Got a phone call from a chap I know who loves cars and has the money to finance his addiction (and it is a fantastic addiction.
His 458 is due to be delivered in September, two months after a McLaren MP4-12C will have glided its way on to his drive).
What he wanted to know was a) how good the new McLaren is, and b) what I thought about the fact that Ferrari wants to charge him an extra two and a half grand to allow him to collect his 458 from the factory, rather than having it delivered to the dealer in this country.
To which I replied a) absolutely sensational, and b) Ferrari would appear to be taking the Michael somewhat when, surely, it is they (Ferrari) who will benefit from him collecting his car because their delivery costs will be reduced.
“The thing is,” he then said, “they want to charge me for collecting the car because there’s a factory tour involved as well. But I don’t want the tour, I’ve done that already. I just want to pick the car up and drive it back home via the scenic route, with the MP4-12C in convoy (nice). And for that they still want to charge me an extra £2500, above and beyond the £195k I will be paying for the car in the first place.”
On the one hand my reaction was; do you honestly expect me to feel sorry for you, my friend. But on the other it does seem fabulously irrational, not to mention a tad greedy on Ferrari’s behalf – charging someone extra for appearing at the factory gates in person, thereby saving them (Ferrari) the cost of delivering the car to the UK.
Especially when McLaren will be offering a similar kind of experience – for free.