Detroit 2012: Maserati Kubang's North American Debut
By John Beltz Snyder
January 10, 2012
Scroll down for more information from Maserati.
NORTH AMERICAN PREMIERE FOR MASERATI’S
KUBANG SUV CONCEPT
Sport Luxury Vehicle Destined To Be
First Maserati Built in North America
Detroit, MI, January 10, 2012 - - Maserati is proud to bring the Kubang sport luxury SUV concept to the 2012 North American International Auto Show. The Kubang concept demonstrates the strength of the modern Maserati, capable of offering an Italian alternative to the most competitive segments of the market. Like many of its competitors the future sport luxury SUV will be built in North America and it represents an important part of the future Maserati range.
The Kubang concept creates discontinuity by entering a new segment and continuity by maintaining the integrity of Maserati’s DNA. It represents a natural direction for Maserati to enlarge its product range and strengthen its presence in markets across the world.
The idea of a sport luxury SUV is not new to Maserati as the Marque of the Trident unveiled the first Kubang concept at the NAIAS in 2003. At a time in which few other brands were going in the direction of a sport luxury SUV, Maserati was already considering one.
The elements which make up a sport luxury SUV are a good fit for Maserati’s capabilities - and synergies within the Fiat-Chrysler industrial group offer the ideal catalyst for Maserati’s own interpretation of a sport luxury SUV.
While the project starts with solid fundamentals and capability, the model eventually produced will unquestionably be a Maserati. All major system components will be 100% Maserati in picture-perfect continuity with the brand’s core values of sportiness, elegance, glamour, luxury, performance and craftsmanship.
The essence and characteristic Maserati style that makes the Kubang concept immediately recognizable as a true Maserati has been created by the Maserati Style Center headed by Lorenzo Ramaciotti.
A new generation of Maserati high-tech proprietary engines are being designed in Modena, Italy at Maserati Headquarters by Paolo Martinelli, Head of the Maserati Powertrain Development. Before undertaking this role, Martinelli spent nearly thirty years with Ferrari, eventually as the Head of the Engine Department for the Formula 1 team across the era of Michael Schumacher’s world championships. Production of the new Maserati engines will be performed by Ferrari in Maranello, Italy and they will be mated to a new 8-speed automatic transmission.
Componentry with specific performance settings such as suspension, brakes, steering and electronics will be exclusively developed by Maserati engineers in Modena, Italy.
Maserati is a founder of the modern granturismo. Nearly 50 years ago, Maserati expanded the boundaries of the original GT concept from two to four doors. The resulting Quattroporte is considered by many to be the first modern super sedan. It maintained not only the brands core values of style and luxury, but also delivered genuine performance thanks to components and design built from knowledge gained in competition.
Today times have once again changed: sportiness and luxury can take the form of a very dynamic looking, incredibly elegant and high performing sport luxury vehicle with the capability of getting its passengers through all types of climates over a variety of surfaces on and off the road. Maserati is ideally suited to build just such a vehicle.
MASERATI: A WORLD WIDE SUCCESS
Maserati comes to the North American International Auto Show in Detroit just a few days after closing another very positive year. Compared to the previous year, worldwide sales were up 10% in 2011.
The United States is and remains Maserati’s largest market worldwide anticipating over 2400 units delivered to final customers in the past twelve months for an increase of nearly 20% over 2010.
The second largest market in the world for Maserati is now China which has doubled its sales volume in the last year. Following these markets are Italy, the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Switzerland and Honk Kong.
MASERATI IN THE NORTH AMERICAN MARKET
Maserati’s business in North America is solid and has proven to exceed both the 10% gain of the overall light vehicle market as well as the luxury market. As of November, Maserati deliveries to customers were up nearly 10% in Canada and over 21% in the US and broadly exceeding the 7.5% gain in segments in which Maserati competes. Maserati North America has benefited from a disciplined approach which places a premium on client feedback across its business. Pricing increase over the last three model years has remained extremely low while each model has seen improvements to their already high content level. Production and inventory are aligned closely to market demand. Meanwhile, dealer network training and development has remained a priority.
Both of the new GranTurismo models introduced in 2011 have been met with strong interest in the market, The GranTurismo Convertible Sport achieved nearly 30% of the convertible mix since it arrived in September. The GranTurismo MC, the newest and fastest production Maserati ever offered in this market has contributed significantly to the brand’s success in the U.S., where the four seat coupes from Modena, in the fourth year of their lifecycle, are up 5.5% over 2010.
