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July 16, 2024

Maserati seeks revitalization in Korea

PUBLISHED : July 03, 2024 - 15:58

UPDATED : July 03, 2024 - 15:58

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From left: Luca Delfino, chief commercial officer of Maserati, Davide Grasso, CEO of Maserati, and Takayuki Kimura, managing director of Maserati Korea and Japan, pose for a photo at the launch ceremony of Maserati Korea at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Wednesday. (Maserati Korea)

Italian luxury auto brand Maserati on Wednesday signaled a new beginning in Korea as it launched a regional office, seeking a revitalization in the local market.

“Maserati for more than 110 years has delivered the excitement on the road in terms of performance, design, innovation and luxury,” said Davide Grasso, CEO of Maserati, in a press conference at Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul.

“Today we are emphasizing our focus in the market as a luxury brand with extreme confidence.”

Luca Delfino, chief commercial officer of Maserati, pointed out that Korea’s luxury car segment is the fifth biggest among all global markets, underlining the Korean market’s potential for the Italian auto brand.

“Today marks the day where we create a stronger connection with the South Korean market,” said Delfino.

“This market has proven in the past to be able and capable of exploring its own potential. … This market ranks No. 4 in total global sales. The consumers in Korea are extremely knowledgeable, extremely competent.”

With the launch of the Korean office, Maserati debuted the new GranTurismo, a two-door luxury sports car featuring the brand’s self-developed V6 Nettuno engine, and the new GranCabrio, a sporty convertible.

Beginning with the two new models, Maserati Korea unveiled a plan to release a new model every month through the end of this year. In particular, the Italian automaker will introduce its Folgore lineup, which refers to the brand’s all-electric vehicles, to the Korean market at the end of this year. The company has announced a commitment to having EV versions for all of its models by 2025 and turning all models into EVs by 2028.

The Italian luxury car brand vowed to enhance customer experience by strengthening after-sales services and dealer networks and improving its service quality.

Maserati has seen a continuous dip in its number of vehicles sold in Korea in recent years. According to the Korea Automobile Importers and Distributors Association’s accounting, the Italian luxury automaker sold 1,660 vehicles in 2018, 1,260 in 2019, 932 in 2020, 842 in 2021, 554 in 2022 and just 434 last year. Maserati has sold a mere 155 cars in the first half of this year.

Takayuki Kimura, managing director of Maserati Korea and Japan, highlighted that the Italian brand’s core values of elegance, luxury and performance will contribute to upgrading the existing luxury auto market here.

KAIDA data shows that auto importers in Korea sold 271,034 vehicles last year, with the number of imported vehicles selling at a price of 100 million won ($72,000) or higher marking 78,208, the highest of all time. The price of the Grecale, Maserati’s least expensive model, starts at 99 million won.

By Kan Hyeong-woo (hwkan@heraldcorp.com)

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