Maserati targeting bored BMW and Audi owners with new saloon
New Ghibli model aims to win over BMW 5-Series and Audi A6 owners
Maserati, the Italian maker of exotic cars driven by the likes of U2 frontman Bono and designer Ralph Lauren, is shifting its focus from the elite to the merely wealthy with a mid-sized saloon called the Ghibli.
While it might not be priced to perfectly suit the owners of the likes of the 520d SE in Ireland, the model is hoping to come in competitively priced for the upper end of the premium saloon market and even boasts a diesel powertrain.
The Fiat Sp-owned A unit is betting the car can offer something the Germans can’t: Italian sex appeal backed by the power and cachet of engines from sister brand Ferrari. “We have to steal buyers from the Germans,” said Benedetto Orvietani, a product development manager at Maserati. “We are going after their most demanding customers, the ones that are bored of their Audi’s is a critical part of Maserati’s plan to boost sales eightfold to 50,000 vehicles by 2015.”
While that wouldn’t be much for the Germans, which each sell more than 1 million cars a year, it marks a threat because Maserati is targeting buyers of the most expensive, highest- horsepower vehicles.
We will have a full road test on the new Maserati Ghibli in Wednesday’s Motors section with The Irish Times.