It may have found a way to keep the dealers involved with online selling.
The pandemic has proved that we can do way more things digitally than we ever expected. Remote work is now common and we've been buying things online for years, decades even. Except for new cars. They're still a mostly in-person affair. Newer automakers like Tesla, Rivian and Lucid are working on getting laws changed so they can sell directly to customers, but Maserati is trying to split the difference.
The OTO Retail project (OTO stands for online to offline and vice versa) will support dealerships with digital support tools that will "maintain the centrality of dealerships' role." It will also help customers decide what they can do in the dealership and what they can do from home.
"We have therefore revamped our sales processes to arrive at an evolution of the customer journey," said Bernard Loire, Chief Commercial Officer at Maserati. "The brand wants to meet and exceed the expectations of customers, who will now be able to take advantage of an Omni-Channel experience. We believe that this type of offer - utilizing the Maserati Fuoriserie program to customize our cars - is the right response to the wishes of the new luxury consumer."
The new retail model, which includes the company's Fuoriserie personalization program launched in 2020, wants to blur the lines between physical and online shopping. Maserati notes that customers can get more and more online, but also that physical stores are being extended with more services.
Maserati dealerships will start the changeover to this new business model starting next year with its latest showrooms in Milan and Shanghai. A pilot program is now starting in North America too, though for now it's one website that will point you to where you need to go. A company rep told us that Maserati just introduced the new facility design to its dealers in the past week, and that it is determining the first locations soon.
Current digital touchpoints include a way to make an online booking for your car with My Maserati Showroom. You can request details through My Maserati Expert or you can book a test drive through Remote Test Drive (with video instructions) and Multi-Channel Service Booking. You can do almost everything online, then go to the dealership, sign and drive away in the Maserati MC20 of your dreams...provided you have more than the base price of approximately $210,000.