Italian sports car maker slashes jobs
8 December 2008

Ferrari has denied falling victim to the global economic crisis, even though it plans to shed up to 10 per cent of its workforce this week.

Global sales at the Italian supercar maker have dived from almost 600 a month to just 92 cars in November and Ferrari is now negotiating with Italy’s trade unions to trim unwanted road-car production staff.

The company has admitted it could shed up to 300 employees as early as this Friday.

Ferrari will also shut its Maranello production plant for an unprecedented 20 days over Christmas, which sources insist will be to prevent vehicle stockpiles reaching unmanageable levels.

The company won its 16th F1 World Constructor’s Championship last month and still boasts of a two-year waiting list on its high-priced, exclusive road cars, but sources said that troubling stocks have built up at some of its distributors around the world, particularly in the UK.

As recently as the Paris motor show last October, Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo had been speaking of a sales target of 10,000 cars for 2010 which, even with the new Ferrari California on stream early next year, now seems wildly optimistic.

Back then di Montezemolo insisted the financial crisis held no concerns for Ferrari because a reduction in sales would allow it to respond quickly to markets that might have otherwise waited years for cars.

“Of course the economic problems are being considered,” he said. “It depends how long this crisis goes on, if this is close to the end or not. Because we will see a different world out the other side."

The Ferrari chairman went on castigate the financiers whom he regards as responsible for the economic meltdown.

“It will be a world more close to industry and real numbers and products and not close to speculation," said di Montezemolo.

“I hope that when it finishes there will be more feet on the ground in the financial world,” he said.

Insiders have confirmed that sales of the V12-powered Ferrari 612 Scaglietti and Ferrari 599 Fiorano have effectively stalled and Ferrari has moved both models into a special customisation program to mask the seriousness of the problem.

Even worse, sales of its smaller, V8-powered Ferrari F430 – the core of the company's volume and profit, and due to be replaced late in 2009 – plummeted after the official unveiling of Ferrari’s new California in October.

Ferrari has denied that the company has been adversely affected by the credit crunch. The company said that the extended break was merely Ferrari being generous to its employees, even if all contracts were under review.

“We are going to have a meeting with the trade unions this week and we had a meeting with the union last week,” a Ferrari spokesman said.

“We don’t know if there is a figure decided, but we are certainly not taking people on board unless they are crucial.

“What’s being talked about [with the unions] is not renewing the people on one-year contracts, which would be about 300 people, and closely examining the consultancies and advisors and that kind of spending.

“We are just being careful. Nobody knows the future anymore and even having a waiting list like ours doesn’t guarantee anything for your future.”

Ferrari has said that the Christmas break (19 December to 7 January) is a coincidence of dates: “The two weekends have come at the right moment. If we needed to stop production we could have taken the entire week off instead of coming back on the Thursday.”

And, while sources insisted F430 stockpiles were growing and V12 production was at a virtual standstill, Ferrari’s spokesman insisted sales of luxury cars always slowed in the last months of the year.

“The only region where there are stocks is the UK,” he said.

“It’s the market where we have some problems. In the US, nothing much has changed for us apart from a slight braking of sales.”

“For sure, the F430 Spider is not doing very well, because of winter and the California, so there are stocks in some places.”

Michael Taylor

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Comments
13

8 December 2008

I'm sure Fiat will bankroll them for a few years. The California will take whatever sales there are in that mad market. It's no surprise really - Ferrari suffering in this kind of climate.

Bring back steel wheels.

8 December 2008

Hardly surprising really, considering their customer base.

What never ceases to amaze me is the BS (sorry, spin) that these companies come out with. Yes I can see it is down to them not wanting worry their existing customers, but lets face it we all know its rubbish out there at the moment.

I would love it for once for a company to come out and say....

"It's crap out there, so we are having to lay people off. You want us to ride this out, that's what we have to do!"

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

8 December 2008

Well if they are really struggling I guess I can go out of my way to lend them a hand and take one of their 599s off their hands for five grand. Just to help to them out you understand.

8 December 2008

[quote TegTypeR]What never ceases to amaze me is the BS (sorry, spin) that these companies come out with. [/quote]

Totally agree. Its the same for everyone out there yet certain companies refuse to admit that they are suffering, like some sort of macho pride. Audi reckon their sales have actually increased so far this year compared with 2007. Really? Lots of pre-registering i suspect. BMW and Merc have suffered massively.

I wonder how Lambo is getting on. They only produce around a third of Ferrari's output.

8 December 2008

[quote TegTypeR]

..I would love it for once for a company to come out and say....

"It's crap out there, so we are having to lay people off. You want us to ride this out, that's what we have to do!"

[/quote]

To be fair, BMW have said pretty much exactly that when they said they current economic crisis is the worst they have experienced.

8 December 2008

I think we will see even more "limited edition" 612 Scagliettis and 599GTB's (a 599GT targa?) in the next few months. Ferrari has made about half a dozen special edition 612 Scagliettis so far (not including country-specific editions). The idea of limited edition Ferrari has long been forgotten.

I think Ferrari needs to freshen up the V12 models as soon as possible with goodies such as the double-clutch gearbox.

This could actually be a good wake-up call for Ferrari.

It also makes me wonder how Aston Martin and Lamborghini are doing these days.

8 December 2008

[quote Chunkster]

It also makes me wonder how Aston Martin and Lamborghini are doing these days.

[/quote]

Well Aston's sales were down 72.54% YoY in November. They only sold 39 cars in November compared to 142 the year before.

8 December 2008

It doesn't look good. Fiat must be doing ok with the well thought out, economical range they have. In a way Ferrari/Maserati are in the strongest position of the supercar makers what with the mayhem at VAG/Porsche/Lamborghini (Compounded by the insane white elephant of the Panamera). Maybe Bez's strategy at Aston of one off, madly expensive, cars is the only way he thinks the company can make it through this. Like Bentley the normal cars are mostly bought on tick - ain't much of that about these days.

Bring back steel wheels.

8 December 2008

Clearly, there is a significant sea change the Ferrari world now. In the past, my company (Ricambi America, http://www.ricambiamerica.com) sold the majority of our genuine, original Ferrari parts to customers with 328, 348, 355, and 360's. From the perspective of parts, those are certainly not the most contemporary cars.

Since the beginning of this meltdown, we see a huge number of 430, 575, 599, and 612 customers -- in addition to a larger number of 360 customers who are choosing to service their cars outside the main service centre, and perhaps even in their own garage. We can only assume this is a pure cost-cutting measure because generally the 'new' cars (even those just outside their 2-year warranty) would have been sent to the selling dealership for service. Now, they're coming to us for parts.

The extended factory shutdown in December certainly does not make things easy, as we're trying to stock up now, before the closure. Maybe it will cause Ferrari to rethink the California concept and 'mass production'.


9 December 2008

Hey....I like your cookie warning page!.....very good!!

If they bring out lots of specials I think that is a good thing, to have lots of different variations on Ferrari models; it may bring in different innovations?

I must admit I really like the California and like the overall concept; maybe it will inspire them more i.e. some further higher volumes units?.....maybe something like a Lotus Elise type (maybe not quite as cost effective) but something that could head up a higher volume all electric unit perhaps.......knows whos??!!!.....they could twin it with a track day (world wide) series?........that could be really cool!

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