His idea of making the cars as good as they possibly could be, both technically and emotionally, then charging fewer customers more money for the privilege of buying into an increasingly exclusive club was, I thought, pretty much the perfect template for a bright and lasting future at Ferrari.
But then somebody, somewhere, quite clearly decided that LDM was wrong to pursue this strategy. And now, it seems, that whole business model could be turned on its head. The idea of a Ferrari SUV will, no doubt, rear its ugly head once again as higher overall sales figures become the holy grail.
So what would I change?
One, I’d push the engineers and the designers at Maranello right to the very front of the PR machine, and let them do the talking instead. The PR machine at Ferrari is quite strenuous to work with on occasion, yet the products they are pedalling often need no PR or marketing at all.
Two, I’d bring in a whole load of fresh and, if necessary, expensive new talent to do whatever needs to be done to put the Formula 1 cars back on top – because having the fastest driver flogging himself half to death to come fifth all the time is not doing anything for the brand.
Three, and now I’m struggling.
Be in little doubt, the continuing mediocrity of the F1 team’s achievements are what did it for Luca di Montezemolo in the end. So whatever else Mr Marchionne does with Ferrari over the coming years, he needs to make sure he cracks F1, otherwise great unrest will ensue. And eventually it will do for him, too.
Precisely how he should make this happen within the cutthroat business that is contemporary F1 I have no idea, to be honest. But that’s why his salary is bigger than everyone else’s, and it’s what he needs to work on the hardest right now to earn it.
Unless, of course, anyone else has any bright ideas about what to do with the world’s most impassioned car company, in which case feel free to give them some air right here.