That didn’t mean Ferrari was losing money, as the company was growing revenues in other areas, such as through its branding efforts and vehicle personalization operations. In fact, for the first six months of this year, Ferrari’s sales were down 3.6 percent to 3,631 cars but its revenues were up 14.5 percent to a new record of 1.35 billion euros (approximately $1.74 billion).
Nevertheless, Marchionne is a believer that demand for Ferrari cars should be met, and this disagreement with di Montezemolo is heralded as one of the reasons for the current chairman’s resignation after 23 years in the top job. Other reasons include the recent poor performance in Formula One and the floating of Ferrari parent company FCA on the New York Stock Exchange, also next month, and the outside control it will bring.
According to Bloomberg, Marchionne indicated in May that Ferrari had potential to sell about 10,000 vehicles annually. He has also said that Ferrari should be further integrated with FCA, in similar fashion to the relationship between Porsche and the Volkswagen Group.
“People should not underestimate the importance of Ferrari for the group,” said Marchionne. “Structurally, in terms who we are as carmaker, they have and will continue to define us.”
Despite announcing his resignation, di Montezemolo will still be very active with the brand. In fact, he still has a few public appearances to make with Ferrari. At the 2014 Paris Auto Show next month, he is expected to reveal a new version of the 458, possibly a convertible version of the 458 Speciale. He is also expected to be present at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in November where Ferrari will unveil a special car limited to just 10 units to celebrate 60 years of the brand’s sales in the U.S. market. The U.S. remains the automaker’s single biggest market, with sales here for the first six months of the year up 13 percent to 1,062 cars.