Mohamed El Zawawy, General Manager, Alfardan Motors Oman is confident that Maserati’s brand appeal, new models and enhanced customer service will ensure greater sales. Mayank Singh reports
Automobile sales in Oman have been affected in the last couple of years due to the economic slowdown. Given this backdrop, how was Maserati’s performance in the Sultanate in 2018?
As we all know the past year has been challenging for the auto industry across the world due to economic slowdown. However, in Oman, Maserati’s 2018 sales figures show a positive result. We attribute this success not only to the fantastic line-up of cars we have introduced, but also to Oman customers’ growing appreciation for Maserati’s unique lifestyle proposition. Buyers in Oman are increasingly enamoured by the Italian brand for its luxury, exquisite craftsmanship and passion that is teemed into every Maserati. The outlook for the Maserati market looks encouraging as Maserati’s elegant aesthetics, unparalleled craftsmanship, outstanding engine and thrilling driving experience have truly captured the hearts of Oman’s discerning new generation of influential buyers. Over the past many decades, Maserati has perfected the craftsmanship of super-luxury cars, engineering and producing the best of the cars. Buyers can choose from an impressive line-up, featuring Quattroporte, Maserati’s flagship sedan; Levante, the brand’s first-ever SUV; breath-taking Ghibli sporty sedan; the four-seat convertible GranCabrio and the grand tourer GranTurismo.
Which are your bestselling models in Oman amongst – Ghibli, Levante, Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio? Please cite reasons for the model’s popularity?
Whether it is the luxurious Quattroporte, exquisite Levante, magnificent Ghibli, exotic GranCabrio or the glamorous GranTurismo, each of the Maserati model is a bestselling model. This is so because Maserati is a universal ambassador of excellent Italian design. The panache of Maserati vehicles combines an elegant aesthetic with a sporty aura and the finest craftsmanship. Maserati produces a full range of unique cars immediately recognisable for their extraordinary personality. Thanks to their cars’ style, technology and innate exclusivity, they satisfy the most exacting, refined tastes and are a constant point of reference in the automobile industry.
The current line-up, which includes the Quattroporte, Ghibli, Levante, GranTurismo and GranCabrio, has never been more complete, offering a choice of engines, rear- or all-wheel drive, a selection of sophisticated materials and outstanding technical solutions.
If I had to choose one, I would say top of the line Levante range has been making waves in Oman especially due to Oman consumer’s affinity for outstanding SUVs. Levante range is very popular among the high-end SUV segment. It is popular because of its remarkable performance and exhilarating driving experience.
The Levante was introduced as the Maserati of SUVs in 2016. How has it been received in Oman?
The SUV, best known for its performance and luxury, has posted strong sale numbers since its launch in 2016. Its electrifying design and alluring flair, combined with unmatched performance and extraordinary everyday utility, has been a great attraction. This Maserati label has been attractive for families, off-roaders, adventurists, auto aficionados, basically for everyone who values performance and lifestyle. We are proud to state that the Maserati of SUVs has been an absolute hit, obtaining more and more new customers every year.
We are delighted to announce the availability of the 2019 edition of the Levante with new updates. There are interesting additions to the much-loved SUV.
Elegant luxury, unparalleled dynamics and enormous versatility – even in the toughest terrain: the Levante is a celebrated Maserati. Tough, athletic and luxurious for its occupants, it has been enriching Oman with its elegance. From the distinctive front section with its iconic Trident grille to the flowing coupé roofline and signature taillights – there are plenty of reasons that this stylish and graceful SUV is very popular.
Can customers expect new product launches from Maserati in 2019? If yes, please share details of the upcoming models?
Alfardan Motors is pleased to announce the arrival of 2019 models of Maserati Levante, Ghibli and Quattroporte at its showroom. We are thrilled to inform that there are interesting updates to the new line-up in terms of features, equipment, technology and refinement. Maserati revealed the first Levante built around a V8 engine this year. The new Maserati Levante, Ghibli and Quattroporte flaunt a fine balance of style, exclusivity, performance and Italian design. Constructed with the utmost attention to detail, every vehicle is a true masterpiece of Italian design.
