Drive Type: auto
Trim: MONZA SPYDER,
Goldsboro, North Carolina, United States
Kenny Rogers' country classic The Gambler is right about two things: you gotta know when to hold'em and know when to fold'em. A former Maserati salesman in Singapore is learning that lesson about when to step away from the table, after being sentenced to 33 months in prison for allegedly gambling away a customer's deposit of 350,000 Singapore dollars ($280,800).
According to Asia One, Allan Tan Buan Yuen was selling a Maserati in 2011. He told the customer that the car would take six months to arrive and cost 650,000 Singapore dollars ($522,000). While that may sound high, cars in the Asian country are notoriously expensive.
Yuen asked for a deposit of 150,000 Singapore dollars ($120,400), but instead of handing the money to the dealer, he placed the funds in his own account. Apparently, the customer didn't notice, and over the next few months Yuen received an additional 200,000 Singapore dollars ($160,400) towards the car from him. Clearly, this ruse couldn't last forever, though. When the buyer eventually inquired about his Maserati months later, Yuen admitted that he had already gambled away the entire fortune.
We're set to record Autoblog Podcast #329 tonight, and you can drop us your questions and comments via our Q&A module below. Subscribe to the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes if you haven't already done so, and if you want to take it all in live, tune in to our UStream (audio only) channel at 10:00 PM Eastern tonight.
Discussion Topics for Autoblog Podcast Episode #329
Subcompact sales slump, yet again
Naturally, you'd expect a massive automaker like Fiat to have an in-depth plan to exit the current European-market doldrums, and you'd expect that plan to include plenty of new vehicles to attract those precious buyers that still remain despite the financial downturn. And you'd be right, though Fiat does seem to have a few unexpected twists up its corporate sleeve.
Perhaps the biggest shocker is a report that Fiat will completely drop the Punto, a car with mass-market appeal aimed at small-car buyers cross-shopping the popular Volkswagen Polo. Its replacement will be a five-door Fiat 500 aimed at upmarket buyers (sounds awfully similar to the 500L) that will be built in Poland. Lower-end customers will reportedly be served by variants of the Fiat Panda.
Borrowing a page from the BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen playbook, reports Automotive News, Fiat is said to have plans to reignite production at its Italian factories by retooling them to build high-end vehicles from Maserati and Alfa Romeo. These will be marketed as premium products, built by skilled Italian workers (who are paid wages that are 75-percent higher than those building Fiats in Poland), and will be sold around the world.