Ferrari may not be the most valuable brand in the world - that distinction belongs to Apple - but it sure is the most powerful brand in the world.
That much was alluded to by a recent study conducted by British research firm Brand Finance who determined that the Prancing Horse holds the keys to the car as far as the being the most powerful brand in the world.
Sure, its brand value is only at $3.6 billion, a far cry from the brand values of Apple ($87.3 billion), Samsung ($58.8 billion), and Google ($52.1 billion). In terms of revenue, a key factor in determining brand value, there’s no way Ferrari has the legs to compete with these tech giants.
But according to Brand Finance, once you factor in other important financial metrics (net margins, average revenue per customer, marketing and advertising spend) with qualitative metrics (brand affection, loyalty, emotional attachment), then nobody can unseat Ferrari on the top of the list.
With Ferrari so used to getting compared to other automakers in the industry, being considered the most powerful brand relative to every company in the world is an achievement that’s pretty remarkable. Especially when you’re staring down a top five list that includes Coca-Cola, Google, PwC, and Hermes.
Understandably so, Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo was thrilled about the results of the study. "It is always a pleasure to top any list and still more so when the competition includes some of the world’s most famous companies," he said.
"This achievement proves that even in very tough economic times, Italy can still offer the world businesses of excellence. Behind this acknowledgement are exceptional products made by equally exceptional men and women. They made it possible and for that I thank them."
SRT president, Ralph Gilles, knows all too well that when they introduced the SRT Viper as a coupe model instead of a convertible, they bucked a tradition that started since the Viper itself was born.
But even if the fixed-top coupe came out first this time around, it doesn’t mean that they’re asleep at the wheel in building the convertible version. They’re just not in under any pressure to release it yet, despite Chevy’s recent proclamation that the convertible version of the Viper’s nemesis, the Corvette Stingray, will find its way into dealerships later this year.
Talking to Wards Auto, Gilles admitted that, at its core, the Viper is still designed to be a convertible. "Under the skin is a convertible chassis. It’s already there – the stiffness is there. It’s extremely easy should that come, but we’re not in any rush.”
Without giving any definite timetable, Gilles did say that his hopes are for the Viper Roadster to be released "within a few years".
Talk about a vague answer.
As far as any customer clamoring for the Viper Roadster’s release, Giles downplayed the pressure of succumbing to these requests, saying that enthusiasts of the model have no preference regarding the launch sequence between the coupe and convertible models. “I get a lot of comments from them, and a lot of them love the car either way,” Gilles remarked, before adding that customers usually buy both when each comes out.
Despite carrying a ridiculous price tag of $3.4 million, it looks like Arabian supercar builder, W Motors, will have no problems selling their 750-horsepower hypercar, the LykanHypersport.
Recently, the company announced that they had already received more than 100 orders for the LykanHypersport, a staggering number given the retail price it has. Then again, it might not be too far-fetched, considering the car’s main market is the Middle East, home to some of the richest people in the world who probably wouldn’t even notice the $3.4 million missing.
For all that money, you get a car that not only looks about as aggressive as the mythical wolf monsters attached to its name, but one that apparently had the design influence of the Magna Steyr design studio in Italy.
That probably explains why the supercar will be initially built in Italy before production continues in the Middle East sometime after.
And, did we mention the car produces 750 horsepower and 737 pound-feet of torque with a 0-to-60 mph time of 2.7 seconds with a top speed of 245 mph?
Oh boy, Fisker has been run through the ringer in the past year, or so, but Henrik Fisker remains optimistic that everything’s going to be all right. During the Chicago Auto Show, Mr. Fisker was heard saying that he anticipates the Karma’s production to restart “fairly soon” after its recent halt.
To recap the recent struggles: Fisker first had tons of cars destroyed by Hurricane Sandy; their insurance company denied the claim for said damaged vehicles; A123 – their battery supplier – went belly up; and the aforementioned temporary cessation of the Karma’s production. We’re not even going to get into the fire issues that marred the company’s image for a period of time.
With the approval of the sale of A123 to Wanxiang Group – a Chinese firm – one step in the restart process for the Karma is nearly complete. Fisker is still relying on an outside consultant to straighten out its business practices to save it a little cash and for an investor or strategic partner to bring in a little extra operating capital.
We are thoroughly convinced that the Karma is a quality luxury sedan, despite its earlier issues, so we are hoping that its production will restart without a hitch and that it will ultimately succeed. We’ll continue following the Karma saga and update you as more details emerge.
Ultra-luxury brands beware, another one of your comrades is falling down the shame spiral and building a - gasp - SUV!
Sure that’s a little dramatic, but so are all of the people that are scoffing at the fact that Bentley has now confirmed a new SUV scheduled to hit their lineup sometime in 2015. If everyone remembers correctly, these are the same people that were horrified that Porsche decided to build the Cayenne and look how well that turned out for them.
Now, with a 37-percent increase in sales in 2011 (to 7,003 vehicles sold), Bentley is looking to double this number by the time this new SUV comes out by making it "the world’s most luxurious 4x4" SUV and targeting growing SUV markets like the U.S. and China. The "luxurious" title will also match the price; rumors point to the starting price for this future SUV coming in at $271,000, making the $48,200 starting price of the Porsche Cayenne look like it belongs on a Kia Sportage.
