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Ferrari's other bit of news
Ferrari's other bit of news
Posted By:   |  13 May 2009   |  6:21 am GMT  |  24 comments

Everyone was waiting for the statement from Ferrari yesterday afternoon and when it came, the eye went immediately to what they had to say about Formula 1.

But at the top of the page, the opening paragraphs, there was another story, which was designed to show that Ferrari, unlike many car makers, continues to be a success story. Not only is it selling cars and making a profit, but it is expanding its licensing and branding activity, through things like the Ferrari Store, under the watchful eye of Danny Behar, formerly Dietrich Mateschitz’s right hand man at Red Bull.
Picture 45

“Ferrari’s Board of Directors, chaired by Luca di Montezemolo, today analysed the first quarter results for 2009. Despite the current international economic climate, which has hit the automotive sector in particular, Ferrari’s figures were in line with the record levels reached in 2008. Turnover for the first three months was 441 million euro compared to 455.7 million euro over the same period in 2008.

“The first quarter closed with a trading profit of 54 million euro compared to last year’s 59 million euro.

“These results reflect the introduction of new models, in particular the success of the Ferrari California and the Scuderia Spider 16M, the constant growth in activities linked to the brand (e-commerce, licensing..)”

So while Mercedes and Toyota are announcing first quarter losses of over £1 billion, Ferrari is solidly in the black.

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Just cant wonder on how well Ferrari will do if they pull out of F1?

There might be two great things in sync one is their technical capabilities & their vision to see ahead when others cant.


And what can we see from these numbers James wrote...
Ferrari is doing O.K. in difficulte times. Why should they change something which is good for them...?
FIA leave us alone and let us enjoy racing cars on top class...:)


I think Ferrari has earned the name & fame by itself, I don't know what Magic has the brand name "FERRARI" has in it!

Having said that if they come out of F1 the consequences would be very high for Ferrari, their profit margins would go up..& not come down.

Secondly, with the existing resources & huge talent they have they might join hands with other manufacturers & why not Bernie here? & start a new racing sport!

There would be a lot of people who might call this bluff & stick to F1 without the big manufacturers, however after sometime they would join the manufacturers bandwagon & leave F1 for good...

FIA lets have racing & not this politics please..


So Ferrari leave F1 and Lamborghini/Audi join... Success is all relative - Lamborghini recently posted profits for '08 which were 27% up on '07.
If Ferrari were to exit F1 they'd leave themselves very exposed to Lamborghini taking their place; on the grid and in peoples' garages.


Hey Mr. James Bond - I agree entirely... the FIA should exist only behind the scenes in motorsport - not be openly discussing the next rule changes during race weekends in sunny locations around the world. The FIA officials obiviously enjoy the glitz and glamour of F1 - strange how we didnt see Max Mosley talking about rule changes during the Irish stage of the WRC back in those frosty, cold, windy winters mornings in January!!!

It's a credit to the marketing dept of Ferrari that they managed to make a profit during Q1 2009... how many other companies have done that - not many I suspect.


Assuming the bulk of Ferrari's profit is from selling cars (and it may not be in this day and age!) I doubt many if it's customers are swayed to purchase a F430 on the basis of Formula 1.

Another high-profile series would suit them well - particularly if it were to contain other big names.


The figures show that Ferrari as a brand are strong enough to withstand a global recession, unlike other manufacturers which are culling production and posting huge losses.
Would sales drop if they left F1? I doubt it. Porsche and Lamborghini seem ok..
Lets hope that the FIA backs off so we can enjoy the racing....


Having followed Ferrari for 35 years I am glad that they are taking this stand.

There have been recessions before and F1 survived, in fact in the 70's Ferrari were on the brink of bankruptcy and still continued in F1. Surely in times of recession the manufacturers within F1 will take their own sensible steps to reduce their F1 budgets. Why impose a cap?

Ok so we lost Honda, but they left because their brand is moving more towards eco-freindliness. How daft was it last year to see Jenson Button drive the 'Honda - Earth-Dreams' brand on his car at 200mph?

And one mustn't forget that the recent FIA decision over the rule changes has upset some of the big teams. The intention was to drastically reduce downforce, yet they allow Brawn to use a loop hole and produce an unbeatable car when all the other teams spent 100's of millions developing cars that are as fast as a brick in comparison. Ferrari will have felt cheated by the FIA's stance. As far as the FIA and Bernie are concerned the 'mis-understanding' over the rules have mixed up the grid and created a TV spectacle that people will soon regard as boring within a few more races when Jenson Button sows up the GP title in record time. Ferrari dont care about TV spectacle, its not their job. They want to win races and they have felt cheated by the rule changes.

A classic example of the FIA's double standard is KERS. There was huge fanfare by Max about how KERS will be the dawn of a new greener F1 that develops technologies that will soon find itself in every day cars. The reality of the situation is that teams that spent millions developing KERS have found that the advantages have been wiped out by Brawn's double diffuser. Instead of encouraging and rewarding the teams that have invested heavily in what could be a practical piece of technology, the FIA have stuck two fingers up at those teams.
Interestingly, Brawn haven't deployed KERS, their advantage over the other teams is so large that they dont need it.
What make sthings worse is that 3 years ago Ferrari introduced a radical car with their moving floor. It did not break any rules but their car was massively quicker than the rest of the field. Yet the FIA quickly changed the rules on flexible wings and floors within 3 races......No such changes or clarification to the rules was even considered for this year.

