Maserati is an Italian luxury car producer that was founded in December 1914. Their company mission is to build ultra-luxury cars with exceptional performance along with a timeless Italian style, effortless sounding power, and accommodating bespoke. Maserati cars are known for their luxury, performance, and style. Throughout the years, they have been producing iconic cars that changed the world. That’s why in this article, we are going to learn more about this luxury car brand.
History of Maserati
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the Maserati brothers, namely Alfieri, Ettore, Bindo, Ernesto, and Carlo, were all involved with automobiles. Bindo, Alfieri, and Ernesto used to build 2-liter Grand Prix cars for Diatto. But in 1926, Diatto suspended their production of race cars. That’s why the Maserati brothers decided to create their own vehicles and founded the Maserati marque. One of the first cars that Maserati produced, which was driven by Alfieri, won the Targa Florio in 1926. Since then, the Maserati brothers became serious in manufacturing their own race cars with 4,6,8, and 16 cylinders.
The iconic trident logo of the Maserati car company was designed by another Maserati brother, Mario Maserati. It was based on the Fountain of Neptune that can be found in Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore. They used this logo because it was suggested by a family friend because he said that it would be entirely appropriate for the company since Neptune represents vigor and strength, plus it was the symbol of their company’s original home city. In 1932, Alfieri Maserati died. Still, his three brothers, Ettore, Bindo, and Ernesto, continued in making cars that won Grand Prix races.
However, in 1937, the three remaining Maserati brothers decided to sell their shares in the company to the Adolfo Orsi family, who later relocated their headquarters to their hometown of Modena. The Maserati brothers still continued to be car engineers to the company. The company continued to win several racing competitions even if they are against German racing giants such as Mercedes and Auto Union. In 1939 and 1940, Maserati was able to achieve back to back wins in the Indianapolis 500, which made them the only Italian car manufacturer to do so.
When the second world war came, Maserati halts their car making to be able to produce for the Italian war effort. They worked hard in designing a V16 town car for Benito Mussolini, but it failed, and all their plans were scrapped. Once the war was over, Maserati began making cars again, and the A16 series did well in the market.
After the Guidizzolo tragedy that happened in 1957, Maserati decided to withdraw from factory racing participation. However, they still continued to build cars for privateers. Since then, the company became more focused on creating road-going grand tourers.
In 1968, Maserati was taken over by another French automobile manufacturer named Citroen. Still, AldolfoOrsi remained to be the nominal president of the company even if the company was controlled by its new owner. Their partnership started to be a joint venture wherein Maserati would design and produce an engine for Citroen’s would-be flagship car called SM. Having secured financial backing, Maserati built and released a higher number of vehicles throughout the years. Citroen used Maserati’s expertise for the engines of SM and their other cars, and Maserati, on the other hand, used Citroen’s technology specifically in hydraulics.
The 1973 oil crisis deeply affected Maserati’s ambitious expansion. This is because the demand for fuel-hungry sports cars and tourers decreased drastically. In fact, all Italian GT car manufacturers were deeply affected by this crisis to the point that they had to lay off workers to empty lots for all their unsold cars. But Maserati received the hardest blow, and the only car that continued to sell during this time was the small-displacement Merak. Things took a turn for the worse as Citroen went bankrupt. In May 1975, they announced that Maserati had been put into liquidation.
In August 1975, an agreement between Citroen, Italian state-owned holding company GEPI, and Alejandro de Tomaso happened. Tomaso became Maserati’s new president and CEO. In 1989, De Tomaso bought the remaining GEPI quota.
In May 1993, after 17 years since he rescued Maserati from liquidation, Alejandro De Tomaso decided to sell his 51% stake in Maserati to another car manufacturer giant, Fiat, who became the sole owner of Maserati. By this time, substantial investments were made, and the company has undergone some kind of renaissance.
In 1997, Fiat sold 50 percent of its share in Maserati to Ferrari. Two years later, Ferrari took full control of Maserati and made it their luxury division. This is why Ferrari is often credited to be the one who brought Maserati back into business after several lackluster years on being on the brink of bankruptcy.
In 2005, the Maserati and Alfa Romeo group, under the Fiat group, when Maserati was split off from Ferrari and was partnered with Alfa Romeo. Fiat announced that Maserati would be their luxury brand, which later became Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2014.