buddy didn’t have a 2010 Quattroporte?

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In 2004, Maserati started production of the Pininfarina-designed Quattroporte, with the same dry sump 4.2-litre engine as the Coupé, Spyder and the new GranTurismo but improved to 400 PS (294 kW). Due to its greater weight than the Coupé and Spyder, the 0-62 mph (0–100 km/h) time for the Quattroporte is 5.2 seconds and the top speed is 171 mph (275 km/h).[11]

            ****The Quattroporte was unveiled to the world at the Frankfurt Motor Show on September 9, 2003 and made its US première at the 2003 Pebble Beach Concours d’Élégance.****

            The 47% front / 53% rear weight distribution (with the DuoSelect transmission) is achieved by setting the engine further back in the chassis behind the front axle to shift the load back towards the cabin, and the adoption of the transaxle layout with the gearbox rear-mounted in unit with the differential. With the newer automatic transmission, the transmission is adjacent to the engine and weight distribution changes to 49% front / 51% rear.

            Over 5,000 Quattroportes were built in 2006.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maserati_Quattroporte

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            Mike has reading comprehension problems, and/or apparently doesn’t realize that the 5th gen Quattroporte production ran from 2004 to 2012.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            @DW

            He took from your comment “bought one of these new [this is a Ghibli article] in 2010” and ran with it. Since Ghibli didn’t exist then.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I don’t know what his issue is, but MWebb or someone else talked about the Quattroporte above, and that’s when I mentioned my friend’s less than 2 year ownership experience.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            In your original post, you say you have a friend who bought “one”. Mike probably thought your were referring to a Ghibli, which wasn’t available in 2010.

          • 0 avatar
            DeadWeight

            I should have qualified that in my first post.

            As far as the Qauttroporte is concerned, it really was a POS, and we ripped on him for buying it, as we so often ripped on him for buying other vehicles he did in the past (he had Italian cars imported somehow that I didn’t even know how it was done back in the late 90s – he’s the type that would’ve bought one of those black market Defenders if he had the chance).

            And to be honest, I consider myself something of a “car guy,” and I have difficulty telling the Qauttroporte and Ghibli apart if they’re more than 100 feet away (mainly because neither one excites me enough to learn the details about them).

  • avatar
    gasser

    Beautiful car. A friend told me the Ghibli is marketed as a Fiat in Europe. Anyone know if this is true?
    At $500 a month, I’d be tempted to lease, but I would need a second car to be able to get to work daily.
    Maybe the reason for the sales spurt is that Maserati actually makes some COLORS other than black, white ad silver.

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    Wow, Jaguar’s really made a hash of things. 1/5th the sales in a decade! Are they selling OK elsewhere, or are rich Europeans and Asians just as underwhelmed by their bland new range?

  • avatar
    STRATOS

    If its beautiful looks looks don’t get you ,that intoxicating exhaust sound will.I have not seen any new luxury cars where you can actually see the engine! Unlike Maserati all you see is a plastic cover.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    There’s a local radio ad running for the Ghibli which describes it as ‘affordable’.

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      everything is affordable , it depends what you compare it to, pretty common in the well to do areas in metro NY , by that I mean i see a few a week, and they are a lease delight, I could lease one for what I pay for my TDI wagon as a payment.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    Are they going to pull a Ferrari and put that pitchfork on merchandise?

    • 0 avatar
      petezeiss

      Underwood Deviled Ham might have something to say about that.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Is deviled ham the same thing as Spam? I have always wondered about that product which few seem to buy. I learned of its existence when featured in the terrible movie Final Destination.

        • 0 avatar
          petezeiss

          No, it’s all real ham that has been chopped and mixed with a spicy, pickled sauce. Vinegary but sweet like relish.

          It’s been ages but I remember really liking it as a kid. I was frankly surprised to see it still existed when I googled.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sounds like a spread then? What’s it for, crackers?

            Now I want to try some just to see. I’ll bet it’s next to the tuna.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Crackers or in a sandwich, but yeah, I think it was mainly intended as a piquant little treat for crackers on an horderves tray.

            Made a damn good grade-school sammich!

            Edit: WTF! Your comment I was replying to just disappeared.

            What have you done with Corey, you…you.. CANADIANS!?

            Edit2: And now it’s back again *Twilight Zone music*

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Yes, Deviled Ham is the cousin of “sandwich spread”, which usually has bologna as the chopped up meat. When I say “usually”, I mean delis throw whatever leftover cold cuts they have including bologna and hot dogs, grind it up, and mix it with relish and mayo. It’s (sort of) food!

