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Maserati targets younger drivers in ambitious growth plans

Maserati has entered into its 100th year with an ambitious plan to sell some 50,000 units by next year from around 6,000 in 2012.

To hit this ambitious target, the Italian auto maker has embarked on an aggressive marketing exercise in Hong Kong, a city that has delivered doubled sales growth for Maserati in the past year.

“The wealthy group in Hong Kong has become younger. Broadening our product range to reach out to a younger market segment is our new tactic,” Tony Lam, executive director of Auto Italia, told Marketing as a new celebratory model in collaboration with Ermenegildo Zegna unveiled yesterday.

Without releasing specific details, Lam gave an upbeat assessment to the progress to achieving the expected number.

For many years the Italian automaker banks its sales on the three models they sell, namely the Quattroporte and sporty two-doors GranTurismo and GranCabrio.

With a new mission to reach out to younger drivers, a new sport utility vehicle (SUV model) and a two-door racing model Alfieri will be brought into production soon.

“Our customers don’t follow trends. They look for both practical and high performance vehicles.

“Our SUV aims at customers who look for practical-based vehicles, whereas Alfieri targets the younger generation and those who pursuit performance.”

It has nothing to do with increasing the volume, he said, but about modernising classic models to cater to market flavour, such as the four-door Ghibli launched at the beginning of this year.

As more professionals and affluent consumers use digital platform to share information, Lam said the company will increase the use of online direct marketing, even social media, to deliver global Maserati news, international sponsorships, and car racing information to customers.

He added the company is considering launching more bill-boards and TV commercials as a supporting role next year, to capture more customers as part of a comprehensive communication plan.

Positioned as ultra luxury automaker, it is however a brave move to make presence on television, where there’s a thin line between boosting presence and turning the label into a commodity.

“There’re a lot of ways to advertise on television,” Lam said.

“Unlike many others mass-produced automakers, we strategically ride on personal platforms from celebrities and elite endorsers to ensure exclusivity, for instance, we are one sponsor of the new TV programme Tycoon Talk,” he added.

To back its new market segment expansion strategy, Lam emphasises the importance of customer retention to go on par with the digital adventure.

“We will increase CRM programmes investment to bolster customer loyalty with both mass and targeted communications, particularly experimental activities such as exclusive drive testing events. It’s crucial to the brand as it’s important to let consumers to experience the uniqueness of our products.”

He emphasised the role of content marketing in the communication of Maserati positioning.

“We have a long history of sport car racing. Indeed there wasn’t have much mention of our sport car racing heritage in our previous communications but will see a bigger part in our events and advertising,” he added.

Photo courtesy to maserati.com.hk

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