As far as the road car side of the business is concerned, my answer would be: I wouldn’t change very much at all.
The road cars they are producing at Maranello nowadays are out of the very top drawer, right the way across the range. I can’t actually think of a single Ferrari on sale in 2014 – from FF to 458 Speciale to LaFerrari – that isn’t the best in the business, in fact.
The products themselves are peerless, just as Ferraris should be (but haven’t always been in the past).
I also wouldn’t alter the 'less is more' philosophy that Luca di Montezemolo has pursued to great effect in recent years. The idea of selling less cars for more profit, thereby enhancing the allure and value of the brand was a bold and decisive move on LDM’s behalf. But it was also a stroke of genius, I believe.
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.