Ferrari and Montezemolo in the IHT and the NYT
Maranello, 14 May – A long article about Ferrari and Chairman Luca di Montezemolo appeared in today’s edition of the “International Herald Tribune” and will also be published tomorrow in the business section of the prestigious “New York Times”. Liz Alderman, chief business correspondent in Europe, explains Ferrari, the models, the company’s and the Chairman’s success, who transformed Ferrari in 20 years into a symbolic icon of “Made in Italy” and luxury all over the world. Alderman visited the Ferrari Works in Maranello some days ago, to enter “the heart of Ferrari-land, a seductive, mysterious place, that at times seems to defy logic, or at least the economics of conventional automotive industry.” “It is a place of sonorous engines and sinuous curves, where engineers don’t merely tune up engines, they literally tune them, like pianos, to produce that libidinous Ferrari vroom.”
Liz Aldermann visited the Works accompanied by Chairman Luca di Montezemolo, who describes how as a man with inexhaustible energy, involved in every single aspect of the company “appears in every part of the company, goes in and out the prototypes, chats with employees while passing the caffè area, suggests how to showcase the products in the shop,” and strongly defends the brand’s exclusivity: “We always produce less than demand; we don’t sell cars, we sell dreams.” An exclusivity, as the journalist underlines, typical for big fashion houses such as Hermes and even if some analyst would like Ferrari to increase its sales, Montezemolo replies, that maybe “in 10 to 15 years we might arrive at about 10,000 cars” while the results confirm his statement as Liz Aldermann underlines, considering that “the FF’s production scheduled for this year sold out within weeks” and the results for 2010 and the first quarter of 2011 are exceptional.
Going through Luca di Montezemolo’s career, who has been Ferrari Chairman since 1991, Liz Alderman notices that he succeeded in re-launching the brand and “turning a mountain of debt into profit” in the early 1990s, increasing the number of markets and transferring lots of technology from the race track to the road. At the same time he re-launched the Scuderia Ferrari taking the team back to the top in Formula 1, confirmed by the titles won, turning the team into the most successful of the last 12 years. Also thanks to his management of what is the icon of “Made in Italy” Montezemolo “is nothing short of a hero in his country”, often topping “political polls, when Italians are asked who they would like to see run for Prime Minister”. The American journalist also asked him about the problems in Italy, with Montezemolo replying: “Italy today is like a boxer in a corner. We have to get back in the centre of the ring.” Furthermore the Ferrari Chairman has always been convinced that the country has the resources as well as the excellence to make it.
“Today,” the Ferrari Chairman said, “the largest industry in Italy is politics, the state is present everywhere. This means less of a free market, more corruption and less meritocracy.” Asked if he might run for public office he said: “I don’t believe in a one-man show. I’m more of a team-spirit guy”, concluding saying that at the end of the day “I am married to Ferrari.”