Less than one year after becoming chief executive officer of Ferrari, Italian physicist and businessman Benedetto Vigna will soon explain how the carmaker’s next major moves will be, as they attempt to preserve the company’s cachet, and top-tier prices, in a future that seems destined to by marked by electrified cars.
Ferrari is expected to provide details about its much-awaited business plan in just a few days, most likely on Thursday, as they get ready to adapt to the new era of cleaner, silent and electric mobility. This represents a difficult challenge for a brand like Ferrari, a company that has built its success during many years by perfecting the roaring and super-powerful engines that drive its cars and, of course, thanks to its presence and results in motorsport competitions, especially Formula 1; founder Enzo Ferrari’s first love.
Benedetto Vigna, a tech veteran with 26 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, who was appointed as Ferrari CEO nine months ago, has the difficult task of marrying innovation with tradition.
“We should expect a clear focus on technology transition, qualifying the key burning question, namely how the company will evolve in this new environment, not only in terms of products portfolio,” said Marco Santino, a partner for automotive practice at management consultants Oliver Wyman.
Ferrari has already presented four hybrid models and confirmed it plans to launch its first full-electric car in the next three years. Benedetto Vigna confirmed a few weeks ago that Ferrari, alongisde its partners, is working hard on the research and development of bio and synthetic fuels, as they believe this field represents a possible solution alongside all-electric technology.
By announcing its first sport-utility vehicle (SUV), the Purosangue, for the next months, Ferrari is also moving into a lucrative market segment where competitors such as Lamborghini, part of Volkswagen group (VOWG_p.DE), already operate.
“A key challenge in the mid-term is to maintain best-in-class profitability while supporting a unique effort in developing new technologies and innovative solutions,” said Marco Santino, who has more than 20 years of management consulting and industry experience supporting regional and global players in the automotive and manufacturing sectors.
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The Ferrari Formula 1 team is a key area where Benedetto Vigna has to be more involved as the Maranello team is looking for its first Constructors’ Championship since the 2008 season
Alongside core technology, Benedetto Vigna is evaluating several different areas where he could leave a mark, acording to many analysts. This includes data and connectivity, intellectual property, Formula 1 motorsports results and increased manufacturing complexity.
Ferrari’s range has risen to nine models, plus limited edition cars, in recent years, with six-, eight-, 12 cylinder, hybrid and soon full-electric engines under production. At this stage, investors appear to be keeping the faith, given the fact that shares in the Italian luxury sports carmaker have been almost flat during the last year, as compared to an 18% drop for the European auto index and a 13% drop for the luxury index.
One of Ferrari’s major rivals, Aston Martin, has lost almost 70% during the same interval, while Tesla (TSLA.O) shares were among the few to outperform Ferrari. But the Ferrari CEO has a lot more to prove:
“A lot is riding on the upcoming Capital Market Day to change valuation parameters for a business which seems to have been on autopilot in recent years and may need a transformational strategy,” analysts at Jefferies point out.
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