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Maserati booms overseas, but we lag on supply

Maserati Australia says it's in a strong position despite not having stock.

Demand for luxury cars has put Maserati on the curve of a wave that has swelled global orders to 22,500 cars, equivalent to four times its 2012 sales.

Ghibli and a new Quattroporte are the catalysts but, without these models, it's not yet the case in Australia. Australia's upper large, $100,000-plus segment in which these new Maseratis will play is now up 12.8 per cent year-to-date - the only passenger-car segment aside from small cars to post a two-digit growth.

"We won't see Quattroporte - except for some of the very first order that are here before Christmas - in volume until the first quarter of 2014," says Maserati Australia general manager Glen Sealey.

"Ghibli will be here in the second quarter of next year." Mr Sealey says Australia is still waiting for the big wave because "we tend to be about 12 months behind Europe and the US in sales."

"That's because we get new models some time after they're launched in Italy," he says. "The new Quattroporte has been in Europe for some months and the Ghibli is now on sale there."

Mr Sealey says Maserati Australia is in a strong position despite not having stock. "We have the best year ever for GranTurismo but the problem is we are out of stock," he says. "We sell about 150 Maseratis a year in Australia and New Zealand with three models. The Quattroporte isn't available until the new model and GranCabrio stock is selling quickly."

Mr Sealey says sales for Australia this year will be stable but he says 2014 - the marque's centenary - will be a record. "Ghibli will open up a new segment for us and new Quattroporte will rejuvenate the luxury car sector," he says. "The first few months of Ghibli stock has already been sold out. We are also holding strong orders for Quattroporte.

"It is in line with Maserati's plan to reach 50,000 sales a year by 2015, though the Mirafiori plant in Torino which will build the Levante SUV is yet to be finished." Mr Sealey expects Levante to add up to 50 per cent of Maserati's annual Australian sales. "It's a massive market segment," he says.

Levante is expected in Australia by mid-2015. Maserati stated today that it is holding 17,000 orders for the Quattroporte and 7900 for Ghibli. It also has 5000 orders for the GranTurismo and GranCabrio. "Maserati is well on target to see sales for 2013 beating its best every year 9000 sales in 2008 and with such a full order book, that record is set to be broken again in 2014, when Maserati celebrates its 100th birthday," the company said in a statement.

"The demand for Maserati products worldwide is a spectacular vindication of the decision to invest 1.5 billion euros (about $2 billion) in the new range and a new state of the art factory to produce the Quattroporte and Ghibli so that the existing factory in Modena can concentrate on meeting the demand for Maserati sports cars.

"With yet another all-new Maserati model to come, the Maserati Levante, which will take the Italian car maker into the lucrative performance and luxury SUV market, Maserati is clearly on target to meet its goal of 50,000 sales worldwide by 2015."