For the first time since it was purchased by the Fiat Group back in 1990, Maserati has recorded a profit. In the second quarter of this year, the Italian exotic automaker earned a €1 million trading profit, though that doesn't count special one-off items that could increase or decrease that amount. Just for reference, in Q2 2006, the brand lost €7 million.

We're actually surprised that Maserati made money without the help of the upcoming GranTurismo touring coupe, which will most certainly help the company end up for the year as a whole after we predict it starts selling like hot cakes by the end of this month. Instead, it seems the Maserati Quattroporte Automatic had the biggest impact on the brand's bottom line, helping to improve sales nearly 40% so far this year.

With the Quattroporte Automatic appealing to a wider audience, the sexy GranTurismo on deck and a cabriolet version that's certainly in the works, Maserati's future is looking much brighter than its 17-year track record of losses would suggest.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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