Following a meeting of its board of directors this week in Maranello, Italy, Ferrari has announced that Apple’s chief of Internet software, Eddie Cue, will be joining the Prancing Horse as one its board members. The announcement is a clear sign that Ferrari sees the role of information technology becoming increasingly important in the automotive world.
Cue, a 23-year Apple veteran, was one of the brains behind the tech giant’s key technologies, including Siri, Maps, iAd and the innovative iCloud services. We could very well see some of these technologies feature in future Ferraris, in particular the voice activation and mapping services.
In fact, Apple has long been rumored to be expanding its services into the auto industry and has already touted its Siri Eyes Free feature, which at the touch of a button on the steering wheel will provide the driver with voice activated control of their smartphone’s functions such as navigation, reservation bookings, texting or calling, and numerous others.
Speaking at the announcement of Cue’s appointment, Ferrari chairman Luca di Montezemolo said, “I am delighted that Eddy Cue, one of the main driving forces behind Apple’s range of revolutionary products, has now joined our board. His huge experience in the dynamic, innovative world of the Internet will be of great assistance to us.”
Montezemolo also pointed out that Ferrari’s brand-related activities, particularly those on the Internet, have continued to provide exceptional results. Revenues from its online store, for example, are up 32 percent so far this year, while visit’s to the company’s website and social media pages were also up significantly. No doubt Cue will play a role here as well.
Ferrari is currently in the best shape it’s ever been in, with the company on track to set new records (financially) this year. For the first nine months of the year its revenues are up 10 percent to $2.25 billion, thanks mostly to the delivery of 5,267 cars. This resulted in profit for the period of $194 million, up 7.6 percent on the same period a year ago.
The U.S. by far remains Ferrari’s biggest market, with Americans buying up 1,354 of its cars so far this year, representing a rise of 16 percent on the same period last year, and roughly 26 percent of the company’s total sales. The second single biggest market was China, with 566 sales, up 7 percent, followed by Germany with 534 sales, up 9 percent.