Brian Joss –
Italian luxury car manufacturer Maserati has celebrated the official return of brand to South Africa, following the announcement in April that it had appointed European Automotive Imports (EAI) – South Africa (EAI-SA), a subsidiary of Maserati’s successful Australian importer EAI, as the official importer.
Glen Sealey, Chief Operating Officer of EAI’s Maserati operations, who was at the launch, said, “Our goal in South Africa is to offer a new benchmark for Maserati’s range of luxury performance cars. We have been very successful with Maserati in Australia and our appointment for South Africa is an outstanding vote of confidence and a clear acknowledgement that we have the people and the expertise to succeed.”
According to Sealey, “South Africa holds considerable potential for Maserati and offers a unique opportunity to expand our company into a growing market with a dynamic economy and an outstanding future”. This confidence is reflected in the considerable investment, not only of bricks and mortar but also in a team that is solely dedicated to Maserati, thus ensuring an entirely new level of focus and commitment to the brand.
EAI-SA is based in Johannesburg with Operations Manager Brad Graaff heading up the national operation. Graaff returns to his native South Africa after four years with EAI in Australia.
Maserati had soft-opened its first 16 car showroom and service facility in Bryanston, Johannesburg, in May this year. The official launch event will feature South African design talents David Tlale, Marianne Fassler, Loincloth and Ashes, and Fabiani. Plans are also underway to extend Maserati’s sales and service footprint to Cape Town and Durban soon.
“Our showrooms will be havens of highly personalised service with design style and presentation that represents Maserati’s Italian roots and hospitality, down to the freshly brewed Italian coffee. All service technicians undergo extensive training in Italy. This is in line with our philosophy of not only providing an unrivaled pre-sale experience, but matching this with uncompromising aftersales service”, says Graaff.
Maserati re-enters South Africa with its complete model line-up of the Quattroporte, GranTurismo and GranCabrio ranges. The launch of the award winning Maserati Ghibli is being celebrated together with the official market re-launch. Next will also see the launch of the Maserati Levante SUV, another milestone in Maserati’s over 100 year history of made-in-Italy performance, design, craftsmanship and exclusivity.
In 2014 Maserati had grown its worldwide annual sales to 36,500 units through entering new markets and new additions to its product portfolio.