A Maserati parked outside a car show in Qingdao was smashed in public on Tuesday by a group of sledgehammer-wielding men - hired by the luxury vehicle's owner.
The men said the angry owner had asked them to destroy the 2.6-million-yuan (HK$3.3 million) sport-sedan in protest against “poor sales service” he received from a Qingdao dealership, where he bought the Maserati.
According to the Xinhua news agency, the owner had been charged for a new part, even though an old one had been used during car repairs. He said he had addressed the dealership over a number of quality and maintenance problems and was dissatisfied with their service.
The black four-door Quattroporte was seen parked outside the Qingdao Exhibition Centre on Tuesday morning, where the 12th Qingdao International Auto Show was being held in coastal China's Shandong province. Photos taken by bystanders showed the car's windows smashed in and its bonnet and boot dented.
The Maserati’s owner had apparently opened a special account on Sina Weibo, China’s main microblogging service, to report live updates on the high-profile incident, Beijing-based automobile industry news website Car News China reported on Tuesday.
A photo of the alleged car owner, seen dressed in a black top and holding a smartphone, was posted onto the news website. Car News China said the owner, surnamed Wang, had been in a longstanding feud with the dealership spanning more than two years.
Wang had apparently contacted journalists before the wrecking and had been inspired by a 2011 incident in the same city, where an irate car owner hired workers to smash his three million yuan, defect-ridden Lamborghini Gallardo (see video). The owner scheduled the stunt to take place on World Consumer Rights day.
The Maserati dealership, Qingdao Oury Automobile Sales & Service, could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. The Furi Group, which owns the dealership, have yet to make a statement on the incident.