Marchionne Plans To Increase Ferrari Production
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne isn’t set to take the chairman of Ferrari role from Luca di Montezemolo until next month, but he’s already planning to do something his predecessor was opposed to throughout his tenure. Speaking at an event late last week, Marchionne divulged his plans of increasing production of Ferrari vehicles, including the LaFerrari, to meet with customer demand.
That issue was one of the reported reasons behind the disagreements Marchionne had with di Montezemolo, culminating in the latter’s decision to step down as Ferrari chairman after 23 years of holding that post. Di Montezemolo wanted to keep the Italian automaker’s production volume limited to 7,000 vehicles a year to protect its exclusivity, even at the expense of losing buyers willing to spend top dollar for these models.
But Marchionne is holding firm on his stance and is now planning to increase production of Ferrari models, including the $1.3 million LaFerrari that was initially limited to just 499 units.
“If that class increases, we should be able to follow them,” he said during the event. “The waiting list will become too long, and people get tired.”
He didn’t give a definite number on how many vehicles he wants Ferrari to produce every year, but he did say that there’s a potential for close to 10,000 models annually.
Only time will tell if his strategy works or whether it puts a taint on the Italian automaker’s ‘exclusive’ legacy.
Click past the jump to read more about Marchionne’s plans for Ferrari.
Why It Matters
While I do think Marchionne makes some sense from a business standpoint, there’s no denying that di Montezemolo was doing something right with his approach. After all, Ferrari’s sales numbers in the first half of 2014 have never been higher, and that’s taking into account the ’limited’ number of models it produces.
But at the end of the day, the industry is still a business, and Marchionne’s role as the CEO of Fiat means that he has to think business first and sentiments second. But hey, there will be more Ferrari LaFerrari models to go around! That’s a great thing, right?
This departure was a bit of a shocker, that much we can all agree on. I liked the way Luca di Montezemolo ran things with Ferrari so when he announced that he was stepping down, I was floored.
But like I said, this is all about business. Di Montezemolo and Marchionne butted heads on a number of issues that ultimately made co-existing in a working environment impossible for both guys. One had to go. It just so happened that Marchionne’s office is a few floors higher than di Montezomolo’s. Figuratively speaking, of course.
So now that Marchionne’s taking over as chairman of Ferrari, he’s going to have to prove to everybody else that his position regarding Ferrari’s production volume will be beneficial for the company now and moving forward.
The auto world awaits, Sergio Marchionne.