Motorsport Champion Joins Maserati Auckland
New Zealand Motorsport Champion Joins Maserati Auckland
When it comes to describing just how good a Maserati feels to drive few will be able to match the latest expert to join New Zealand’s newest supercar dealership, Auckland Maserati, Andy Booth. He is one of the country’s leading racing drivers and includes amongst his titles being the first person to win two NZV8 Championships back to back.
“Andy’s appointment is a clear indication of the level of expertise we are aiming for right across Auckland Maserati,” explains James Berry, General Manager of Auckland Maserati. “In his role as sales executive, Andy can explain from personal experience and a unique level of expertise what makes a Maserati so special. He can draw on his time behind the wheel of both single seat and sedan racing cars at race tracks as demanding as the legendary Nürburgring. Of course, when it comes to demonstrating just what a Maserati is capable of at a track day, Andy will provide clients with an exceptional experience.”
Maserati Auckland opened in January this year in preparation for the arrival of Maserati’s new Quattroporte and Ghibli models and has ensured that it appoints experts in all areas of the business. The increase in sales of the legendary Italian car maker’s products – some 500% up in the first seven months of this year – is as much down to the new Auckland Maserati facility and its team of specialists dedicated to the Trident marque as it is to new Quattroporte and Ghibli models that are selling in unprecedented numbers around the world.
“With our focus totally on Maserati and ensuring that we offer the highest levels of customer service in all areas, we were able to prepare for the arrival of the new models so that when deliveries started we didn’t so much hit the ground running, as we did sprinting!” says Mr Berry.
Andy Booth’s motorsport career stretches back to 1996, when he started competing in single seat racing in Australia, Europe and the USA and in 2001 he moved into sedan racing leading to him entering his own team in the NZV8 Championship and the new V8SuperTourer series, with highlights including being the 2004 and 2005 NZV8 Champion – the first person to win this title back to back. He has also twice contested the Nürburgring 24hr race, one of the most challenging races in the world, and was winner of the 2000 New Zealand Grand Prix and Denny Hulme Trophy in the same year.
“Expert behind the wheel he may be, but Andy also brings more than a decade of experience of providing the highest level of customer service in the New Zealand retail environment,” says Mr Berry, “which is why we believe he is both an ideal fit for Maserati Auckland and that he will be able to offer a level of service and experience to our clients that is truly unique.”
About Maserati SpA
Maserati is an Italian luxury car manufacturer which was established on December 1, 1914, in Bologna (Italy) by its founder Alfieri Maserati and his brothers. Their passion and talent contributed to the company DNA: innovation, excellence, and challenge, which are reflected in the brand’s claim “The absolute opposite of ordinary”. Today, the company's headquarters and main production location are in Modena (Italy). A second state-of-the-art production location, based on the highest quality standards of the World Class Manufacturing (WCM) concept, was inaugurated in Grugliasco, near Turin (Italy), in 2013. Maserati has been owned by the Italian car giant Fiat S.p.A. since 1993.
Its emblem, the trident, was inspired by the fountain on the Piazza del Nettuno in the center of Bologna (Italy). It is a symbol that ties together the brothers, their hometown, and the artistry and craftsmanship for which Bologna and Emilia-Romagna are known.
Through major investments into product development, production facilities as well as its worldwide dealer network, Maserati has hit a turning point. In addition to the successful GranTurismo and GranCabrio ranges, the latest generation of Maserati’s flagship sedan, the Quattroporte, and the new sports executive sedan, the Ghibli, provide the cornerstones to the brand’s strategy of producing some 50,000 units annually and gaining a significantly strengthened presence in the global luxury car market.
For 2013, Maserati posted a 148% increase in shipments to 15,400 vehicles, driven by the success of the new Quattroporte and Ghibli models. Its major markets include the USA (2013: 6,900, plus 138%), China (2013: 3,800, plus 334%), Europe (2013: 2,500, plus 133%) as well as Asia-Pacific (2013: 1,300, plus 52%) and the Middle East (2013: 750, plus 81%). For 2013, the company posted revenue of €1,659 million (plus 120%) and a trading profit €171 million (plus €114 million).
About European Automotive Imports
European Automotive Imports (EAI), trading as Maserati Australia and New Zealand, was appointed as the distributor of Maserati, its products and services in Australia and New Zealand in 2005, starting operations on 1 October that year, initially from offices in the Sydney suburb of Homebush before moving, in 2010 to its present offices in Waterloo. The company also took over the New South Wales retail Maserati representation from 1 October 2005, initially as Italia Motori until the completion of the new facility in Waterloo as both home to EAI and the new dealership, Ferrari Maserati Sydney, which opened its doors in 2010. From 2013 EAI has also controlled the Maserati retail outlet ‘Maserati Auckland’ in New Zealand. In addition to offices for EAI Maserati dedicated showroom and workshop facilities, the Waterloo facility also provides a state of the art training facility for both technical and sales training. EAI has a fully computerised parts facility in Sydney to ensure fast and efficient distribution of parts and accessories.
EAI is a private company wholly owned by its Executive Chairman, Neville Crichton, and it is not a subsidiary of any of Mr Crichton’s other companies. Maserati Australia and New Zealand is headed by Glenn Sealey, who took over as General Manager in 2010, and who has overseen a doubling of team responsible for Maserati in Australia and New Zealand. These include Bilgen Tug, National Marketing and Public Relations Manager; David Weihen, National Aftersales Manager; Alex Ball, National Sales Manager and Angelo Ruberto, General Manager of Ferrari Maserati Sydney.
Following its appointment, EAI set about a major renewal of its dealer group, with all-new dealerships opening in Brisbane (2006), Melbourne (2008), Perth (2008), Sydney (2010), Adelaide (2013) and Auckland (2013) with major refurbishments in Sydney, Adelaide and Auckland prior to new facilities opening. In addition, Christchurch opened initially as a Maserati service centre bringing the marque officially to the South Island of New Zealand in 2008 and this was expanded to a full dealership in 2013. In Maserati’s centenary year these dealerships will be joined by a second dealership each in Sydney and Melbourne to serve the growing customer base and, in 2016, another dealership in Queensland.
EAI has consistently grown Maserati sales in Australia with its annual best in 2008 with a total of 201 units, a record which is set to be broken in 2014 with sales expected to exceed 300 units. With arrival of new products, EAI plans to take Maserati to an annual sales figure of 1500 by 2016.