Maserati North America is being sued for allegedly forcing dealerships to misrepresent sales.
Recovery Racing is suing the Italian automaker’s North American arm, saying that Maserati insisted dealerships pad their sales and those who didn’t cooperate were discriminated against. The complaint was filed last week and Recovery Racing owns Maserati dealerships in New York, New Jersey and Florida, adding that Maserati ordered dealers to mark test drive vehicles as “sold” to help boost sales numbers. Dealers, like Recovery Racing, who refused to do so were reportedly treated unfairly when it came to incentives.
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According to court documents filed, Maserati told its dealers in September 2014 that it was starting a Ghibli Performance Bonus that would apply to new 2014 and 2015 model year Ghiblis sold during a certain period. Those dealers could receive up to $3,000 per vehicle if they met all their objectives. In late September, regional sales vice president for Maserati, Rick Fuller, allegedly emailed dealers demanding that they “punch” a 2015 Ghibli demonstrator vehicle, meaning it’s categorized as sold even if it was just added to the fleet of test drive vehicles. Oddly enough, when Fuller demanded that 2015 Maserati Ghiblis got “punched,” the sedans haven’t even arrived dealerships. As a result, the Italian automaker inflated the number of vehicles sold that month by about 105.
“Dealers were informed that they would receive full higher or additional incentives on each Ghibli when punched as a demonstrator vehicle and then when the vehicle was later sold to a retail customer. The Maserati dealers that complied with the fraudulent scheme obtained and operated at a substantial economic advantage over the Maserati dealers that did not,” the complaint said.
[Source: Automotive News]
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