Rivals of Maserati, such as JLR and Mercedes, have already moved or are moving to an agency model
UK boss says he is ‘pretty happy’ with its dealer network model ‘but we’re watching very closely’
Maserati will assess how rivals are coping with the switch to an agency sales model before jumping over itself, said Peter Charters, head of the luxury brand in the UK and Scandinavia.
The company has pushed back the changeover from its original date of 2023.
However, Maserati sits above the premium division in a more luxury space and is not required to follow suit by selling directly to customers, rather than wholesaling to dealers.
“We’re pretty happy with the dealer network model at the moment, but we’re watching very closely,” said Charters, referencing the switch by Mercedes-Benz and Lotus.
The advantages for a car maker moving to an agency model include being able to track sales from the initial request for information to the final delivery, as well as fix prices across both online and dealer sales. The dealer is paid a fee for each sale.
Mercedes and Lotus have already made the switch in the UK, while JLR is preparing its UK network to become sales agents for the company by the end of 2024. Mercedes said the move had raised its average sales price in the UK.
How car makers apply the agency model differs from company to company. “Everything is done in a slightly different way, and at the end of it there’s probably a best way, and we’ll do that,” said Charters, adding that the company will probably pilot the change before making the move.
Maserati is in the middle of overhauling its range, including introducing the new, more expensive Granturismo electric and petrol coupé models, as well as the electric Grecale Folgore SUV. The company is saying goodbye to the Ghibli saloon this year with a final V8-powered model.