If the outspoken chairman and chief executive of Italian sports maker Ferrari, Sergio Marchionne, is to be believed, some of its customers only became Lamborghini’s clients because they couldn’t get their own Maranello-built car.
Speaking before a media forum at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show, Marchionne made those remarks while answering a number of questions, as thrown to him by the press. He noted during the media forum that the waiting list of some of Ferrari’s car is long, and many failed to make the cut.
Marchionne said that while he has lot of respect for Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali – who once served as principle for Ferrari’s F1 team – he believes those who missed to make the cut for Ferrari cars and were turned away ended up buying Lamborghini vehicles. We wonder how Domenicali would respond to Lamborghini connoted as a second choice to Ferrari cars.
According to Marchionne, the list is long enough that Ferrari has to hand-build nearly 8,500 units in 2017 – essentially more than the number that the Prancing Horse produced in 2016. As for the number of vehicles that the Italian carmaker is planning to build in 2018, the Ferrari CEO said it would depend on the areas where the company could expand into. He quipped that Ferrari could still take on an unexplored space on the market, adding that the Italian sports car maker won’t build a car that the market doesn’t want. He cited the Ferrari California as an example, saying that while this sports car was the hardest to bring into the market, they eventually were able to find the space for it.
Meanwhile, Marchionne also shut down speculations that Ferrari would soon employ turbocharging technology for its engines. He said that Ferrari will continue using naturally aspirated V12 engine.
However, he didn’t discount the likelihood of Ferrari employing the V12 engine in a hybrid setup, complementing it with an electric motor. He said such hybridized powertrain would allow Ferrari to offer the highest possible power – something that could be achieved around two years from now. Now, that would be an interesting development to watch out for.
As for the future of manual transmission – a technology that Ferrari is phasing out – Marchionne has already ruled out the possibility of reviving it, even in the next five years.
Marchionne also discussed Ferrari’s chances in the Formula One, a motorsport it used to dominate. Ferrari’s F1 team had already completed the pre-season testing of its new Formula One challenger. He said the goals of the tests were to make sure that the new F1 racer is reliable and competitive.