So, what constitutes the jumbo price tag? Other than the supposedly tremendous amount of luxury built into the future SUV, rumors are swirling that a V-8 twin-turbocharged engine would be the standard powerplant and a W-12 engine is a possible option.
Bentley is taking a big step with its improving sales by giving an SUV a chance to flourish. Does the world need a strong competitor for the Porsche Cayenne? Probably not, but that doesn’t mean that high-end customers with deep pockets won’t be writing out checks for a chance to wallow in the luxurious nature promised by Bentley.
UPDATE 02/03/2013: Volkswagen Group has finally given the green light to the EXP 9 F super-luxury SUV unveiled at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. The production version is internally known as the "Falcon" and is expected to be unveiled in the upcoming three years. The good news is that reports are pointing toward that the production version likely dropping the controversial design of the EXP 9F concept and will adopt a more conventional Bentley look. When put on sale in will be priced at about 200,000 euro - about $271,000 at the current exchange rates. Additionally, Bentley plans to sell about 5,000 units of its new SUV per year. (Automotive News)
If at some point in the year you decide to finally take the jump and buy a Lamborghini Aventador Roadster, we’d be the first ones to offer you congratulations.
That is until after we remind you that, according to Lamborghini, the entire inventory of Aventador Roadsters until the middle of next year has already been sold out.
Yep. If you want one, you’re going to have to wait a really long time to get it. This news isn’t all that surprising, considering the Aventador, for one, is really awesome and for another thing, is really, really awesome.
It certainly looks like Lamborghini has another hot ticket on their hands, making them two for two with the Aventador. If you really insist on getting yours in advance, then the you must pay an enormous amount in advance or comply to paying special taxes.
Either way, it’ll most likely cost you more than the supercar’s $440,000 sticker price. But, if you have the money for it, what’s stopping you?
Joe Flacco won a whole lot more than just a Super Bowl championship after leading the Baltimore Ravens to their second title in team history. Sure, he threw for 287 yards with three touchdowns and also won himself the game’s MVP award.
You could make a case that Ravens receivers Anquan Boldin and Jacoby Jones also deserved the MVP award, but we have no problem with Flacco winning it. The man proved up to the task and showed that he belongs in the elite class of quarterbacks in the NFL.
Seeing as how somebody can apparently win a 2014 Corvette Stingray by playing football and leading his team to the Super Bowl title, then we would’ve signed up to play football a long time ago.
Ok, maybe not.
In any case, congratulations to Joe Flacco and the Baltimore Ravens for winning Super Bowl XLVII. Certainly well deserved!
Rumors of a high-performance sports coupe from Lexus could heat up after it was reported that the Japanese automaker has filed a trademark for the name "RC F" in the U.S. and Europe.
The "RC 350" name was actually trademarked back in November with the Australian Patent Office, setting off speculation that this new RC model could be car that’ll be based on the LF-CC Concept. Now that Lexus has followed that up with the trademark of "RC F," you can clearly see a pattern slowly developing akin to what the company already has with the IS and IS F models.
No confirmation has been made, but in the interest of full disclosure, Lexus’ "RC F" was filed under the United States Patent & Trademark Office #85770072 and the European Union #011314226.
We’ll be sure to update you on any new updates regarding this story. At the very least, it’s getting us really excited to see what Lexus has in store for all of us.
The 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray has become a fixture in our fantasies in the short time that it’s been alive. As it turns out, we might need to reserve a little bit of space for the convertible version of the Corvette Stingray because it’s debut is going to take place sooner than later.
Autoweek is reporting that the 2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible will make its world debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. In case you didn’t know, the Geneva Motor Show opens to the press on March 5th and 6th, then to the general public from the 7th to the 17th. That puts us less than two months from the debut of the new drop-top Stingray.
In addition to news about its expected debut, sources also told Autoweek that the Corvette Stingray will be badged as a 2014 model and will find its way into dealerships near the end of the year.
It goes without saying that Infiniti isn’t exactly what you’d call a mainstream brand. It’s lost in the shadows of parent automaker, Nissan, and hasn’t really established the kind of independent presence that Nissan had hoped.
So, it was pretty telling when Nissan Executive Vice President, Andy Palmer, told Wards Auto that Carlos Ghosn – CEO of Nissan – gave him the green light to cancel the brand altogether. However, instead of sending Infiniti to pasture, Palmer decided to not only keep the brand but also champion for more autonomy from Nissan.
Palmer cited the kind of relationship Audi has with its parent company, Volkswagen. Despite being owned by a largely mainstream, middle-market automaker, Audi has crafted its own premium identity that’s separate from the VW brand. This independence has allowed Audi to "create a series of professionals that understand the premium market in a very premium way.”
Nissan eventually hired former Audi USA chief, Johan de Nysschen, as Infiniti president and lead the efforts in bringing some structure to the luxury brand. Since assuming the position, de Nysschen has made it clear that one of his first edicts as president is to become a brand that’s "less about volume and more about becoming a ’proper’ luxury brand.”
Does Infiniti have to do the same thing Lexus did with Toyota to create autonomy from Nissan? Not necessarily, but in order for them to achieve that objective, they need to build their models separate from Nissan’s influence.
They’ll still share some platforms and underpinnings, like the Toyota/Lexus and VW/Audi teams, but if you’re a customer you need Infiniti to offer features — styling or mechanical — that separates itself from its parent company. Without those changes, they’ll always be treated as retouched Nissans with a different badge.