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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The panel that runs under the doors (sorry, don't know what this piece is called) on my 05 QP came from the factory poorly aligned. Dealer said its just the way it is and being plastic the aligneent with the metal parts of the car just has these type of variances.

Then I had a paint problem (extreme chipping by 3K miles with areas having turned completely white) and these panels along with some of the body was repainted under warranty (after a huge battle with Maserati about it). The work was done by M/F Orange County, using their authorized body shop that is, I beleive) owned by the dealership owner.

When the car was returned the alignment of these panels were aligned even more poorly than from the factory. The dealer said its because the car had scraped bottom and the panels couldn't be fixed (or even made as good as the sloppy fit and finish from the factory). They said it would be $5 to 6K to fix this damage. I passed.

Yesterday I picked up the car from a little specialty body shop in Palm Springs that works on high end cars and does modifications and fabrication. They touched up some chipped paint, fixed a few small things and realigned these panels. The bill was $300 and the panels are now beautifully aligned; much better than the fit and finish of these panels when I took delivery of the car brand new.

The lesson here: Its easy to assume the MNA and the dealer knows what they are talking about. But having now worked through a paint issue, a gas filling problem and this body panel alignment I now realize that whether its a Maserati or Chevy dealer these folks are often dancing in the dark and just making stuff up.

Hope this info is useful.
 

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Sometimes we know what we're talking about.... ;)

Do you know what they did with the panels to get them aligned? Was it just a case of loosening the bolts and adjusting or did they have to modify them at all?

Also, the paint chipping, was it in the rear, in front of the back tires? I've started to see more of this, and we are working with our clear shield installers to get a template made for this area.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sometimes we know what we're talking about.... ;)

Do you know what they did with the panels to get them aligned? Was it just a case of loosening the bolts and adjusting or did they have to modify them at all?

Also, the paint chipping, was it in the rear, in front of the back tires? I've started to see more of this, and we are working with our clear shield installers to get a template made for this area.
Hey Mark,

Of course you are right - I was generalizing. I think the dealers available to us in Southern Cal may not be representative. My apologies for throwing all of you under the bus. I own the largest school in the world for teaching service departments and service department managers how to run their businesses; financially, operationally, customer relations, leadership traiing and marketing. So I don't know it all but after having 13,000 or so service departments in our 2 year program I have some sense of the range of possibilities. And I can tell you that the Maser dealers in Orange County, Beverly Hills and San Fernando Valley are not getting passing grades in most any aspect of automotive service management. Most Honda dealer service departments, for example, would blow them away.

I don't know how he did the adjustment on the panels. I know he spent about three hours on them is all.

There was something unique about my paint issues; it was far beyond the normal chipping due to body design. As I said, within 90 days of delivery the panels had turned white from chips under no unusual driving conditions. Then the problem suddenly stopped thereafter only chipping like you would expect (and I would expect a lot given the body shape). I had a big time finishes consultant from Arizona inspect it and his theory was 1. Way beyond normal chipping and 2. probably related to a defect in clear coat application. He also threw out a bunch of chemistry terms I no longer remember.

I have the clear shield stuff on there now and it helps. The clear shield itself gets to looking pretty ratty pretty quickly but its better than the normal chipping process.

Ken
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sometimes we know what we're talking about.... ;)

Do you know what they did with the panels to get them aligned? Was it just a case of loosening the bolts and adjusting or did they have to modify them at all?

Also, the paint chipping, was it in the rear, in front of the back tires? I've started to see more of this, and we are working with our clear shield installers to get a template made for this area.
To answer one of your questions; the chipping and discoloration was all along the lower panel, from the front wheel well to the rear. But it was worse at the rear.
 

