Chicago Auto Show: Maserati officially launches Trident Discoveries CPO program

Maserati is going after the premium BMW, Jag and Porsche shopper by announcing today it will be offering certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles. Combined with a new in-house finance service and the addition of an automatic transmission to the Quattroporte, the Trident Discoveries CPO program should help Maserati expand its customer base.

"We don't want to be an exception," said company spokesman Jeff Ehoodin at a press conference during the Chicago Auto Show. "We are not an exotic."

CPO programs have been a major marketing platform for other luxury brands, especially those trying to lure first-time owners. Last year, BMW sold just over 80,000 CPO vehicles while Mercedes-Benz and Lexus were around the 46,000 mark. Porsche and Land Rover were on the low end with 2006 sales of about 6,000 units each.

Maserati obviously doesn't have a product line that cross-shops with a C-class or 3-series and isn't expecting CPO numbers that high. However, the automaker does want to seduce a potential 7-Series or S-Class AMG buyer to consider a used but fully serviced and inspected Maserati.

"One hundred percent of our sales are conquests," said Ehoodin. "We want to present every opportunity for ourselves."

Qualifying Maseratis sold under the Trident Discoveries program are no more than five years old and have not logged more than 90,000 miles. The vehicle undergoes a 120-point inspection and is guaranteed not to have been in a serious accident. Roadside assistance and extended warranty plans are also available.

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