Cruising past the economic crisis facing the European Union, Italy’s legendary luxury car company Ferrari has capitalized on its global desirability to boast record profits. The majority of Ferrari’s sales originate in the United States and Chinese markets: 1451 Ferrari-brand supercars immigrated to the United States or China in the first half of the year. Closely following the United States and China, British, German, and Swiss buyers also showed an increased willingness to import Italian supercars. The two most popular models were the California and 458 Italia, but the 12-cylinder powerhouses FF and F12 Berlinetta also gave a strong showing. Beyond the high performance-induced allure, Ferrari attributes a significant portion of its appeal to the “Tailor Made” program, an option given to buyers to personalize their vehicles.
The business strategy exemplified by Ferrari is one that keeps parent company FIAT afloat. According to Italy’s Minister of Economic Development, Infrastructure, and Transport, Corrado Passera, FIAT augments domestic losses with profits from emerging markets like Brazil. Passera describes FIAT as existing in sintonia, in harmony, with Brazil: FIAT’s CEO Sergio Marchionne has announced plans to invest two billion euro in production of vehicles for the Brazilian market. Marchionne has followed a global strategy since joining FIAT in 2004 when he was instrumental in organizing the merger with Chrysler that took FIAT from the verge of collapse to its place as the world’s ninth largest automobile manufacturer, and first in Italy. This capitalization of foreign markets, while perhaps lacking sustainability, has helped FIAT weather the European economic crisis.
From the Ferrari-themed amusement park in Abu Dhabi to the clothing collaboration with German label Puma, Ferrari’s global presence reflects its universal desirability. No matter how bad the economic situation may be at home, Italian-designed luxury continues to prevail on the global scale.
NIAF thanks Joe Barrows, a senior at Georegtown University, for submitting this post.