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Fail of the Century

Fail of the century #330: Maserati Ghibli

The lesson here? Always underpromise and overdeliver

Published: 15 Feb 2024

Don't be a hostage to fortune. Just because you're delighted your new spaniel has mastered a) sitting on command, b) walking to heel, and c) not lavishing defecating into your high-tops, probably best not to rock up on national radio declaring she'll be the first canine chess grandmaster, and also a shoo-in for the 2028 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Underpromise, overdeliver, that's what we're saying. Advice sadly not heeded by Maserati at the launch of the Ghibli in 2013, where the ever optimistic Italians announced this would be the car to boost their UK sales by literally ONE THOUSAND PER CENT.

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Yep, tenfold. In 2012, Maser shifted a paltry 300 cars in the UK, but promised that by 2016, that figure would leap to 3,000, the coquettish Ghibli luring Brits away from their buttoned-up 5 Series and E-Classes.

Reader, you may be unsurprised to hear that Maserati did not achieve this bold target. In a decade on sale, a mere 4,500 Ghiblis have found British homes, with Maserati's combined UK sales hovering around 1,000 annually. Which is y'know, more than 300. But still not a lot.

Was the Ghibli solely to blame for this shortfall? No. Were its fortunes aided by early cars' so-so diesel engine, so-so ride, so-so steering and – on smaller wheels at least – so-so visuals? Also no.

It's good to aim high. Just not... too high.

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