The End of an Italian Era for Ferrari

November 19th, 2014

Ferrari has cultivated a brand for itself where the mere mention of the name has become a symbol for superior quality, sophisticated luxury, and, to be frank, sexy design. Part of the allure of Ferrari lies in its exclusivity, which stems only partially from the hefty price tags associated with the brand. Access to Ferrari autos is also severely limited by the company’s internal sales policies that restrict the number of cars the company sells per year. This not-so-subtle manipulation of supply and demand further propels Ferrari’s brand-myth as THE sought-after luxury car on the market. But all of that is about to change…

Ok, maybe not ALL of that will change: the sky-scraping price point and exclusive access to specialty models like the Enzo will undoubtedly endure. However, under the new leadership of Sergio Marchionne, Ferrari is set to boost production to accommodate an augmented sales volume of 10,000 units per annum.

The new sales goals (3,000 greater than the previous 7,000 unit cap) embody part of Ferrari’s strategy under Fiat to accommodate the growing number of “ultra-rich” consumers around the world. So if you could afford a Ferrari before, but struggled with a line of others before you (taking first-world problems to an entirely new level here), the newer, soon-to-be-reduced wait-list should bring you sweet relief.

But not everyone is happy about Ferrari’s slightly more accessible business direction. The long-standing director of Ferrari, Luca di Montezemolo, has lamented that the changes represent “the end of an era” for Ferrari. His comments, however, are less a reflection of the increased production, and more a response to the fact that the direction of Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles has implied the Americanization of a proud Italian corporation.

The comments of Montezemolo likely represent a minority-opinion, at least outside of Italy. After all, more Ferraris on the market mean dissolving waitlists for interested consumers and an undeniable increase in profits for the brand itself. Having cultivated an unprecedented level of exclusivity throughout much of its existence, Ferrari has been able to generate sustained hype for its products. With production opening up to reach more of its expanding target market, Ferrari apparently understands that, because its product has become a symbol that transcends far beyond its industry, the increased accessibility will likely not diminish the brand’s image. The changes mean getting a Ferrari has never been easier… assuming you have the paycheck to foot the bill.

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