We are launching the all-new Maserati V8 Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo in February. Both Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo are equipped with one of the most powerful engines ever fitted in a Maserati.
The fans of Maserati Levante are going to be very impressed with the all-new Maserati V8 engine powered Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo. The 3.8-litre Twin Turbo V8 engine in Levante GTS is a re-engineered, upgraded version of the power unit fitted in the flagship Quattroporte GTS, delivering 550hp at 6,250 rpm and 730 Nm peak torque at 2,500-5,000 rpm. Offering similar features, the 3.8-litre V8 power unit that lies under the bonnet of super-sport Levante Trofeo delivers a horsepower of 590. The new Levante GTS and Levante Trofeo bring the “Gran Turismo” philosophy in the SUV segment in its purest form. While every Maserati maintains a balance between extraordinary performance and unparallel luxury, the Levante GTS sets a new benchmark. The outstanding 550hp V8 SUV is engineered and meticulously tuned for superior performance, long-distance comfort and driving pleasure – the enduring principles of Maserati’s grand-touring philosophy. Refined in style and composure, the Levante GTS is the next evolution of the Maserati SUV. Sporting interior, luxury, power and best-in-class performance are blended together in the Levante V8 Trofeo. The distinctive Levante design has reached new levels of sportiness in this top of the line Trofeo. The sporting interior of the Levante Trofeo offers all the comfort of a prestigious SUV.
We are also delighted to announce the availability of the 2019 version of the high-end luxury Maserati Levante and Levante S with turbocharged V6 power engine. There are interesting updates to these SUVs which exemplifies the enduring, intrepid and endlessly progressive spirit of Maserati.
Featuring the latest technologies, powerful engines and exclusive equipment, the Ghibli meets the very highest expectations. The Ghibli has conquered the sports sedan segment with pure Italian flair that is instantly apparent in its ultra-elegant exterior: assertive opulence, flowing lines, striking details, effortless serenity and assurance. The iconic Maserati grille with its vertical bars and the legendary Trident give the Ghibli an unmistakable presence on the road. The highlights for Ghibli Model Year 2019 are that it has more individuality through new colours and wheels, more luxury: Pieno Fiore natural leather, more refinement: new interior trim options, more control: new automatic gear selector and more black: Nerissimo package.
Maserati Quattroporte has truly enriched the luxury executive sedan segment and it excels through one special quality its rivals simply cannot match: pure Italian passion. With its state-of-the-art technologies and powerful and efficient engines, it is the world’s only super-sedan. A number of improvements have been made for its model year 2019 making it even better, even more luxurious, even more athletic and even more refined. The highlights for Maserati Quattroporte 2019 are that it has more design: Quattroporte GTS exterior package, more black: Nerissimo package, more individuality: new colours and wheels, more exclusivity: Pieno Fiore natural leather, more refinement: new interior trim options, more control: new automatic gear selector.
What is the customer profile of an average Maserati customer in Oman (age, income, gender)? Have you noticed any significant shifts in customer profiles in the last couple of years?
The Maserati brand has always had an upscale clientele. Now we are also witnessing an increased interest from clients aged between 25 and 60. In recent years you would have noticed that Maserati has been broadening its product range to reach out to a younger market segment. It is also an aspirational brand and Maserati has many potential customers who appreciate its high brand value leveraged by the intangible elements of distinctiveness such as time, heritage, craftsmanship, hand-made, prestigious clients and more. Maserati as a brand has multiple features that appeals to millennials who seek the best of luxury, performance, adventure and the finer things in life.
Customer service has been a strong value proposition for Maserati. What kind of service does Alfardan Motors offer its Maserati customers in Oman?
