Ferrari CEO, Sergio Marchionne, is preparing to push the limits of the prancing horse’s traditions by developing an all-electric replacement for the La Ferrari. Ferrari’s aim is rather personal, or so it seems. Marchionne has one eye on usurping Tesla.
Talking to reporters at the Detroit Auto Show Marchionne said, “If there is an electric supercar to be built, then Ferrari will be the first. People are amazed at what Tesla did with a supercar. I’m not trying to minimize what Elon did but I think it’s doable by all of us.”
The latter may well be the case, the argument to be had here is why is Ferrari prepared to follow and not lead the electric car industry as Tesla have so done? Its because Ferrari was more focused on improving their ICE powertrains. That is only to be expected.
Elon Musk has shown the way with Tesla and now others want to follow, but why? Sales are the answer. If a Tesla was able to use a loaf of bread as a means of powering its vehicles then others would surely follow if sales were high.
Tesla has been in high demand and Ferrari wants a share of the Tesla EV pie. For many years Marchionne has resisted the march of technological change within the automotive industry, specifically pertaining to alternative powertrain technologies.
Ferrari already offers a hybrid in the form of the La Ferrari hypercar, by 2020 the company will offer more hybrid powertrains across the range of cars it currently sells. Marchionne’s change in strategy will be his last dictation before he retires from the industry.
The plan is to increase sales to around 10,000 cars per year, which means doubling profitability. But the real news is that Ferrari will be introducing their first ever SUV. To Ferrari purists, an SUV is a facepalm moment. To Marchionne its simply another business opportunity.