World's largest Ferrari and Maserati showroom opens in UK
The world’s largest Ferrari and Maserati showroom was officially opened in Egham, Surrey, last week when a £500,000 enlargement and refurbishment of the famous Tower Garage was completed. The historic home of Maranello Sales Ltd, the 70 year-old building beside the A30, retains its distinctive all-white, art deco exterior and landmark tower. Inside, the showroom now has space to display 50 new and pre-owned cars, and houses ‘The Maranello Store’ which offers customers the very best of Ferrari and Maserati accessories, clothing, models and books. This store is the first of its kind in the UK.
Speaking at the grand opening attended by almost 500 customers and guests, Paul Burrows, General Manager of Maranello Sales, commented, “This charismatic site has been home to Ferrari cars since 1967 and to Maserati cars since 1998. Demand for both brands has grown steadily over the years – with over 600 Ferrari and Maserati cars sold last year – and the need to improve Tower Garage became urgent. As part of our continuous striving to deliver the best possible service to customers, our Aftersales Operation was relocated to a £1 million purpose-built facility at Thorpe in 2002. That move enabled the re-creation of the entire Tower Garage site as a dedicated sales showroom.
“The building is rightly listed as a Grade II structure and consequently its exterior has changed little since its conception in 1933. However, inside, we have more freedom to adapt it to modern requirements and I’m confident that Maranello Sales Ltd now has another world class facility for both brands, to mirror the highest standards set by our Aftersales Operation,” concluded Burrows.
History of Maranello Sales
The story of Maranello Concessionaires and Maranello Sales can be traced directly back to Britain’s first world motor racing champion, Mike Hawthorn. The brilliant Hawthorn won the 1958 Formula One world title at the wheel of a Ferrari and at the end of that season concluded a deal with Enzo Ferrari to sell Ferrari road cars in the UK. Selling the glorious but undeniably expensive 250GT was not easy in the cash-starved 1950s. Hawthorn showed two examples at the London Motorshow in 1958. While one of them sold comparatively quickly, the second was not so easy to move.
Eventually it was acquired by car dealer Colonel Ronnie Hoare, then a leading light in the UK racing scene. Ronnie Hoare quickly realised the potential of the Italian marque and, following Hawthorn’s tragic death, he approached Enzo Ferrari with a view to becoming Ferrari’s official UK concessionaire. A deal was struck and Maranello Concessionaires Ltd., named in honour of Ferrari’s Italian hometown, was formed in July 1960 and initially operated from a small corner of Hoare’s successful Bournemouth Ford dealership, F English Ltd.
In its first year, Maranello Concessionaires sold just four cars in the UK. Today, Ferrari sells more than 450 new cars in the UK every year, making this country one of Ferrari’s most important markets in the world. In 1987, the company founded by the Colonel was sold to TKM which, in 1991, was taken over by Inchcape.
For the story of the recent launch of Maranello Concessionaires' 2003 racing programme please CLICK HERE
Story/photos; Maranello Sales