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Has anyone been on the factory tour? I am booked in at the end of September and am wondering what to expect. My dealer says only owners can 'tour' and that that 'look after you'.

Tim
 

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Hey Tim,
We did the tour last year. Our primary focus was seeing a lot of Quattroportes as we wanted to order one, few were in the States yet, and we needed to see color and other choices.

The tour was interesting, lasted about 2 hours and was just the two of us and a tour guide. Since all of the running gear comes from Ferrari down the tracks a ways from Maserati you really only see final assembly. The place is clean and has an air of compentence that is impressive. Any specific questions?

We stayed in Bologna and trained over to Modena. I think that was a good plan; we liked Modena but Bologna is a bit bigger and more vigorous a town to hang in.

Enjoy,
Ken
 

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Ken
Thanks for your reply. We are taking a couple of weeks to drive through the Champagne region of France, through Switzerland to Italy staying at Lake Garda and lake Como then a couple of days in Modena before going to Monte Carlo and then back home (UK). Our dealer has organised the Maserati tour for us so, briefly, our car will be visiting its birthplace.

Your comment on the factory really being for final assembly was interesting, I might ask the dealer if he can organise a tour of the Ferrari factory as well - providing I can persuade my wife that a second car factor tour will be interesting!

Did you get the QP in the end? What do you think of it?

Tim
 

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Hey Tim, we did get the QP; about 18K miles now. I am very happy with it. Like all Italian cars it does somethings very well and others not. But it is just about a perfect fit for my priorities. The car has terrific emotional appeal, to me anyhow.

On a trip prior to the Maserati factory trip, my wife and I did a similar drive around Switerzerland and into Italy; hung out around Stresa, a town on Lago Maggiori. We found that delightful. Much easier and more pleasant area to drive than the Lake Como area. Lake Como and Bellagio were so smoggy and overcrowed when we visited that the place didn't work as well for us; but was pretty cool nonetheless. We love Monte Carlo, its a breath of fresh air (literally) and relative calm after wild and wonderful Northern Italy.

If you do make it to Bologna or nearby remember the orignal statue/fountain of Neptune with his Trident reaching up in the sky is there, the one the Maserati Brothers grew up around and resulted in the Maser Trident symbol. It is in the appealing town square.

Ferrari wasn't doing factory tours during the period we were there. I have heard its more difficult to get in there. BTW, we also have a Mini Cooper S. My wife loved the tour at Maserati.

Enjoy,
Ken

surfnirnava said:
Ken
Thanks for your reply. We are taking a couple of weeks to drive through the Champagne region of France, through Switzerland to Italy staying at Lake Garda and lake Como then a couple of days in Modena before going to Monte Carlo and then back home (UK). Our dealer has organised the Maserati tour for us so, briefly, our car will be visiting its birthplace.

Your comment on the factory really being for final assembly was interesting, I might ask the dealer if he can organise a tour of the Ferrari factory as well - providing I can persuade my wife that a second car factor tour will be interesting!

Did you get the QP in the end? What do you think of it?

Tim
 

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Ken, where did you stay while in Bologna, is it easy find for lodging in that area? We are heading there for factory tour in mid Sept! :) Thanks!

Tim, I am told by FM dealer that they now require one to be Ferrari owner to visit Ferrari factory as they are getting requests in volume for factory tour.

I hope Alfa factory would be open too since it's not too far from Milan in Arese.

Jess
<short list of italian cars deleted>
 

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Well! Modena is a relatively small town.. but as small as it is, it took us quite a bit of time to get there driving from Treviso area. I't normally would take no more than 2 hrs but took us 3+ hrs to get there... mainly because road construction detours and terrible or invisible road signs....

Anyways, we did make it there, and the factory is really "small" to what I have imaginated... It is amazing what are coming out of this "small" factory :) We were sent to the employee parking structure because there's no more parking space available near the main entrance. Later when we finished the tour and coming back out, we saw the only available parking spaces were filled with granturismos, quattroporti, and a few ferraris. A dusty white granturismo caught our eyes, it was obviously been driven a bit.

Before we walked into the main assembly line, we saw parts stacked alone the side, such as engine parts and transmissions, and painted chassis delivered from Maranello. We asked if we could take photos and that was politely declined.

We followed the yellow painted lines and entered the main assembly house. To our surprise, there's no "yellow safely cap" required. Most of assembly workers dont have them either. I am sure you have seen those yellow lifters that hold the car from station to station within the assembly line, and indeed those are how each car move from one to another. Each station gets about 20 some minutes and seconds to finish their task, then all the car in the line raises up and move one station as a whole, then drop the car back down for the next step of assembly. Very impressive. As the car leaves or enter from the assembly line, it is lifted and transported above our head as we walked thru the factory. It was quite an amazing sight... and slightly scared wife for lack of safety concerns that we are used to in US. We walked below the car and the tour guide was telling us how to spot the difference of an automatic chassis vs duo select quatroporte, and showing us the differences of models (exec gt, standard, sport gt, etc) as well as special orders of trims and interiors (one from some price from the middle eastern country to be exact)

As the cars got finished assembly, they get to send to the quality control stations where they tests bunch o stuff, water room for leak tests, and final QC where 3 QC engineers going thru predefined tests and verified them all, and send any imperfections back to perfect. Those that passes QC, are sent to an outside contract QC firm before they are released to public.

