‘With intentionally low production, Ferrari needn’t try hard’

Mike Rutherford looks at Ferrari's future plans as the manufacturer celebrates its 70th birthday this year

Opinion - Ferrari

Best-known brand and badge on planet car? It has to be Ferrari and its prancing horse, no? Countless millions have grown up dreaming of owning one. And although rival firms have done their best to make products equally magical, aspirational and desirable, few – if any – have succeeded.

A recently retired employee tells me demand outstripped supply to such an extent that customers for every Ferrari built could be found in a tiny corner of the world: California.

These days, with growing armies of ‘new money’ clients, it’s safe to say Ferrari ‘sales’ execs have it easy. Less about selling products to buyers; more of customers being able to sell themselves to prove they are wealthy, worthy recipients of a prestigious model.

Best supercars on sale

This year, Ferrari’s 70th, will be much like any other. Rich petrolheads who want the cars to drive them, celebs and wide boys craving attention, the mega-rich spoiling themselves, plus investors who don’t let the cars see the light of day will all be begging to buy. With an intentionally low (circa 8,000) annual production figure (800 UK-bound), the firm sits so comfortably it needn’t try hard.

A current exec shakes his head when I suggest Ferrari might follow Bentley and Rolls into the SUV sector. His reaction to those who say complacency might be creeping in at the new-look, Sergio Marchionne-led brand? “Not guilty. Ferrari is the bullseye.”

He welcomes Audi’s arrival on the supercar scene (with the R8), Honda’s return (new NSX) and McLaren’s latest 570S. They attract a new breed of two-seater customer – and many may well end up buying Ferraris.

It’s not all rosy. How much confidence does the swaggering company have left in its troubled F1 team? Sebastian Vettel is one of the best, as he proved in Miami in January with another Race of Champions win. But he deserves much more than a floundering car and a lethargic team-mate.

It needn’t and shouldn’t have been like this. I personally witnessed, at Maranello and elsewhere, how hard Michael Schumacher worked behind the scenes and on the front line at Ferrari. I cheekily suggested to former boss, Luca de Montezemolo, he should appoint Michael as his number two. Luca thanked me for my “super, super creative idea”, before adding it could and would never happen. True enough, as Luca has now been ousted from Ferrari, while Michael fights for his life. I wish the very best to both men... and to Ferrari as it celebrates 70 years.

Would you like to see Ferrari build an SUV? Let us know your thoughts below...

Recommended

Apple iPhone designer Jony Ive to work with Ferrari
Marc Newson and Jonathan Ive
Ferrari

Apple iPhone designer Jony Ive to work with Ferrari

New collaboration will see ‘creative projects’ in the luxury sector but stops short of confirming automotive plans
28 Sep 2021
GTO Engineering unveils Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder remake at Goodwood Revival
Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder remake - front static
Ferrari

GTO Engineering unveils Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder remake at Goodwood Revival

Ferrari specialist GTO Engineering reveals recreation of one of Maranello’s finest at this year’s Goodwood Revival
15 Sep 2021
Ferrari unveils three-quarter-scale 250 Testa Rossa EV replica
Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa EV replica
Ferrari

Ferrari unveils three-quarter-scale 250 Testa Rossa EV replica

The Ferrari Testa Rossa J children’s ride-on was built in tandem with The Little Car Company, and will cost around £79,000 before taxes
9 Aug 2021
Ferrari Classiche: restoring Maranello's classics
Ferrari Classiche
Ferrari

Ferrari Classiche: restoring Maranello's classics

We head to Italy to see how Ferrari Classiche is keeping the brand's classics in concours condition
23 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Cupra Born vs Mercedes EQA vs Volvo C40 Recharge: 2021 group test review
Cupra Born vs Mercedes EQA vs Volvo C40 Recharge
Car group tests

Cupra Born vs Mercedes EQA vs Volvo C40 Recharge: 2021 group test review

The all-electric Volvo C40 Recharge meets another premium wannabe in the Cupra Born. But can they beat the super-posh new Mercedes EQA?
19 Oct 2021
New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2021 review
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT - front
Ford Mustang Mach-E

New Ford Mustang Mach-E GT 2021 review

With 480bhp and a 310-mile range, does the new Ford Mustang Mach-E GT offers the perfect blend of performance and practicality? We find out...
19 Oct 2021
Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911
Porsche 911
Porsche 911 Coupe

Friends reunited: buying back a Porsche 911

How perfect timing led a Porsche 911 fanatic to buy back his old car
14 Oct 2021