Alfardan Motors offers a pleasant ownership journey for its Maserati customers by ensuring high quality after sales service which helps them keep their vehicle in optimal conditions. Recognising that every Maserati is a true masterpiece of Italian design, Alfardan Motors has been offering a premium after sales service that encompasses state-of-the-art treatment for all its Maserati models. As part of the after sales service, Maserati owners can also enjoy Maserati Maintenance programme and Maserati Extended Warranty programme.
Alfardan Motors offers the highest quality of service and focuses on meeting each needs and desires of its customers. All service work is carried out by factory-trained and officially certified technicians who use genuine and factory-approved parts backed up by dedicated diagnostic machines. As part of its efforts to ensure that a Maserati is in its best possible driving condition, owners are periodically invited for check-ups.
Alfardan Motors’ advanced service centre in Ghala has been assembled and designed in accordance with the Italian car manufacturer’s standards in terms of creativity, authenticity and luxury. The service centre underlines the company’s commitment to provide the finest service to customers and Maserati vehicles which offer luxury, performance and exclusivity.
Is the brand looking at new initiatives in the digital space to simplify and enhance customer convenience?
At Maserati, we understand we must meet consumer demands for a digitally enhanced experience when they are researching, purchasing and operating a car. We recognise that the role of digital technology is rapidly shifting, from being a driver of efficiency to an enabler of significant innovation.
Maserati has introduced new high-tech features and driving assistance systems and therefore today the Maserati range, comprising the Quattroporte, Ghibli, Levante SUV and GranTurismo and GranCabrio sports cars, have completely covered digitalisation and advancements needs of customers.
Consumers want more connectivity, are focused on active safety and ease of use and are increasingly using digital sources in making their purchase decisions – Maserati has taken take of these aspects. We will continue to use digital transformation to personalise a consumers’ experience and customise it to their needs.
Maserati has partnerships with lifestyle brands like Ermenegildo Zegna, Bulgari and sporting events. How does the brand balance between its heritage and new age marketing tie-ups?
We partner with brands that share the same values and standards. Maserati has partnered with Italian luxury fashion label Ermenegildo Zegna to present exclusive interiors for Maserati new models Ghibli, Quattroporte and Levante models. With over a hundred years’ experience each, both Maserati and Zegna’s legacies are proof that attention to detail and visionary innovation create beautiful design. Similarly, for 130 years, Bulgari jewellery has brought Italian craftsmanship the global acclaim it deserves. In this respect, Bulgari and Maserati are a perfect partnership since both brands are visionary, exciting and renowned for creating the unexpected.
The recent Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz marked the exciting kick-off of the Maserati Polo Tour 2018 and emphasised the long-lasting involvement of Maserati in this sport. Maserati is built on a genuine passion for polo and all the components that make it a uniquely compelling sport: vigour, fair-play, discipline and hard work.
Recently British Snowboard sensation Jamie Barrow broke Guinness World Record for fastest speed on a snowboard towed by Maserati Levante. Maserati’s luxury SUV offers an array of high-tech features including the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive System and the recently developed EPS producing a highly capable SUV. With its variable torque control, the Q4 Intelligent All-Wheel Drive system is always active and responds immediately to any variation in the driving conditions, provided premium performance for Barrow’s Guinness World Record.
For the second consecutive year, Maserati was the official car in the 41st edition of the Cannes Yachting Festival, with a comprehensive programme of events placing the Trident Brand firmly in the centre of Europe’s top yachting show.
These partnerships are Maserati’s way of balancing between its heritage and new age marketing tie ups. Besides, Maserati has played a consistently leading role in the development of sports and culture and will continue to do so.
What are your plans and thoughts on 2019?
The outlook for Maserati over the next 12-18 months remains stable so far and we expect rise in sales. Over the next few years Oman will see the ‘generation next’ editions of Maserati’s popular models. Maserati is known for its spirit of innovation so it is certain to pave the way for the continuation of its pioneering legacy.