As with prominent auto exec Bob Lutz, you’re never quite sure what you’re going to hear when you listen to Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne speak. One thing’s for sure, though, if it has anything to do with electric vehicles, you can expect it to be entertaining.
Even Marchionne seems to be unable to resist the tide of electrification, though, recently commenting that “all Ferraris sold from 2019 will have some hybrid elements.”
Some of you reading this probably don’t think that statement amounts to much, and perhaps you’re right, but for Marchionne, the statement is a notable one. It’s almost like an admission of the inevitability of where the industry is headed — if only in relation to actions and not words.
Marchionne apparently now views hybrid technologies as a mean of boosting sales and profits. The plan is apparently to boost sales to more than 10,000 units a year.
While Ferraris certainly have the image and the cultural capital to sell well, I have to wonder about how the company’s cars will stack up performance-wise against much cheaper electric offerings. Such as the Tesla Model 3 for instance. If a top-of-the-line ~$50,000 Model 3 can beat a very expensive Ferrari in a drag race, how many people will still want to buy the Ferrari?
Notably, the inclusion of hybrid elements will allow the firm to “go beyond the brand’s volume limit, which is constrained by CO2 regulations.”
Automotive News provides more: “Ferrari has committed to ship about 8,000 cars this year and gradually raise that to 9,000 by 2019. It has not made any promises beyond that, to protect the brand’s exclusivity but also because of regulations that exempt it from certain fuel economy and emissions requirements provided it sells fewer than 10,000 vehicles a year. Marchionne said Ferrari could sell more than 10,000 cars a year by 2025 after presenting better-than-expected quarterly earnings and upgraded full-year guidance on Monday.”
Commenting on the “fundamental shift” in the company’s direction that’s coming, Marchionne noted that the move will “even yield additional performance. Although I neither commit to this nor do I give any sort of certification of it being our objective, it is possible that the (annual sales) number could be well in excess of 10,000 cars in 2025.”
We’ll have to wait to see if there’s truth to that statement. I’m skeptical.
Images by ZRyzner / Shutterstock.com; Axion23 (some rights reserved)
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