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I think that’s why Underwood is still around; they do the sandwich spread concept with decent meat.

            It’s a niche product for sure, kind of like my penchant for English lemon or lime “curd” vs. regular preserves and jelly.

            And now I’m sorry I mixed those tastes in my mind.

          • 0 avatar
            John Marks

            At least in the past, it also included chopped peanuts, but today that might be too much of a liability issue.

            I semi-grew-up in the food business, and one of things I learned is that people are much more responsive to than they usually are aware of, of how food changes as they chew it.

            Some chew-resitance sequences are supposedly more satisfying than others, so, my guess would be that (assuming that my long-ago memory was accurate) the peanuts were in Deviled Ham as much for texture as flavor.

            FWIW & YMMV.

            jm

            PS: I grew up in Rhode Island, and so I usually associate deviled ham with hurricanes and power failures–it’s the kind of food people kept around for emergencies. I always loved the way the can came wrapped in paper rather than with a glued-on label.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            Well, shoot, now I *can’t* not seek it out next time I’m in the grocery store.

            I always thought that paper wrapping imparted a premium impression of the product, too. So simple and inexpensive a touch, but effective.

            It’ll be interesting to see how reality compares to memory.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I’m buying some too. They’ll see a sales spike of two or three cans this month.

            FWIW, I thought the paper indicated it’s a premium product as well. I have no idea how much it costs.

            Sort of like how Lee & Perrins worcestershire (sp?) sauce seemed premium when the bottle was all wrapped in paper. I don’t think they do that anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            I don’t have a clue about its cost either. But if I don’t like it, what the hey.. I have two cats.

            This is more fun than talking about that Maserati although it made me check out exactly what a giblet is.

            “Edible offal” kind of turned me off, though.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            For some reason all this reminds me of olive loaf… gag, gag *choke*

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Olive Loaf is completely tolerable compared to “Head Cheese” :)

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Now you made me puke a little

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            One of my high school teachers explained head cheese and how it’s made. That’s just not tolerable.

            @PZ
            According to the Wal-Mart site, it’s only $1.65.

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            A gelatinous substance served COLD, buddy.

            Put down your breakfast sandwich!!!

            :)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    These math articles just – make me tired. I much prefer graphs for this purpose!

  • avatar
    FlyforaWiFi

    There’s actually a dealership right where I live. It’s fit nice and snug next to the Ferarri dealership. I couldn’t believe it when I first noticed it.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    There was a column in a Brit car mag some years ago about how the author was at a light in downtown London (or somewhere) in the driver’s seat of a Quattroporte, and he was sitting next to some peron who was either famous or driving a cool car or something. And the rest of the column was him pointing out that basically the Quattroporte was the ONLY choice to be seen in in that situation, because it basically is cool as sh*t without looking like you’re trying to be cool as sh*t. Lambo/Ferrari too shouty, Aston too “wannabe Bond”, Bentley too footballer, RR too vulgar, and on and on.

    I wasted about 20 minutes trying to Google for it, can’t find it, but it was sorta impressionable. Wouldn’t buy a car for that reason, but he had a point.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Gorgeous cars, but I expect that it will be short-lived unless they get their house in order. Mass market expectations are an entirely different world.

  • avatar
    VenomV12

    Funny this article was posted today. My neighbor just brought home a Ghibli today. What is funny is that he owns a Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep dealership and also a Hyundai dealership. He does however not own a Maserati dealership. His wife also drives an Escalade although they don’t own a Cadillac dealership either which is strange. If Maserati can sell a car to guys that own car dealerships, then their prospects are looking very good.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Why wouldn’t owners drive the cars their dealerships sell? Is it so they can avoid customers complaining about their 200 or Dart?

      • 0 avatar
        VenomV12

        I know several guys that own car dealerships and this guy is the first one I know that openly does not drive the cars he sells. His kids drive a 300 and a Ram truck but he and his wife don’t drive the cars they sell. He has 7 brand new Genesis on the lot and a couple of Equus, you would think he would be tooling around in one of those and his wife in a top spec Grand Cherokee or Durango. I have a neighbor at my other house that owns a Ford/Lincoln dealership and he and his wife drive Lincolns and a buddy of mine from university owns a Chevy dealership and he drives Suburbans or Corvettes. I mean if you don’t believe in the products you sell, why should I buy them?


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