Maserati fortuitously selected the hottest UK May afternoon since 2005 to invite a carefully pruned media crowd to a secret track and road testing location in Warwickshire for the UK Launch of their 2010 range. Robin Scott was there to represent The Global Herald as Maserati lifted the lid on their brand new ‘GranCabrio’.
Even without the thirty degree heat, which made it certain “cabriolet weather,” all eyes were on the GranCabrio machines Maserati had brought along, their first four-seater convertible, which launched in April this year.
These good looking cars continue Maserati’s focus on a certain sort of car – vehicles built, contrary to the popular adage, for both comfort and speed – the sort of car that suits the 500 or so UK-based “gentleman drivers” expected to opt to purchase a new Marserati in 2010 in the country, as well as the 6,000 others world-wide who feel the same.
Peter Denton, head of UK sales, told The Global Herald that Maserati had come a long way since the doldrums it had found itself in during the early 1990s, before Fiat rescued the brand which was producing only tens of vehicles for a hard core of die-hard Maserati men: the few for whom widely recognised reliability problems were all part of the joy of ownership.
It has been difficult, however, even for Fiat who, in the same UK office complex in Slough, house big-sister brand Ferrari, to shake off the “unreliable” tag. Few could argue with the looks of models from more than a decade ago, but owning a Maserati in the past was widely considered by many to be something of an ordeal.
Slowly but surely, Maserati is righting what is now simply a residual misconception, and they are doing so in a most subtle and class-filled manner. Maserati isn’t throwing money at ‘buying custom’; you’ll rarely see them courting attention with advertising or sponsorships; and they aren’t trying to product place their vehicles in the next big thing.
Maserati is instead working tirelessly on one thing, the product.