Archive for January, 2007


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2007 is going to be a big year!

Between the just released 2007 Maserati Quattroporte Automatic, increased sales targets, a full schedule of in-store events, fund raisers, car shows, driving events, and important partnerships with local and national organizations, 2007 will be a busy and exciting year.

The Quattroporte Automatic is already a big hit. We’ve already put 250+ miles on the car in the last week, and the response has been amazing. It’s definitely established itself as the executive sedan to have, but the DuoSelects aren’t being ignored either. We’ve had a few people that drove the paddle-shifted F1 style Quattroporte again, and with a little encouragement, have learned more of its intricacies and appreciate the unique sports car performance in a four door sedan.

Maserati North America is so confident in our market and our dealership that we are targeting sales increases of about 40% over last year. The Minneapolis St Paul marketplace is one overlooked by many high-end manufacturers, sports-car companies, and many large market companies, but with the arrival of Maserati, and projects we are working on, many exotic car companies are taking another look at what the upper midwest has to offer.

It’s an exciting time to be a car enthusiast in Minneapolis and St Paul.

Over the last two years, we’ve worked hard to forge relationships with both local and national car enthusiasts, and we look forward to another exciting year. Two weeks ago we did the midwinter chill-out with Wheels of Italy, and the Ferrari Club of America, Minnesota chapter. We have several events coming soon, including spring drives, track events, and of course the annual Wheels of Italy car show, coming in August.

I want to take a moment to highlight the MaseratiLife.com forums. If you’re a Maserati owner, in the market, or just want to learn more about the cars, it’s the place to go for information and to share your passion for Maserati. We joined the forums about two years ago when we started selling Maseratis, to learn more about the cars. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the members, sharing our Maserati experiences, and helping any way I could. Many of these owners came from owning other cars, and have honest information about what to expect with a Maserati purchase.

If you haven’t yet already, check out the Maserati forums, at www.maseratilife.com, you’ll see my posts under the user name maseratiofminneapolis.

Our first Quattroporte Automatic has arrived!

Our first 2007 Maserati Quattroporte Automatic has arrived!

This beauty is a Blue Ocean Executive GT. The interior features Beige leather with the new Taganyka wood trim.

The Blue Ocean paint is spectacular, and is really unique with the chrome Executive GT grilles and Ball-Polished wheels.


“The most eagerly anticipated and talked about sedan of model year 2007, the Maserati Quattroporte Automatic has been introduced to the press and the public at the 2007 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. By offering an automatic transmission as well as the DuoSelect manual gearbox in all three Quattroporte models, Maserati ensures that every discerning car enthusiast can find the sport sedan that fits their personal needs. With even more standard features than before, its simply a matter of personal choice.”

Maserati North America has many fantastic articles going with the release of the brand new Quattroporte Automatic. Check out Maserati Monthly, issue #19 for full details:
http://www.maseratiamerica.com/MaseratiMonthly/19/mm_19.aspx

Here is the new brochure for the 2007 Quattroporte:
http://www.maseratiamerica.com/2007QuattroporteBrochure

The 2007 Maserati Quattroporte Automatic follows on the heels of the spectacular Quattroporte, having already won 28 awards in the three years since its debut, and sold 9,000 Quattroportes world wide; a record for Maserati. The Quattroporte led a 90 percent increase in North American Maserati sales in 2005, and the company maintained this volume in 2006, operating near full capacity.

With over $80 million US invested in improved quality control measures, and making minor year to year changes after listening to customer concerns, Maserati has made a strong commitment to customer satisfaction and producing the highest quality cars in the world.

Maserati wrapped up 2006 by launching Maserati Financial services, in collaboration with CNH Capitol. “We’re here to provide innovative financial and leasing services for those very special customers,” said Steve Bierman, the new president of Maserati Financial Services.

Check out the full press conference from Detroit


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Melling Hellcat

This is the latest prototype of the Melling Hellcat. Billed as the fastest production car, with a 0-60 time of 2.6 seconds and 275mph top speed. Originally it was slated to have a 700bhp V10, but according to the company will now hold an 1175hp Quad Turbo V10. After speaking with a representative of the car \ company, the final production car is close to world debut. The naturally aspirated V10 was originally slated for TVR production.

