And of course Maserati has no comment.
An American Maserati dealer has just sued Maserati North America because it refused to play ball. Translation: it didn’t comply with instructions to falsify sales reports and was discriminated against as a result. Recovery Racing, owner of Maserati dealerships in New York, New Jersey and Florida claims that the automaker insisted for it to misrepresent sales by as much as quadruple to what they actually were. This happened in 2014 and was first reported on by Automotive News.
Basically, Maserati ordered its dealers to claim their test vehicles to be sold in order to make it appear sales numbers were higher. If a dealer refused to do so, it received unfair treatment when it came to incentives. Court documents claim that in September 2014, Maserati told its dealers it was starting the Ghibli Performance Bonus for 2014 and 2015 Ghibli sedans sold during a specific period. Dealers would receive up to $3,000 per car sold if certain guidelines were met. Later that month, the Maserati regional sales director emailed dealers instructing them to "punch" a 2015 Ghibli demonstrator vehicle, meaning it was considered as "sold."
But here’s the best part: Those “punched” Ghiblis hadn’t even arrived in dealers yet. This resulted in an over inflated Ghibli sales number that month. One dealer who complied with orders became No.1 in the sales rankings with "102 sales in one month and 155 in another." Not all of those were actually retail sales, and it was the first time a Maserati dealer supposedly "broke 50 sales in a one-month period." In October, Maserati went on to claim in official press releases a 300 percent increase in North American sales. Recovery Racing claims it lost profits for refusing to lie for Maserati HQ.