Maserati creates modern vehicles which express the best elements of the grand touring tradition, and offer the market an Italian alternative within key segments. The current line-up of six models is well defined, carefully positioned and closely reflects the desires of Maserati clients.
THE MASERATI TROFEO MC LANDS IN NORTH AMERICA
After the great success of the past two seasons the Maserati mono-marque Trofeo MC 2012 will land in North America. The fifth round of the 2012 season will be raced at Infineon Raceway in California on September 23, marking the first time a Maserati Trofeo event is held not only in the United States but also outside of Europe.
To further stress the international scope of the Maserati Trofeo MC, the sixth and final round of the 2012 season will be held in Shanghai, China on November 4.
In addition to the first ever overseas events, the third season of the Trofeo MC championship is introducing new features beginning with the new race format, with the introduction of several special “endurance” events, where the combination of performance, strategy and consistency can make the difference. Such events create an intensive race program suitable for both single and twin drivers.
The championship is made of 3 events “standard” (with 2 races of 40 minutes) and 3 events “endurance” (with 2 races of 30 minutes and 1 race of 50 minutes with a mandatory pit stop).
Important features will also be implemented on the race car architecture. The upgrade for the Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo 2012, featuring a new set up, new aerodynamic, weight reduction, will increase the performance even further.
Up to 16 mechanically-identical Maserati GranTurismo MC Trofeo race cars are also battling it out this winter over 12 races across the Middle East in the Maserati Trofeo JBF RAK. This spectacular championship is set to visit the most prestigious racing circuits around the Middle East region with races planned to take place at Formula One tracks in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain as well as Qatar's Losail Circuit and the Dubai Autodrome in the UAE.
The series is backed by the Maserati factory in Modena, Italy. The first race was held in December at the Bahrain International Circuit.
MASERATI’S WORLD RECORD ATTEMPTS ON WATER
In late March Maserati will attempt to break an Atlantic sailing record along the coast of the United States from Miami to New York.
Maserati is the name of an ultra-high technology boat of over 20 metres headed by world-famous Italian sailor Giovanni Soldini backed by the Modena-based Marque of the Trident. Maserati’s love affair with speed and world record setting started in 1929 when Bakunin Borzacchini set the world speed record for the flying 10 kilometers – not to mention Maserati’s two consecutive wins at Indianapolis in 1939 and 1940.
Little known is the fact that Maserati also has a nautical history that goes back just as far, to the early 1930s, when the Maserati brothers tested two twin 16-cylinders engines for boat speed records. In 1955, five world speed records were set and, from 1958 to 1969, Maserati 8 cylinder engines won 19 world titles, 4 European and 10 Italian in various on-board classes.
Giovanni Soldini and Maserati will in 2012 attempt to break three Atlantic world records. If conditions are favorable, Giovanni Soldini and Maserati will also attempt to break the record for the longest distance covered by a single-hull yacht in a 24-hour period. The three Atlantic records are:
January 2012: Cadiz-San Salvador (Bahamas) – 3,884 miles. No time reference to beat: absolute record held by Franck Cammas, trimaran Groupama, May 2007.
March 2012: Miami-New York – 947 miles. No time reference to beat: absolute record held by Frank Cammas, trimaran Groupama, June 2007.
April 2012: New York-Lizard Point (UK) – 2,925 miles. Record to beat 6 days, 17 hours, 52 minutes, 39 seconds set by Robert Miller aboard the monohull Mary Cha IV, October 2003; average speed of 18.5 knots.
MASERATI’S FINANCIAL RESULTS – FIRST NINE MONTHS 2011
Maserati posted revenues of €142 million for the third quarter, up 6% over the same period in 2010.
A total of 1,459 vehicles were shipped, a 6.7% increase over the 1,368 units shipped in Q3 2010.
The third quarter closed with trading profit of €8 million (trading margin of 5.6%), doubling over Q3 2010.
Maserati reported €445 million in revenues for the first nine months of 2011, up 2.3% over the same period for the prior year.
Shipments were up 9.4% over the prior year to 4,672 vehicles. The increase was driven by particularly strong performance in the USA (+20%) and China (+129%).
Volume increases and efficiency gains contributed to a significant increase in trading profit to €26 million (trading margin of 5.8%), compared with €16 million for the first nine months of 2010.