Maserati Kubang : Is This A Branding Mistake?

by Paul Simister on September 20, 2011

I love Italy, I’m fascinated by cars so it’s no surprise that I feel a huge attraction towards Maserati but the new Maserati Kubang looks like a branding mistake to me.

Fiat have done a great job in reviving the Maserati brand after the dark days in the eighties. I fear the Kubang is a step backwards.

What is the Maserati Kubang?

Estimated to cost about £100,000 the Maserati Kubang  is a luxury 4×4 rival to the Range Rover and the Porsche Cayenne.

Maserati Kubang

Maserati hope that it’s going to be a huge success but its image clashes with just about everything I associate with the brand name… Maserati.

Here is a short video of the Kubang being launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011.

A Jeep Grand Cherokee With A Ferrari Engine

The V8 engine comes from Ferrari and the four wheel drive technology comes from the Jeep Grand Cherokee so it’s got a proven pedigree of performance.

But it’s not a traditional Maserati.

The Ghibli is a classic Maserati

Maserati Ghibli

It’s low and sleek and very desirable as it epitomises the glamour from the sixties a long with the Jaguar E-Type and Lamborghini Muira.

The Attraction In Building The Maserati Kubang

Two words.

Porsche Cayenne.

According to figures I’ve taken from Wikipedia, Porsche sold 100,806 Cayenne vehicles between 2003 and 2010, 42% of their total sales.

Yes the Cayenne is ugly.

But it is so popular that it is changing what the brand Porsche means.

It used to be clear – a 911, a 944, a 928 – all small, quick sports cars. Even the down market 924 had style.

You can see the attraction that this luxury SUV market has for Maserati or the big bosses in Fiat who wanted to make the vehicle and squeezed it into Maserati as the most suitable home.

Will The Maserati Kubang Succeed?

Possibly.

I don’t like SUV’s so I must admit I am biased but the lure of the three pronged trident badge is strong.

Who except for the extremely rich wouldn’t rejoice in saying “I drove down here in my Maserati.”

Mind you I don’t think it’s going to be much of a “pulling car”. I can’t imagine the lady lured into the car park with the line “Do you want to see my Maserati?” is going to expect a poshed-up agricultural vehicle.

The Maserati Kubang website.

Will The Maserati Kubang Damage The Maserati Brand?

The brand has proven to be remarkable resilient from the magic days of my youth – the Ghibli, the Bora and Merak, the Khamsin were all cars to drool over.

Then things got messy but Maserati bounced back.

If the Kubang is a commercial success then hopefully it will provide the funds to launch more proper Maseratis.

Attribution for photograph of the Maserati Ghibli

Paul Simister is a business strategy coach who helps business owners to differentiate their businesses and develop winning strategies. Get your free copy of the ebook The Six Steps Profit Formula.

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{ 1 comment }

Anthony April 13, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Well, at least they didn’t call it the ‘nova’, which in Spanish means ‘it doesn’t go!’

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