This is all about the FIA and Bernie trying to make the trough they feed from even bigger by trying to attract no-hoper small teams to the circus at the expense of the big guns, Ferrari, McLaren, Toyota etc

There are deeper issues here than simply a reduction of costs. This is a struggle between the FIA/Bernie Ecclestone and the GP teams. With the teams fed up of the FIA tinkering which costs them millions in re-development of their cars.

FOTA have made rumblings before about organising a break away series and this could be the first stage to creating this. With the FIA not consulting Ferrari on the proposed changes for next year and not giving Ferrari the option to use their veto all agreements are now null and void. Ferrari do not have to toe the line anymore.

The budget cap will either be increased signifcantly or amended drastically. It will not stay as it is. If it does then you can kiss good bye to F1 as we know it because the teams will not want to be part of Bernie's circus any longer.

I hope they do break away and form their own series.


I'd say this gives some evidence that Ferrari could survive without F1. It's name is so big now.

Question is, could F1 survive without them? Ferrari has such a massive fan base. At every GP, a good 30% to 55% of the fans there will have a piece of Ferrari merchandise. If Ferrari dropped F1 next year, think about how many Ferrari fans there will be missing from races and the turnover they bring.

I actually think that if Ferrari go, race attendences will drop massively. Perhaps to the extent that Italy wont even put on a GP because it wont be viable in the slightest...


That is a 12% profit. I presume that this is pre-tax. If that is their actual net, then that is pretty astounding in my opinion!

James Bond, I understand the thrust of what you are saying, but how much of a profit would they make if they stayed in F1 with a budget cap of £40million compared to what they are spending now? I don't think it would hurt sales that much. How many of us actually new what anyone spent before costs became an issue?

There are a couple of reasons why they are out performing the other car manufacturers. The main reason we are in a downturn is because wholesale and retail borrowing has effectively stopped. It is much more difficult to get a loan for a car. I expect that the proportion of Ferrari's customers that need to finance their car is lower than the other car makers. Imagine James Allen for example. I can't imagine that if he wanted to by his ferrari this year that he would have an issue with the vast sums that journalists get paid. J/k 😉

Also I would imagine that the commercial lease market (i.e. large companies with fleets of cars) is also dropping. I suspect that Mercedes and Toyota are more vulnerable than Ferrari!

I don't know this, but isn't Mercedes parent company also writing off huge amounts over the failed Chrysler merger?


I didn't know Danny Behr was working for Ferrari! She's lovely. 😉


It doesn't matter if they pull out of F1 if they can work out a way with the other teams to create a new F1 which is in all important respects what we see today but free of Bernie and Max.

Dieter Rencken over at Autosport has suggested the current A1GP organisation could be made to work as soon as next year for a small investment.


well its hard to compare ferrari sales to that of toyota or mercedes....they just all have very different target markets and manufacturing processes.


I love the fact that Ferrari roughly spend the same amount on F1 as they turnover a year on their road car business!


Ferrari's sales have been kept high as most of the people purchasing cars will have been on waiting lists for some time. They have a sales lag, it will be interesting to see their sales in September.


Most people who buy new Ferrari's are super rich anyway, a recession doesnt effect people who have so much money they can afford to waste it on cars costing hundreds of thousands of pounds.


In terms of profitability, I believe Porsche is ahead of

Of course, Porsche isn't in F1 these days, so perhaps
they don't "deserve" mention. But when profitability of car companies is discussed, Porsche must be included in an informed discussion.

In any case, it's not exactly a feat of magic for a manufacturer which caters to the wealthy ( Ferrari,
Porsche, etc. ) to still be doing well during an economic downturn. The simple truth is that the wealthy are better insulated during economic troubles than the average man. It doesn't take a degree in economics to realize this !

By the way, I have no relationship with Porsche, nor
do I own one. But I do have a degree in economics.


[Quote]By the way, I have no relationship with Porsche, nor
do I own one. But I do have a degree in economics.[/Quote]

But do have several guitars? Ah dammit! I though it was slowhand. (or god)

Yes very obviously its the mass production carmakers that are making a huge losses, Their production rates have dropped well below the break even point, where for most it is cheaper to close the factories than to carry on at a lower rate. I am amazed there are any left open at all in Europe/UK. The next wave of the downturn will do more damage wiping out the next tier in the supply chain. (We are in a corrective wave ATM which will last only a few more week/months, forget green shoots we are a long way from the bottom, any Elliott theorists care to say if its an "a" or a "c" ATM (of the B)


Agree - I also don' think there'd be enough teams in a breakaway series. This is all negotiation standpoints, albeit in a very public place.


well, if there were a breakaway series, it wouldn't quite be f1...and f1 wouldn't be f1 without the big teams either, really. hmm, so then what? USGP will be a founder of the new World Series? 😛

surely its best for all parties to stick together, and these bullying tactics can only last so long. i hope they come to some agreement soon, so we can read more articles by you regarding the crazy racing on-track rather than the politics!


Formula Ignite here we come!


Not that much difference 🙂

Some early typewriters had no "1" key, you were expected to type capital "i" to create a 1. I saw one of these the other day, it was perfect.


Mmm. I don't think you'd start from there if you were building a high-tech racing series. Ferrari did it as a profit generator and so that they would have other irons in the fire. But it's no substitute for F1.


I read it like that initially too ;o)


I am sure the Ferarri brand will suffer over time if Ferrari do not compete (and do well) in the highest echelon of motorsport.

The question is, will F1 remain the pinacle of motorsport with an optional budget cap of £40m and a two tier series?

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