Maserati luxury car orders almost triple on new models
By Jennifer Clark
MILAN (Reuters) - Italian luxury carmaker Maserati received about 17,000 orders worldwide in the year to end-July, nearly triple the amount sold last year as new models started to attract buyers.
The 110,000 euro ($147,300) Quattroporte sedan was the biggest seller, said an executive at Fiat-owned Maserati which has invested 1.2 billion euros in new models to boost sales.
Selling more Maseratis is an important piece of Fiat's latest strategy to return to profit in 2016 in Europe, where it lost 700 million euros last year in a shrinking market.
"The numbers show that the United States is still our largest market globally, but that China has taken the lead for certain models such as the Quattroporte," Maserati brand chief executive Harald Wester said.
The new Ghibli model, an entry-level sedan starting at 66,000 euros, also helped boost orders. The new Quattroporte went on sale in January, and the Ghibli will be launched into dealerships in September.
Maserati aims to lift its sales from 6,288 cars in 2012 to 50,000 in 2015 helped by the Ghibli and an upcoming sports utility vehicle, the Levante.
With European car sales likely to fall again in 2013, Fiat-Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne aims to sell more Maseratis and other high-end brands in expanding markets such as the United States to cut losses and keep workers in their jobs.
The July numbers indicate that Maserati added about 3,000 orders in the space of a month. The most recent set of official figures from June 17 showed the company had collected 14,159 orders worldwide, 7,922 of which were for the Quattroporte. Continued...