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How would YOU improve Maserati?

Discussion in 'Maserati' started by Bill Sawyer, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Bill Sawyer

    Bill Sawyer Formula 3

    Feb 26, 2002
    2,108
    Georgia
    I've seen several threads recently about what is 'wrong' with Maserati and how terrible their depreciation is. This begs the question:

    If you were named Sales Manager of Maserati USA, what would you do within real life limits to bolster the brand today? You have six months to affect change. You can't introduce a new model, or restyle existing models; you have to work with what you have. If the cars are overpriced, do you re-price them, announce rebates or? How will this help or hurt in the long-term? What about sales training, marketing ideas,etc?

    Not so easy, is it? We all have ideas, but when it comes to real world situations it ain't so easy.

    Let's hear your ideas. Are you up to the challenge?
     
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  3. absent

    absent F1 Veteran
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    Nov 2, 2003
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    mark k.
    Get a better advertising company and put some real $$ into it to get a better recognition in States.Most people still don't know that Maserati is Ferrari powered.
     
  4. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

    Apr 28, 2004
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    Dr.Stuart Schaller
    The Alfa tie in, if and when they come (supposedly 2007), will help both Alfa and Maserati. They do need a good PR/marketing/sales person, however.

    I do think the discounted prices are more realistic than window sticker prices, as one can buy a M5 BMW for $30,000-$40,000 less than the window sticker price of a Quattroporte...
     
  5. chp

    chp Formula Junior

    Jul 9, 2005
    339
    Productplacement in some potential blockbusters. In combination with a media campagne and a well known actor/actrice.
     
  6. jjmalez

    jjmalez F1 Rookie
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    Apr 8, 2005
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    hello,

    hmmm, tuff one. i guess price the maserati coupe and spyder closer to the porsche 911 and jaguar XK8 coupe and cabriolet. as that might be the more correct market segment. some major advertising for the coupe and spyder. the quattroporte is doing just fine. maybe some connection to a elite racing program.

    or just announce "buy a maserati today, get on the ferrari waiting list tomorrow..."

    IMHO,

    joseph
     
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  8. Derek at FoD

    Derek at FoD Formula 3
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    Jun 10, 2004
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    1) Get a real automatic...ASAP!
    2) Offer competetive pricing and leasing options
    3) Broaden the product line-up to offer lesser expensive models
     
  9. Build a 2 seater that really would do 185.
     
  10. Ecnal

    Ecnal Karting

    Jun 28, 2004
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    Missouri
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    Ecnal
    Open more dealerships around the country, even small boutiques, and beef up the warranty to change public perception.
     
  11. Kewpie

    Kewpie Formula Junior

    Jun 7, 2004
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    canada
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    support the existing Maserati owners - they need an excellent extended warranty, in-house tuning parts, etc etc. to support the resale value.
    i agree with proper product placement.
     
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  13. Kewpie

    Kewpie Formula Junior

    Jun 7, 2004
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    yes, the alfa would make good courtesy cars for Maserati dealerships.

    i absolutely disagree on the MSRP of the QP vs M5; the QP is worth what it is; the M5 should worth more: just so unfortunate that its MSRP has to compete with E55 and CLS55.
     
  14. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 6, 2003
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    Las Vegas, NV
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    This is the type of thread I was hoping my previous thread on Maser would lead to.

    If I couldn't get a restyling, I think my course of action would be to:

    - Phase in a price cut of ~$10k to the mid $80k's, or as much as possible if I can't do that much. Obviously, with the plummeting resale, the market doesn't think they are worth $95k. I want to have them more in the ballpark of the base SL, the 6-series conv't, the new Jag XK and 911.

    - Even more product placement. Every person on TV should be driving a Maserati - and let people know about it!! Sell a few wholesale to be used in contests and giveaways, under conditions the radio/TV personality has to read the specs and ID it as a Maserati.

    - Aggressive marketing campaigns to get them leased as company vehicles, even if it means providing a 'how to' session for small businesses to get it written off. We want every executive and CEO to get QP's to write off. Record labels and TV studios should be leasing Coupes and Spyders for their talent and execs (and then they appear on Cribs as well). Restaurant owners should park theirs in front of the restaurant.

    - Send out fliers to all of the employees of high income businesses (in downtown where law firms, banks etc. are) saying that a demo car will be there, downstairs at the building on X day. Have them sign up for a 10 min test drive. Have a team of 2-3 sales associates work it and have 30-50 young lawyers, bankers, consultants and accountants drive the car in one day. Repeat until you think every up-and-comer in the city has driven a Maserati and loves it. (I often wonder why BMW, Audi and MB don't come and do that at top MBA/law schools with their entry models... these guys will be looking to buy a car in a few months with $100k+ income...)

    - Offer deep discounts to tuners to whip up models for SEMA and other shows.

    - Get product tie-ins with a stereo company that they lease a demo model for shows.

    - Don't have ridiculous requirements to become a dealer. Sacrifice some dedicated floor space to have more outlets.