About 33 cars were made each day, which is pretty amazing for a relatively small firm to crank out. According to the guide, most white maseratis are sold/ordered to/by Japan, while 40% of all cars manufactured are headed to US. I had feeling that they weren't too excited about the cup holders in the newer cars... as he side pointed at the cars and say "those are american cars"

Back to modena show room, it was quite amazing, 3 black maseratis (GS, GT, QP) encircled by a blue "ribbon" wide enough for 2 QPs and around and from ground level to ceiling in one piece. On one side, the decors are made of round painted donuts with different shades and colors of leather in the middle. on top, floor, side walls, mirrors were used so when you stand close by, you can look at any direction and see infinite rows of these decors, to signify the endless choices of combinations you can have. A new GT was under cover and a small reception with champagn and o'dures (sp?) and camera man were getting ready. Shortly a young couple showed up to pick up the brand new GT which was the first GT delivered by the modena store. We had to take a photo of them too :)

We left for a simple lunch before driving to Milano... half a tank of diesel fuel for our little 1.5 liter costed us $68 euros! And we were bitching about gasoline price back home in US. When things are put in perspective, we felt fortunate to be driving our GS where gasoline is relatively inexpensive still.

Conclusion? we appreciate how our GS were being made, we saw a lot pride and craftsmanship were put into making these cars, suddenly, maserati seems to be quite reasonably priced for what they are. Perhaps that human touch in building the cars made them special, and thats what attracted us to them :) Any maserati owner should take advantage of the privilege and make a factory visit.

:)

Jess
 

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Hi guys, Planning a trip to Maserati factory late Feb. Is there anything else to do in the small town, we are making a day trip from Florence. Thought we take the train and then a taxi over.

Not sure what else to plan for the day in Modena. Nice places to shop, local place for dinner etc.

Would hate to commute for 90 mins each way for a 2 hr factory tour.

We own a GTS as of last year.

Thoughts,

Arvind
 

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Is the tour just for new owners buying a new car from the official dealer or can the owner of a secondhand model also arrange for this?
 

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Wombat,
We are doing Venice to Tuscany in September. Planing a day in Motor Valley.
Do you have your itinery yet, love you to share.

Thanks, Mitch
Just an FYI the factory 100th Anniversary Celebration is Sept 19 - 21.
 

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Hi guys, Planning a trip to Maserati factory late Feb. Is there anything else to do in the small town, we are making a day trip from Florence. Thought we take the train and then a taxi over.

Not sure what else to plan for the day in Modena. Nice places to shop, local place for dinner etc.

Would hate to commute for 90 mins each way for a 2 hr factory tour.

We own a GTS as of last year.

Thoughts,

Arvind
Yes there is plenty to do, just staying on the car related. A short walk from the Maserati Factory, is the Enzo Ferrari Museum. It is a short drive to Maranello for the Ferrari Galleria, or to Sant Agata for Lamborghini and to the Pannini Maserati Museum with the bonus of touring their cheese factory.

Then there is food, in the Modena/Bologna/Parma you would have to work hard to find a bad meal. Remember Modena is the home of Balsamic Vinegar, try Ristorante Europa 92 between Modena & Maranello. It is on the Estate of Luciano Pavarotti. Or the Restaurant at the Canal Grande in the center of Modena. It is owned by the DeTomaso Family and where he lived when he owned Maserati.
 

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Hi guys, Planning a trip to Maserati factory late Feb. Is there anything else to do in the small town, we are making a day trip from Florence. Thought we take the train and then a taxi over.

Not sure what else to plan for the day in Modena. Nice places to shop, local place for dinner etc.

Would hate to commute for 90 mins each way for a 2 hr factory tour.

We own a GTS as of last year.

Thoughts,

Arvind
You are in ITALIA, so plenty to do on food, drinks and other cultural things, as Joe says.

Trains are boring, rent a FIAT 500 - you know, when in Modena ...
 

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Just an FYI the factory 100th Anniversary Celebration is Sept 19 - 21.
Do they have something special going on during those days, or are the factories closed? We would like to see the factory in Turin where they assemble the Quattroporte and Ghibli as well as see the plant in Modena where they assemble the GranTurismo. The Turin plant is our priority however.
 

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Do they have something special going on during those days, or are the factories closed? We would like to see the factory in Turin where they assemble the Quattroporte and Ghibli as well as see the plant in Modena where they assemble the GranTurismo. The Turin plant is our priority however.
Yes, there are events yet to be announced that are being planned for Sept 19 - 21. More than likely everything will be based around the Modena/Bologna area. Doubtful that anything will take place in Torino.
 

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Thanks all. True it is hard to have a bad meal or be bored in Italy. Trains are boring, renting a car would be the way to go. On rental cars seems like there is lot of detail or insurance different from the US. US credit cards don't cover the loss waiver damage stuff in Italy.
 
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