Where Maserati cars come to life

Places and stories that created a myth

Places become legendary according to the stories written by the people who inhabit them.

Maserati’s history involves more than its glorious sporting achievements and the launch of great racing and road cars. In fact, the cities where Maserati left its mark and the plants where the Trident builds its works of art are equally part of its world-renowned history and contribute to this day to enhancing the value of the Trident worldwide.


The beginning of a legend
In 1913, Alfieri returned to Italy after a long sales trip to Latin America. He moved to Bologna where he started a technical service centre for Isotta Fraschini, a glorious luxury car manufacturer. Soon he started to dream of establishing a new company run by himself and his brothers. Bindo decided to stick with Isotta Fraschini in Milan, but Ettore and Ernesto enthusiastically followed Alfieri into the new venture. 1914 was not a propitious time for any sort of business initiative, except perhaps for arms and munitions factories. Nevertheless, Alfieri, Ettore and Ernesto didn’t get scared and on 1st December the “Società Anonima Officine Alfieri Maserati” (“Alfieri Maserati Workshop Joint Stock Company”) was born in Via de’ Pepoli 1, Bologna. On 14 December, the company was registered with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce and Industry, described as a “mechanical workshop for the repair of cars and garage”. The brothers employed five mechanics.
Five months later, Italy was dragged into the abyss of First World War. Surprisingly enough, not only the three brothers came back without a scratch, but the conflict also made them more experienced in their field. Alfieri was assigned to the Nagliati factory in Milano, where he was in charge of designing special spark plugs for the engines of the air force. Ettore was employed at Franco Tosi in Legnano where he installed Isotta Fraschini engines on the Italian air force’s Caproni planes. When they came back, their garage and workshop in Bologna had been closed a couple of years. But they wanted to make up for lost time and their workshop at Via de’Pepoli workshop started to feel too small. They found the perfect location on the other side of Bologna at 179 Via Emilia Levante in the Pontevecchio area: it was a former demijohn bulk wine container factory. Part of the factory could be easily converted to a warehouse, and there was enough space at the back for a workshop. The top floor was converted into offices and private accommodation where they could live with their parents. A sign above the three large windows looking out onto Via Levante officially read “Officine Alfieri Maserati SA”.


A place that would make history
The Maserati brothers were respected and highly regarded professionals and during the 30s motor racing was as popular as cycling and football. Corrado Filippini, a legendary Littoriale correspondent, Bolognese and sportsman, knew that the company was having a hard time financially speaking and he had an idea to help them. In Modena, about 40 kilometres from Bologna, there was an industrialist he knew who had risen from nothing and by the mid-30s, Orsi had become the city’s leading industrialist: his name was Adolfo Orsi, and he was just the man for the Trident company needed. The industrialist and the Maserati brothers agreed to meet at the 1936 Grand Prix of Modena. Orsi and the Maseratis liked each other immediately as they shared a great number of values: honesty, sincerity, transparency and they were all hard workers. On 1 May 1937, Adolfo Orsi became the owner of two companies: Officine Alfieri Maserati, which built racing cars, and Fabbrica Candele Maserati, which produced spark plugs. On the other side, the three brothers could concentrate solely on that which they knew best, the engineering side of the business: designing and building cars.
In September 1939, the Maserati business moved from Bologna to Modena, in Viale Ciro Menotti 322: one of the most relevant steps in its history. The Second World War interrupted the sporting history of the “re-established” Maserati during one of their finest moments. The very same workshops that were used to build sophisticated racing cars, were now converted to the production of machine tools, electrical components, spark plugs and even electric vehicles. Spark plugs and three-wheel vans were fine for their survival, but when peace returned people would want cars again. Their thoughts didn’t stop at racing cars: they were starting to consider road cars as well. So, two months before the Maserati brothers left Modena for good, they witnessed an unprecedented event in their company: the first Maserati road car for daily use and not designed for racing. It was the A6 1500 “Berlinetta”, designed by Pininfarina and launched at the Geneva Motor Show in March 1947. Still today Maserati’s world-wide reach emanates from its historic headquarters in Modena.


High-tech and hands-on
Another breakthrough year in the modern history of Maserati was 2013. Mr. Sergio Marchionne, Fiat’s Group Managing Director, more than anyone else believed that a full relaunch of Maserati was possible and coherently sketched out the Trident’s new horizons with the objective of 50.000 units a year. New products would renew the current range and open the door to new market segments: the first one was a top-of-the-range segment E saloon, the second was the first SUV in Maserati’s history. In line with this project, Marchionne decided to reopen the ex-Bertone factory at Grugliasco, just outside of Turin: a covered production area of 103.000 square metres. The new flagship Quattroporte, sixth generation, was the first car to have been built in the new plant. It was destined to replace a model that not only had set a trend but had also become a cornerstone of recent Maserati history with 25.200 sold cars and no fewer than 57 international awards. But the Officine Maserati Grugliasco also began the production of the Ghibli: a car built to the latest industry-leading quality standards and meant to leave a mark in the highly competitive E-segment.


A historic location in Turin
The last stop of our journey through the Maserati’s most iconic locations is the very city of Turin. The historical and world-renowned Mirafiori plant was the perfect place for another crucial step in the Maserati’s history: the production of the first-ever SUV of the trident family, the Levante. In Mirafiori plant, cutting-edge automotive technology is used throughout the production process of every single car and even the smallest detail is meticulously checked for outstanding quality. But, in addition to this, skilled technicians oversee each station, keeping the assembly very much a handcrafted affair. By applying proven practices developed through the company’s World Class Manufacturing (WCM) system, the plant has a strong culture dedicated to producing the highest quality vehicles. Each car is made to order and, with millions of combinations of mechanical and trim specifications possible, a document is signed at each station to ensure that the car is built to the customer’s exact individual requirements.
Maserati is now a global brand operating in over 70 markets. Unlike any other manufacturer, Maserati has succeeded in instilling within its cars both heritage and innovation, past and future, memory and vision. Its heart may be rooted in its Italian heritage, but its eyes are firmly focused on the future.
Outstanding quality and meticulous control of even the smallest details, combining state-of-the-art technology and production processes (including latest-generation robots) with traditional Maserati craftsmanship. A long and rigorous programme of reliability tests was included in the testing programme during the model’s development, and every car undergoes the most stringent checks during production:

- More than 6,000,000 kilometres of testing
- Every single component was tested for endurance, quality and noise
- Final 30-minute quality audit and 40 km of on-road testing before delivery to the customer

At Grugliasco, passion and production go hand-in-hand, maintaining the proud traditions of a globally celebrated brand.

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