    - TV commercials. Spend as much on the audio as the video. Develop a coherent brand theme that sticks - like "Ultimate Driving Machine."
     
  15. Alex_V

    Alex_V F1 Rookie
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    Apr 8, 2004
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    I dont know all the little things that would go along with it, but is a car just a little "less" than the MC-12 a possiblilty for Maserati right now?
     
  16. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818
    It all depends on money- how much they have at their disposal for development, both of cars and a dealer/service network.

    Personally, I think the tie in with Alfa is a mistake. Maserati should aim squarely at Porsche and BMW-MB high end, the way the AMV8 is. Let Alfa duke it out with the $50K and below crowd.

    Obviously they could share platforms but too much sharing might dilute image and value. I say might because clearly there are companies that have successfully shared platforms, bodies and even interiors without losing sales, i.e. Lexus et al.

    Overall, however, I think Maserati is on the fast track. The QP is the homerun and is opening the eyes of many people around the world. The GS was a strong finish for the 4200, and certainly enhances the overall brand reputation.

    The next coupe will be critical. I would actually like to see them make something that would complement Ferrari, so that you could have a Ferrari and a Maserati in your garage and they each be superb at what they do. The QP is obviously a huge step in this direction. I'm not sure how they could make a coupe like that though. An SUV might help. Seriously. ;)



    Forza,


    Cavallini
     
  17. dretceterini

    dretceterini F1 Veteran

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    I agree, but the Maserati, at lest to some degree, has to compete with BMWs and Mercedes on price....and at sticker, it doesn't
     
  18. ParhamK

    ParhamK Formula Junior

    Nov 14, 2005
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    Hire new staff that wires all the electronics in the maseratis....

    Those cross eyed electricians haven´t been a hit so far.
     
  19. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
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    Franklin E. Parker
    Seperate the Maserati name from Ferrari with more advertising tailored to the Jag, MB and BMW buyers . Keeping the Ferrari connection scares off potential buyers IMHO. There are a lot of potential non-auto enthusiast luxury car buyers out there that will not step foot in a Ferrari dealer due to their preception that they are too expensive to maintain...which they now associate with Maserati too. They also need a slush box option on all models and provide loaner cars while the cars are in for service.
     
  20. tfazio

    tfazio Formula 3
    Classified Subscribed

    Apr 20, 2004
    1,858
    Michigan
    I agree with you. I would also add the following:

    An extended warranty is crucial for dealers to move used maser's in the future. Also make loaner cars available when customers take their car in for service. Include free maintenance on all new Maserati's for sale for 4 years/50K miles. Use the free maintenance as a selling point. I do not think they should lower the MSRP or give out rebates. Just continue to discount on a deal by deal basis. Rebates could cause the residual value to decrease even more than it does now.
     
  21. abster

    abster Formula Junior

    Nov 7, 2005
    396
    NJ
    One simple suggestion:

    Tie with a major leasing firm and offer competitive leases (compared to MB, BMW, etc.) Their captive leasing company is just not cutting it!

    I found the comment top level companies and bschools very funny! I can just see the flak you would get from fellow students about buying a 100+K car! Not that many won't buy one in the future but to do in school is just too funny!
     
  22. Eric308gtsiqv

    Eric308gtsiqv Formula 3

    Nov 26, 2001
    1,952
    Orange Park, Florida
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    Eric Eiland
    I would also concur with "Parkerfe" and others regarding price, maintenance / loaners, full automatic option, and the Maserati / Ferrari tie-in...

    IMHO, the sticker price on the new models is a bit steep -- especially for the Coupe and Spyder models. If they are going to expand sales and broaden brand recognition to the levels of their competitors, then MSRP is going to have to drop. When you consider a $110k Cambiocorsa Coupe is worth only $70k - $80k trade-in less than 4 months (and 150 miles) later, then you have a problem.

    We looked at the QP's last weekend at the dealer. My wife really liked it, but the sticker shock was evident on her face. She also reflected on her displeasure with the Cambiocorsa system on our ex-Coupe. Then she grilled the salesman about maintenance issues -- perhaps it was because we were standing amongst a sea of Ferrari's at the time, as "parkerfe" alluded to. When you take into consideration that our purchase of this sedan would be for the primary purpose of her daily driver (kid's included), then things like reliability, operating costs, etc. are a big factor in the decision-making. Then when you take into account the fact that the nearest authorized Maserati service center is nearly three hours away, that sort of puts a damper on the whole appeal of the car. With our ex-Ferrari's this was not a problem, as they were "toys" that were enjoyed on occasion and not relied on for primary transportation.

    While I've heard of glowing reports from owners of QP's that they are fantastic and reliable cars, trying to convince people (like my wife) that this is so...well that's the disconnect -- "public perception". They see a fully loaded Lexus or Infiniti sedan as a better deal for the dollar.

    I guess it all depends on the direction / market segment that Maserati is trying to arrive at / appeal to. Are they trying to maintain exclusivity by their ties with Ferrari, are they trying to compete with the likes of BMW, MB, Aston, etc., or are they trying to also compete with Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, etc.?
     
