Ferrari Still Hesitant On Bringing Dino Name Back
There will be a reckoning for Ferrari’s future at some pointby Kirby Garlitos, on
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised why Ferrari lost the “Testarossa” name after all. In somewhat similar circumstances, the Italian automaker has another nameplate that it hasn’t used for quite some time, and the internal debate on possibly bringing said name back shows that not everyone in Ferrari is keen on using past names, no matter how popular or nostalgic they may be. I am, of course, referring to the “Dino,” which has been in numerous rumors in recent years for one reason or another, including the thought of bringing the name back for an entry-level model that will slot below the California T.
It’s worth noting though that rumors about a Dino revival have been going on for the better part of the last decade. These aren’t new whispers we’re hearing because the return of the Dino nameplate has been bubbling in the surface of rumor mills since 2008 when it was believed that the model would make its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, and then later at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Nothing came out of it, and subsequent rumors in 2012 and 2015 amounted to nada either. Fast forward to 2017 and there’s still a lot of debate about what to do with the name. Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t too keen on the idea of seeing a “new” Dino because he believes it might have a negative impact on the brand’s image. His sentiments are reportedly echoed by some within Maranello, but there are also others who are in favor of dusting off the name because of its nostalgic ties to Ferrari. Either way, a decision is expected to come when Ferrari lays out its next five-year plan, which could take place in the first quarter of 2018.
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Arguments on both sides are legit
It’s hard enough for any automaker to justify the need for adding one more model to its lineup, but it’s especially hard for a company like Ferrari, which has taken great pride in its image of exclusivity. This status sits at the heart of the debate surrounding the fate of a revived Ferrari Dino, and if you look at the arguments presented by those who are in favor of bringing the Dino and those who are not, it’s going to be very hard to pick sides.
More Ferrari models will put the company in a position where the brand’s image could be watered down by having one too many existing models in its lineup.
For instance, I understand why Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne is hesitant on bringing the nameplate for all the reasons that he’s said in the past. More Ferrari models will put the company in a position where the brand’s image could be watered down by having one too many existing models in its lineup. It’s not a guarantee that this will happen, but the fear that it might is a strong one that we’re seeing some resistance on seeing a model that would otherwise fit in quite nicely in Ferrari these days. This fear is also one of the biggest issues why Ferrari has yet to commit to building an SUV, even if the segment has proven to be a veritable cash cow that has compelled rival automakers like Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce to join in.
On the other hand, it is interesting to see how Marchionne and other Ferrari purists still believe that there’s some fragility to Ferrari’s name. You would think that of all people, Marchionne would be front and center in the pursuit of taking Ferrari to places it has never gone to before knowing full well that the company’s proud history and status gives it a strong foundation to become bigger than it already is today. Reviving the Ferrari Dino is a good way to do that, as does an SUV for that matter. If Ferrari is as committed to its bottom line like we think it is, “expansion” should be something that it should be strongly considering, regardless if its image takes a hit or not.
But this is Ferrari so it has to delicately balance image with business. It’s not an enviable position to be in, though it is something that Maranello has carefully curated all these years, much to its benefit.
However this plays out, this discussion isn’t really so much about the Dino, a Ferrari SUV, or even the Testarossa. It’s about what Ferrari is willing to do moving forward to advance its brand. It’s especially important now because everybody else is pushing for expansion and business at the potential cost of losing some luster to its image. It’s time to see which side of the fence the Prancing Horse wants to be in.
Read our speculative review on the 2018 Ferrari Dino.
Read our full review on the 1967 - 1980 Ferrari Dino.
Read our full review on the 1984 - 1991 Ferrari Testarossa.
Read our speculative review on the 2020 Ferrari SUV.
Source: Automotive News