Last week the automotive industry’s news “bomb” surrounded the departure of long-time Ferrari Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, ousted by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Sergio Marchionne after several management clashes.
With the reasons and motifs of the decision now behind us, we can thoroughly concentrate on the future directions of the Ferrari strategy – with Marchionne set to take the reign of the iconic brand next month.
Montezemolo, who was a fearsome defender of the automaker’s exclusivity and independence for 23 years, clearly had other views than Marchionne. And, although the latter says any ties to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles are out of the question – because of “contamination from mass brands,” the truth is that the FCA heavily relies on Maserati’s sales gains. And the premium brand is actually – at least technically – a division of the independent Ferrari.
Well, here’s a list of ideas on Marchionne’s approach: he could sell the brand; he could list it separately on the stock exchange; he could lift the 7,000 unit sales cap; he could combine Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo into another separate entity to further raise cash; he could do nothing. The last variant is not out of the question – after all, Ferrari has just 0.16 % of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ sales but makes up 12% of the company’s operating profits.