  23. Cavallini

    Cavallini Formula 3

    Nov 2, 2003
    1,818

    All very true, important points.


    Forza,


    Cavallini
     
  24. Fly'n DutchMan

    Fly'n DutchMan Karting

    Oct 4, 2005
    248
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    Sander Brouwers
    If I were to improve a Maserati GranSport I would buy the car with the Skyhook suspension(coilovers), lower it and realign it with more aggersive camber settings and toe setting, then corner balance the car.

    Then install the upgraded 14" Brembo brake kit fron and rear, you can use the 550/575 kit, it's a direct bolt on. Then add a Kreis-Seig exhuast, and Powerchips computer reflash for another 40hp, AFE Airfilters. Also anything that could be done to reduce the cars wieght would be helpful, like adding racing seats. Maybe add some nice aftermarket BBS wheels. This would make for a pretty sweet GranSport- you could do the same treatment to a Quattroporte.

    Looking at the bigger picture....
    Maserati doen'st need to be competitive with MBZ or BMW. MBZ is building turds for cars and going through one of it's worse periods in history. MBZ is the new Volkswagen.

    BMW is doing better, but their styling is hurting and their cars are not what they used to be either. Porsche has a good product line and is kicking butt from a sales standpoint.

    It would be helpful to have mroe aggresive lease rates on Masers to bring them closer to MBZ and BMW. They don't need to be the same though, Maser is a much more exclusive car than any of those makes ever will be or ever was, and you're going to have to pay extra to drive something that other people don't drive.

    As far as resale goes, again, relatively Maserati isn't that bad, what's really the problem is that the used car market is in the toilet becaue of over supply and the insane incentives offered by car markers on new cars. For example a 2005 MBZ S350 was leasing out a $2900 down and $570 a month for 27mo in December with the end of the year incentives. That just kills trade in values, why would you buy a used Benz when you can buy a new one for that kind of a payment.

    If you compare a 1 year old SL55 to a Maser GranSport in terms of depreciation as a percentage of MSRP they are not that far apart. Most MBZ's are being traded in at $15-20K back of low Kelly Blue book, because the used car market is so soft, it's the same with Maserati.
     
  25. ryalex

    ryalex Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 6, 2003
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    Actually, the grad school plan was for Audi, BMW and MB - for the A4, 325i and C230... Maserati should be getting professionals driving the car - so take the car to where they work and can test it on a 15 min break.
     
  26. propaganda

    propaganda Rookie

    Oct 1, 2003
    25
    If I were in charge and were trying to stop the terrifying depreciation that Maseratis currently experience I would scrap the customisation program. Why? Because every time I look at a used maserati the interior spec is hideous - customers generally have no idea about how colour combinations work, there are some true crimes against good taste inside many a modern Maserati. I think the factory should have recommended combinations to point people in the right general direction and actively prevent the real problem combinations. Why is this important, - surely you should be able to order what you want? I agree that all things being equal the customer should have the choice but it has a major effect on resale and as such a major effect on the initial buyer in the end as it cuts the number of potential buyers in the second user market hence increasing depreciation as the price has to be dropped to make the sale. BTW dealers also exhibit zero taste when ordering for stock. I was interested in a new stock silver 4200, correct spec but had the most hideous grey interior - wouldn't part with my cash on that occasion. The dealer admitted that it whoever specced it should have had their a** kicked.
     
  27. malcolmb

    malcolmb Formula Junior
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    Apr 17, 2002
    983
    San diego
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    Malcolm Barksdale
    Here is my two cents: Have an attitude ajustment for the salespeople, extend the warranty to 100,000 miles and cover the clutches, pick up and delivery for services, an aggresive lease program and then a real automatic.We didnt find much to not like about the car but didnt buy it because of these issues, my wife whose car it would be was afraid that it would need a clutch every two months, but she loved the rest of the car. i think the transmission choice is right up with "New Coke" in the marketing arena.
     
  28. jjmalez

    jjmalez F1 Rookie
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    Apr 8, 2005
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    hello,

    intersting points. although i cannot ever imagine realisticaly affording a new ferrari, i can imagine affording a new maserati. but the fact that i have to deal with a ferrari salesman to look at a maserati, places me at a disadvantage. as my suits are not made by armani, my alma-matter doesn't have ivy growing on it's bricks and my last name doesn't sound like "hilton" or "rockerfeller"

    my point is that the few times i've walked into the chicagoland ferrari-maserati dealers i immediately felt out of place. and i drive a porsche.

    i agree with the transmission statement. although i wasn't allowed to test drive a maserati (or even sit in it, for that matter) i've heard that the cambriocorsa is very rough to drive in daily traffic and the 6-speed has the silky smoothness of a ryder truck. market the car with a automatic with p-r-n-d-3-2-1 on the shifter, or a manual that can be used by someone other than a professional athelete.

    drop the base price $10K and don't equip the cars at the dealership with $10K in options.... then see what happens.

    IMHO

    joseph
     

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