Mission is going to get a taste of Italy when the Maserati dealership opens its doors in December. The tridents will be seen lined up along Expressway 83 next to Bert Ogden Cadillac and Chevrolet.
Known for its exotic status, Maserati will be the 22nd Bert Ogden dealership to spring up in the Rio Grande Valley, and the 10th since 2008. But even with the growth in the Valley automobile industry, Director of Maserati Ignacio Mallett said he doesn’t foresee any competition for the Italian vehicle.
“There’s other car lines out there that are not down here, and that’s why I say we’re not going to have any competition,” Mallett said. “The norm, your other brands that are down here, are not a refined car like this. They’re not a high-end sports automobile, and that’s what Maserati is all about.”
Maseratis are hand-crafted and assembled as opposed to a machine-line process. It takes about 22 days for a single vehicle to be assembled and considered road ready. Another nine days are spent on inspection and testing.
In December, Maserati celebrates 100 years of service on the road and on the racetrack. Alfieri Maserati founded the first office in 1914 in Bologna, Italy and is now represented in 61 countries.
The nearest dealership is in San Antonio. By bringing the product to the community, Mallett said Bert Ogden will be able to give the local car-enthusiast what they want with convenience. Once the lot is up and running, some time between Dec. 1 and Dec. 15, there will be about 15 to 20 vehicles on site.
“Bert Ogden has gone to the extent to bring this particular dealership down here and will continue exploring other avenues of other car lines that are going to be unique to the Valley,” he said. “You no longer have to go up north for that particular type of high-end car.”
As a Corpus Christi native, Mallett anticipated these types of dealership in that area along with general growth in the city, but it never materialized.
The RGV has seen growth with the Premium Outlets opening in 2006, dealerships cropping up such as Mercedes Benz and Audi in 2011 and 2012, respectively, and a Cinemark Movie Bistro, which opened in 2013. Although Mallett admits he’s sad this growth didn’t happen for Corpus, he sees the potential businesses have in the deep south.
“We thought for the longest time that Corpus Christi was going to be the city to explode. Unbeknownst to us, the Valley was growing like crazy and all of a sudden the explosion happened here,” Mallett said. “I think there’s a lot of opportunity in the Valley right now and in the future.”