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News: Ferrari may increase production; turbocharged 458M for Paris show

Take that, di Montezemolo…


sergio-marchionne

THE WAITING time for your new Ferrari could be about to get shorter after the new boss of the car maker said he is considering increasing production.

Sergio Marchionne is replacing outgoing chairman Luca di Montezemolo at the helm of the car maker next month. At an event in Italy last week, he suggested he might increase the production of new cars in the face of rising numbers of ultra-wealthy people able to afford them.

“If that class increases, we should be able to follow them,” he said. “The waiting list will become too long and people get tired.”


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His remarks suggest he will reverse the decision of his predecessor who last year, scaled back production by around 5% precisely because too many people could afford a Ferrari.

In a statement released at the time explaining his decision, di Montezemolo said: “After 2013, its best ever year, [Ferrari] decided to reduce the number of cars sold to maintain a high level of exclusivity, increasing their value over time.”

Di Montezemolo’s strategy limited Ferrari production to 7,000 cars a year but last week, days after his predecessor’s departure was announced, Marchionne suggested those numbers could eventually increase to 10,000.

However, assuming numbers do rise, it is unlikely there will be UK showrooms filled with unsold Ferraris. Rather than supplying already successful markets such as the UK, which is Europe’s biggest, the car maker is likely to focus on developing and supplying markets it has yet to enter, such as India. At present it is active in only 61 countries worldwide, so there is considerable room for growth.

Meanwhile, at next month’s Paris show, Ferrari will unveil a turbocharged version of the 458, likely to be badged the 458M. It is expected to use an uprated version of the 3.8-litre V8 from the California T, producing 662bhp; around 100bhp more than the 4.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 in the 458.

At the same time, it will be celebrating 60 years in the US with 10 special one-off models rumoured to be based on the F12 Berlinetta, each costing around $3.2m (£2m). In what promises to reinforce Marchionne’s view of the world’s growing wealthy elite, all 10 are sold.

 

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