Drive Type: auto
Trim: MONZA SPYDER,
Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States
Daimler is out, Toyota is out, Porsche is out, Hyundai, PSA Peugeot-Citroën are out and when it comes to selling cars in Iran, now Maserati and Lamborghini are out, too. The definitive pullouts of those last two automakers are said to be reactions to a press conference held by a group called United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI). The group highlights businesses that sell in both the US market and Iran, and works to get those businesses to choose one market or the other.
UANI said it had sent letters to Maserati and Lamborghini about their dealings in Iran, but that the letters went unanswered. Mark Wallace, head of UANI and a former US ambassador to the United Nations, held a press conference in October of last year that referenced the two companies. Apparently Lamborghini contacted Wallace just after the press conference and told him "they were out, they weren't doing any business in Iran anymore."
Discussions with Maserati then took place, and the Italian automaker said it had been out of Iran ever since Fiat announced it was leaving the country in May 2011. UANI said Maserati had been in talks with an Iranian distributor, however, and that distributor was continuing to use the Maserati name. The carmaker has since cut all ties with Iranian interests and has prevented its name from being used, adding that its new models will not be able to be sold there because they won't pass regulations the country's regulations.
There are untold amounts of primping and set up that goes on in the days leading up to an international auto show. Of course, there are exhibits to erect, lights to hang and scripts to rehearse. There are also cars to prep. Usually the latter involves little more than removing finger prints and dusting, but in the case of Maserati the day before the Geneva Motor Show press days, the process apparently includes banging on the sheetmetal of one of your prized showcars like a crazed woodpecker.
We're not sure what caused a surface irregularity in the door skin of this 2014 Quattroporte - perhaps shipping damage - but it was interesting (and mildly painful) to watch, and hear, a show prepper attempt to repair this six-figure sedan with what looks like a jeweler's hammer, high-intensity light and soft cloth.
That'll buff right out.
It's no secret that Super Bowl ad time is very, very expensive, with a 30-second spot for this year's game costing around $4 million. For Maserati, which aired a 90-second spot showing off its new Ghibli sedan during this year's game, the price was considerably above $4 million, though.
Automotive News estimates that the spot cost Maserati the equivalent of over $700 for each of the 15,400 vehicles sold last year. That works out to nearly $11 million. It may have paid off, though, as search traffic for Maserati and the Ghibli in particular saw a significant spike following the airing of the stylish commercial, and the brand's total sales were already on target for record levels before the ad aired.
The Ghibli "deserved a wide audience platform such as the Super Bowl," according to Maserati's chief marketing officer, Saad Chehab. The sports sedan is Maserati's most affordable entry, with prices starting around $67,000, moving the brand further downmarket than it's ever ventured before.