Make Mine Maserati.
Everyone loves a “Local girl conquers the world” story and South Africans lapped this one up. Genevieve Morton (28), born in Benoni but grown and matured on the sunny beaches of Scottburgh on KZN’s South Coast, has been hand picked for the modelling contract of a lifetime.
The brief: Maserati, manufacturers of fast, exciting cars with soul, needed not only new brochures for 2015, but a new face for its worldwide social media campaign. Genevieve is perfectly qualified. Apart from extensive exposure in glossy magazines and on television, Ms Morton brings two million Facebook fans, 108 000 Instagrammers and 57 000 Twitterati to the party.
Accolades include five appearances in the US version of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit edition, two features in GQ South Africa, five spreads in Sports Illustrated SA, being voted one of the Top 50 swimsuit models of all time and FHM magazine’s Sexiest Woman of 2012. She appeared on Letterman and in a 2012 music video for the song “Sweeter” by Gavin DeGraw.
It goes beyond glamour: Maserati’s campaign launches a new corporate image for the 101 year-old company, showing that successful women are just as entitled as men to fast, exciting cars. The shoot took 10 days, on location between Palermo and Catania in Sicily. The images will appear in the Quattroporte, Ghibli and GranTurismo / GranCabrio brochures.
Morton is quoted in a recent interview as saying: “I am so happy to be the face of a brand like Maserati which embodies elegance and sophistication – the car is a fantastic drive too. I love the luxurious feel and its sportiness appeals to my fun side. I think it’s a great balance of both.”
Here in South Africa, Maserati is emerging from a Cinderella period. Previously a somewhat overlooked stepsister in a two-marque relationship dominated by Ferrari, internal reorganisation at holding company Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles dictated complete separation of the two brands. Scuderia Motors SA now represents Ferrari while Maserati has a new partner.
European Automotive Imports (EAI) has transformed Maserati’s position in Antipodean markets over the past decade. Last year, 2014, saw a 199.3 percent increase in Australian sales and a 400 percent surge in New Zealand activity over the previous year.
Its South African subsidiary, EAI-SA, took over as local distributor on 1 May 2015 with Glen Sealey, General Manager of EAI’s Maserati operations, at the helm.
Based in Johannesburg with a dedicated South African team, EAI-SA will manage all aspects of the new business while being able to draw on expertise from its parent company. Apart from the Johannesburg dealership, it is seeking representation partners in Cape Town and a Durban outlet is planned for 2016.
“Our long term plan for South Africa is about more than sales targets or market share,” says Sealey. “We will offer buyers new levels of exclusivity, customer service and personalisation not previously available at this level in the market.
”Owners will be able to choose from a unique range of cars fully befitting Maserati’s century of racing- and luxury car development; from performance to style, to how they sound, to personalisation and the handcrafted materials used in their interiors.
“In short,” he said, “the Trident badge will continue to be seen only on exclusive cars offering exceptional performance and style; supported by world-class, exemplary dealerships. We believe this combination will signal a bright future for Maserati in South Africa.”