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Hey Mark,

Of course you are right - I was generalizing. I think the dealers available to us in Southern Cal may not be representative. My apologies for throwing all of you under the bus.
No worries. Just had to throw some kind of sarcastic comment in there... ;)

I didn't realize that's what you did for a living, that's insightful. Do you set the bar a bit high sometimes, or is it really that bad out there?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
No worries. Just had to throw some kind of sarcastic comment in there... ;)

I didn't realize that's what you did for a living, that's insightful. Do you set the bar a bit high sometimes, or is it really that bad out there?
Perhaps I do set the bar high sometimes. However, I would think Maserati's market challenge would require they set the bar higher. The sum of my dealer intereactions have been consistently weak and sometimes shockingly so. I think I have a pretty good read on what is doable, and what is not, in a dealer service department. IMHO an MNA marketing objective must be to be a catalyst for pretty darn high dealer service peformance. And they do not. In fact, it is my sense that, on the West Coast at least, Maserati, through policies and through Eric Deck, their West Coast guy, demotivate and beat the dealers down.

I have never once had a Maser dealer follow up on a service experience to develop any kind of CSI measurements, for example. Never once has Maserati followed up on a service experience to keep an eye on its distribution channel. I've had dealers eat some costs because Maser won't reimburse them and the issue was so obviously a warranty issue the dealer couldn't bring themselves to try to charge me. Don't mean to generalize again; but the dealers with whom I've dealt provide a superficial level of professionalism; but their internal business processes are really amateurish; record keeping, communciation, customer interaction, follow up, resulting at best with a shiny veneer over a pretty weak operations.

Highest quality dealer service, which Maser must have if it is to become the company they seem committed to being, only happens on purpose - and MNA must play a huge role in teaching, motivating, focusing and demanding its dealers carry this forward. And I see no signs that it is part of MNA's purpose. If its left only to the motivation and discretion of the dealer only about one dealer in five will provide world-class service for Maserati's world class cars.

Ken
 

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I don't know what the deal is with high-end car service in general. You take a Lexus in for service, and you are treated more or less like a king.

My Mercedes dealer acted like they were doing me a favor to work on my car, while sucking my wallet right out of my pants. I finally had the piece of %^& towed away.

My local Maser dealers have been in between - responsive and caring, but what's the deal with the lack of a loaner car?
 

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Amen.

I was very impressed with the shop in Las Vegas. They spotted and repaired items under warranty that were missed during the prepurchase inspection.

What body shop did you use in Palm Springs?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Amen.

I was very impressed with the shop in Las Vegas. They spotted and repaired items under warranty that were missed during the prepurchase inspection.

What body shop did you use in Palm Springs?
The shop is called Prestige Auto Design and Body, Inc.; but is really just one guy, Greg "Koko" Tutunjian, whose card says he is President and Chief Engineer. Interesting guy, a bit eccentric. Wants only to be paid in cash. In his shop I noticed a limo, a Mercedes and a really perfect looking DeLorean that he had restored.
 

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I completely agree with your points.

I appreciate this kind of feedback and try to use it to strengthen our service department. I've printed a lot of threads from this forum and given them to both our GM and my service manager, so that they can see what people's expectations are from a dealership and service department.

I can't do a hell of a lot to help with your dealers out there, but I assure you MNA does read these forums, and while a lot of these things are a work in progress, I don't think they are ignoring what is being said.
 

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Seems to me MNA is part of the problem in terms of making me feel unwanted.

As I've relateed before I think the FMSV dealership is staffed by a buncch of thieves" Wanted $6000 for a clutch replacement, FMSV wanted $2500. Offered to "fix some dents" I hadn't noticed when they came back with the clutch estimate I told them I'd pick the car up - Service Manager told me "my body guy fixed the dents without autorization so no charge". Now I seriously doubt they were there.

Wrote letter to Art Zafiropoulo one of the co-owners (along with FM Beverly Hills which may be indicative of a systemic problem) no response. Wrote Letter to James Selwa, no response.

I'm with Dean. Not going to do business with someone who looks at me as a walking wallet.

Can ya get Morries to open a dealeship out here? :D
 
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