The 90th Anniversary celebration meant for Maserati reaching an important milestone and jumping into the new cycle of the Company. Reflecting on the year that just ended, Maserati’s Chief Executive Officer Martin Leach said "2004 was an outstanding year for Maserati, celebrating our 90th Anniversary, growing our presence worldwide, setting new sales and production records, achieving our best quality and customer satisfaction, launching four superb new products and returning to our winning ways in international motorsport".
In spite of the significant growth, Maserati continues to be one of the world’s most exclusive marques combining unique Italian design with luxury and a sporting spirit. Maserati’s presence at the Detroit Motorshow features a revamped model range, after having celebrated in 2004 two very important events: its 90th Birthday and its winning return to racing with the MC12.
Looking forward to 2005 Martin Leach added "We look forward to reinforcing our exclusive relationship with our clients with our road and competition cars together with introducing more customers to the fascinating world of Maserati. As a result, 2005 should be a further year of growth as we capitalise on the network strengthening and great products launched in 2004".
The 90th Anniversary Celebration officially commemorates the company foundation on December 1st, 1914 in Bologna, initially called Officina Alfieri Maserati. That day, Maserati started its path towards the history of automotive industry and innovation. Maserati was the first car manufacturer to use magnesium alloys for its cylinder heads (1929), the first to use an hydraulic brake system for its race cars (1933) and among the first to fit air conditioning as standard on an executive saloon, with the Quattroporte in 1963. Today the Quattroporte is the only luxury saloon featuring a Transaxle layout (engine at the front, gearbox at the rear in unit with the differential), thus guaranteeing perfect weight balance between the front and rear axles. Maserati’s 90th Anniversary was celebrated with an international event, last September in Milan, Modena and Rome, involving over 1000 Maserati enthusiasts, with a parade of 300 cars, both classic and modern, 90 of which were decorated with images from the last 90 years of history.
With regards to its racing activities, Maserati sealed its triumphant return to motor racing with a fantastic one-two finish in Zhuhai, China, the last round of the FIA GT Championship. The two MC12s - numbers 33 and 34 - fielded by the AF Corse teams in the last four races of the season clocked up two wins, three seconds and one third between them, with Bertolini-Salo (who won two of the races) and Herbert-De Simone in their cockpits.
But Maserati’s commitment to racing goes well beyond the FIA GT Championship, as Maserati of Washington and Maserati of Houston took part in the Grand-Am (USA) series, while some private teams obtained good results in the Italian and Spanish GT Championships, with the Trofeo Light cars. The Trident marque also organized the second edition of the Trofeo Vodafone Maserati Europe in 2004 as well as the first season of the Trofeo Brazil, the latter in collaboration with the local importer. The Trofeo’s "all-inclusive" formula proved enormously popular with the gentlemen drivers. Given its success in Europe and Brazil, an American Series of the Trofeo Championship is under consideration.
Next year’s Championship will feature the Trofeo GranSport, which is derived from the road-going GranSport.Published 15 January 2005