ROME – Innovation, brand value and the future. Or rather “Back to the Future”. Commentary by Davide Grasso, CEO of Maserati who told us about the new direction of the Italian-made luxury and sports brand.
Grasso arrived in Modena in 2019 from experience other than cars. He was the CEO of Converse, a brand of the Nike group where he previously held various leadership roles. In short, from sneakers to cars. “The impossible way”, as he himself explained during a meeting with Bocconi students. His message: “Create value and know where you can do it, you need to know yourself and be yourself. And do what we love. Following your passion and taking risks are requirements for success.” The gamble paid off but now there’s another one. The one with the Maserati.
Let’s start from 2035. What do you think about the decision to ban the sale of cars with internal combustion engines?
“I think it makes absolutely no sense, at least for us. We focus on this to increase the value of the brand and the company. Obviously we have to move forward because the changes are increasing but we will be ready.”
You said that embracing electric technology would be an important step for Maserati, which plans to launch six battery-powered models by 2026. What?
“After the GranTurismo Folgore and Grecale Folgore, in January 2024 we will also present the GranCabrio in an electric version. Then, at the beginning of 2025 the new Quattroporte will start. It will be electric only like all the models that will follow it, starting with the new Levante. So, from 2025 the series the whole will have electricity and from 2030 only electricity”.
Maserati is the first Italian brand to have a fully electric sports car, the Gran Turismo Folgore, which in the future will be joined by the fully electric MC20. What signal did you want to send with this option?
“The MC20 is a turning point, a true supercar, an important example to remind the world of the quality of Maserati and the ability to create such cars. It is our return to the future. A way to remember a great story, which began in 1914, with the brothers of Maserati who changed models to make them compete on the tracks. It’s been like this for 50 years. A great desire to innovate, always, every event, despite everything. This is why the MC20 is an open space and a great challenge.”
We are talking about the Grecale, the base model in the market, that of mid-size luxury SUVs, which has a sales value of a million per year and a potential growth of 30-40%. What projects are there?
“First of all, with Grecale we started a detailed analysis to better understand the use of luxury which is at the center of our strategy. So we understood that luxury is fundamental even in small SUVs which nevertheless must have all the performance and technological standards common to GT. Maserati is the best brand for this. Not just for supercars but for those who are passionate about driving.”
And what is your brand improvement strategy?
“We are bringing back the original values of Maserati, and putting the consumer back at the center. We have the models, the target market and the team. So once we had a product plan, we developed a strategy to return the brand to profitability. Quality and profitability are needed, otherwise consumers do not recognize the premium. because there is no luxury without quality”.
Powering aside, the core feature of the Trident will be the Fuoriserie software. What are your thoughts on that?
“In an age where everyone has access to everything in real time, a personalized or better car is important as long as you can lead the choice. Only in this way will we be able to make a difference. As with “Project 24″, a large car in planning but it is already sold on paper in 62 units, the number of MC12s built before. It costs one million euros.”
Finally, let’s move on to production. Three industrial areas Mirafiori, Cassino and historic in Viale Ciro Menotti in Modena. Everything made in Italy, right?
“Maserati is and will always be made in Italy. Because it represents the quintessence of Italian innovation in the world. But it also embodies the feeling and absolute quality that only Italian brands and designs can offer. Furthermore, we have also chosen only Italian partners. Those voices , for example, are not random but made by Dardust, an internationally renowned Italian musician.”
Quality, innovation and the future. The Made in Italy challenge continues.