Maserati was founded in Bologna in 1914 by the four brothers Alfieri, Ettore, Ernesto and Bindo Maserati. The brand has belonged to Fiat since 1993. Originally Maserati built successful racing cars for all kinds of classes, nowadays sporty, luxurious top class cars.
In 1937 the Maserati brothers left the company, but the brand remained successful in racing until it retired from racing in 1957 to focus on road sports cars. In 1968 Citroën bought Maserati and the first and most visible result was the Citroën SM. In the 1973 oil crisis, Citroën got into financial trouble and threatened to liquidate the Maserati. The Italian government intervened and Maserati fell into the hands of GEPI – an Italian state-owned company – and Alejandro de Tomaso – a former racing driver and small-scale car manufacturer. In 1989 De Tomaso bought the remaining shares of the state-owned company and that same year Fiat acquired almost half of the shares of Maserati. In 1993 Fiat took full ownership of Maserati.
Fiat invested heavily in Maserati and gave the brand a new future. From 1997 to 1999, Fiat placed Maserati with its closest competitor: Ferrari, which also belonged to the Fiat group. In 2005 Fiat separated Maserati from Ferrari again and transferred it to Alfa Romeo. Maserati has since returned to the sports car market.
The Maserati logo is based on the trident in the fountain of Neptune in Bologna. Since Neptunus stands for strength and for the city of Bologna, the Maserati brothers found that appropriate for a sports car manufacturer.