Maserati Smashing in China: A Trend or Publicity Stunt?

(Photo: REUTERS/Stringer)

Wealthy Chinese car consumers have a strange way of filing consumer complaints.

According to Chinese press reports, a wealthy Chinese businessman hired a crew to smash his Maserati Quattroporte with sledgehammers to protest poor customer service. The highly public supercar execution took place at the Qingdao Auto Show.

One of the four men who smashed the car said the owner was protesting "poor sales service" at the Maserati dealership in Qingdao where the car was purchased. A YouTube video of the crew taking sledgehammers to the windows and hood is now becoming viral.

The incident was eerily similar to the smashing of a Lamborghini in 2011 at the same auto show. Which brings up the obvious question: is this a trend, or recurring publicity stunt?

Maserati, which is owned by Fiat, called the incident a "publicity stunt" and said it had been working with the customer to resolve his complaints.

"We are aware of a complaint made by a customer against a dealership in Qingdao," Maserati said in a statement. "The matter was being investigated through our usual customer complaint channels and the dealer there was discussing any grievances with the customer in question. It is disappointing to learn that the individual chose to halt those discussions in such an abrupt fashion today. We will work with the authorities to investigate if any offenses have been committed by the customer."

That's all Maserati would say. But, as I reported in 2011, Lamborghini stated that it had solved the owner's problem and that the owner smashed the car "for reasons that are unknown to us and that are independent from his relationships with Lamborghini."At the time, people familiar with the situation said a competing dealer and importer may have been involved in the incident. In China's rough-and-tumble car market, perhaps car smashing is simply another form of business competition.

What's more, a close look at the Maserati video shows that the sledgehammer crew mainly damaged the glass and hood, which are both relatively easy to repair.

Either way, the video is enough to make any supercar owner cringe.

Follow Yahoo! Autos

More Articles

  • Autonomous-drive cars further off than most expect

    Despite near constant chatter about self-driving vehicles revolutionizing how the world gets around, a new report says the transformation will take longer than many have predicted.

  • Spania seems to think the GTA Spano is the most important, most highly anticipated vehicle on display at the Geneva Motor Show. That's clearly not the case, but it's pretty cool, regardless. See for yourself.With so many off-the-charts debuts competing for our attention at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, you may think …

  • Ruf RGT 4.2 offers 518 hp of naturally aspirated power

    Ruf brings its own take on naturally aspirated Porsche power to the Geneva Motor Show. Its RGT 4.2 boasts a 4.2-liter flat-six pumping out 518 hp and 369 lb-ft of muscle.Ruf has a reputation for building some fast interpretations of the Porsche 911, and the company's latest RGT 4.2 at the Geneva Motor Show provides …

  • Techart Porsche 911 Targa 4S is a tuner's attempt at being tasteful

    Ignore the violent shade of yellow, and it's easy to see that Techart has managed to modify a car without ruining its aesthetics.We've not been terribly nice to the aftermarket tuners of the 2015 Geneva Motor Show. That's largely because they don't deserve our kindness. Techart, though, is not going to be …

  • Mercedes-Benz V-ision e Concept ups the plug-in hybrid van game

    Mercedes-Benz introduces the V-ision e Concept PHEV in Geneva. Yes, there's a dash in the name.The various V-Class vehicles from Mercedes-Benz don't get a lot of press around here, but when the German automaker brings something as unusual as the Concept V‑ision E (yes, there's a dash in the name) to the Geneva …