Fleet sector to fuel Maserati's ten-fold UK sales growth
With a high-price, petrol-only range, Maserati has had no fleet presence to date. However, the first diesel engine in the Quattroporte and entries into the executive segment with the Ghibli and large SUV segment with the Levante from Q2 2015, puts the carmaker into key corporate sectors, and work is underway to support that growth.
National corporate sales manager Graeme Jenkins joined the company from Toyota and Lexus last summer and has worked to position the cars correctly within the contract hire and leasing industry. In the time since, Maserati has provided SMR data, worked with leasing companies and joined both the BVRLA and ACFO as it prepares to establish a footprint within the corporate sector.
Significantly, the dealer network is also set to grow. This totalled 13 sites at the end of 2012, of which 12 were shared with Ferrari. A nationwide network of 30 sites is planned by 2015, putting all UK owners within 50 minutes of their nearest dealer, and all new appointments will be solely Maserati. Leads will be handled centrally and distributed to dealers.
But there are no plans for huge volumes, Graeme says. Around 1,000 Ghiblis will come to the UK this year, rising to 1,200 in 2014 and 1,500 in 2015, and with between 40 and 50% of those going to fleets. The diesel, which emits 158g/km and returns 45.6mpg, will account for 70% of UK sales. The engine is aimed at the six-cylinder diesels offered by German rivals with no plans to introduce a four-cylinder version.
With the UK’s preference for SUVs, the Levante is expected to sell slightly higher volumes than the Ghibli, and a similar 40-50% share will go to fleets. Both cars, along with a small but useful uplift in Quattroporte sales due to the wider engine and price range in its sixth generation, will be part of lifting global sales to 50,000 units by the end of 2015.
‘Part of that strategy was recognising that in certain markets we need to have a presence in the corporate world to reach those volumes,’ Graeme said. ‘In Europe that meant the UK and Germany – those are the two markets in Europe that we are developing in corporate.
‘Our initial stance is that 40% of the Ghibli model will be in the corporate world. That could change as far as the percentage of the 1,000 units that we do. I don’t see the percentages changing, numbers might change as volumes go up from 1,000 to 1,200 next year and 1,500 the year after. I think a healthy level will be somewhere between 40 and 50%.’