These first pictures are the prototype that was shown. The pictures of the final prototype are pictures of pictures and not of the highest quality, but you’re seeing them here first! (click for fullsize images)

Quattroporte Re-Review

So the first time around, he wasn’t a fan of the ‘flappy-paddle’ gearbox. While those of us who drive these regularly would argue with that point to begin with, it is certainly a point of concern for some people considering a Maserati. Well, after driving the Sport GT, he’s changed his mind.

Frankly, I think anyone that spends more than an afternoon, or even a week or two with the car will change their mind. It’s not quite the learning curve of going from an automatic to a manual gearbox, but there is definitely a learning curve, and new techniques to master.

Here’s the video:

Le Mans: Maserati Offered its First 24hour Spot

According to Crash.net: “Maserati could compete in the Le Mans 24Hours for the first time after an agreement was reached between the FIA GT and the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to offer entries to four more teams in addition to those already pre-selected for the endurance classic.

Although Maserati have been one of the dominant forces in the GT1 based FIA GT Championship since they arrived in 2004, the Italian team has been unable to compete against Le Mans stalwarts Corvette, Ferrari and Aston Martin in the past due to various issues with regulations, as well as conflicts between the Le Mans Series and FIA GT Championship.

Nonetheless, while Maserati and their MC12 were once again missing from the 24-strong pre-selection group announced last week, a deal has since been struck between SRO Chariman Stephane Ratel and the president of the Automobile Club de l’Ouest Mr Jean-Claude Plassar to expand the pre-selection entry for four more teams, those that finished in the top two in the GT1 and GT2 classes.

This means Vitaphone Maserati have received an opportunity to take the fight to their rivals on a worldwide stage for the first time, while BMS Scuderia Italia have also been invited to compete again with their Aston Martin DBR9 after taking part in 2006…”

Read more here: Crash.net

Italiaspeed’s Italian Automotive Awards 2006:

Exotic of the year;
3rd Place: Maserati MC12 Corsa
2nd Place: Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano
1st Place: Alfa 8C Competizione

For the full award list check out: italianawards.com

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne Interview

By 2010, you want Alfa Romeo to sell 20,000 units a year in North America. Will you be profitable at that volume?

It is highly unlikely that 20,000 units by itself will be profitable because of the amount of money it will require to build this sales volume.

How much will it cost to let North American consumers know that Alfa is back?

Including all the elements of the re-entry, the re-positioning of the brand, the advertising and marketing support, it will cost between €70 million and €100 million. ($93-$130 million US)

How will you build up Alfa’s North American dealer network?

Because of its association with Maserati, our initial dealer base in North America is not big enough. Thus, from January 2007, we will start searching for additional dealers. Anyway, Alfa won’t return in North America before the end of 2008, but we will have all the dealers identified much earlier. Because of CNH’s (Case New Holland) activities in the U.S., this whole issue about parts supports and distribution is gone. We have enough warehouses in the U.S. to support any penetration of the car business. That will be done relatively easily.

What about the products?

We have already done studies in the U.S. with J.D. Power. We got the first findings, so we will be working on the facelifts for the 159, Brera and Spider to ensure that when they are ready for the U.S. launch, they incorporate all the requirements of the U.S. market.

Is it true that Alfa could also offer the Junior and the 149 in the U.S.?

We are looking at it, but no decision has been made.

Alfa has received more than 1,000 orders for the 8C Competizione. You plan to build 500 units. What will you do?

We will build just 500 units, as planned. We have allocated volumes by region and it is first come, first served. It is that simple. There are some (units) that have been allocated to North America, but I will not tell how many. I can only say that I am on the list.”

Read the full interview at Italiaspeed.com

Alfa Sponsors the Coppa Milano-Sanremo Revival

“To celebrate the arrival of the new Alfa 8C Competizione, Alfa Romeo will be a title sponsor the 2007 edition of the Coppa Milano-Sanremo, bringing with them a selection of stunning cars from the official museum in Milan; while the famous historic Alfa 6C will be one of the event’s featured models. Launched in full production form at the Paris Mondial de l’Automobile in September, the dramatic new Alfa 8C Competizione has been the most exciting new sports car of the year. It will begin deliveries next September and the build up period is one of excitement for automotive enthusiasts’ worldwide.”

For more information, visit: Italiaspeed.com, Classicdriver.com , or the Milano-Sanremo homepage

Last years cars: