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The man in charge of local Ferrari distribution has credited the Ferrari California as being responsible for a “massive” customer shift to the Italian marque, and away from other luxury brands and segments.

First introduced locally in 2009 – and now superseded by the just-launched twin-turbocharged California T (pictured) – Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth told CarAdvice the impact the original Ferrari California had on attracting new buyers “was massive”.

Claiming 70 per cent of California buyers were first-time Ferrari owners, Appleroth said the shift away from other brands to Ferrari was “significant”.

“If you think about a price point, which is just under California, we’ve captured from all of them, as well as other different segments [such as] luxury SUVs.

“You’ve got to think about the demographic not necessarily the car,” Appleroth said.

Ferrari California T-77

Touting the $459,295 California as offering versatility, driveability and functionality, “but [also] performance”, the division admitted that a a large number of customers came from luxury SUVs.

“They wanted something now that was stylish, or perhaps something that wasn’t so big.”

When asked about the styling changes of the new sharper-looking California T compared with its predecessor, Appleroth said while styling can evolve in part from customer input, the brand and its in-house design team lead the way.

“It’s more from what we think the future wants from us, not what the people think they want of us.”

Spruiked by the car maker as “an everyday Ferrari” intended to appeal to both men and women, young and old, the four-seat convertible GT car has already racked up the highest ever annual millage and daily usage figures of any Ferrari ever.

Due to start arriving in right-hand-drive guise later this year, the new Ferrari California T starts around $50k below the outgoing model at $409,880 and marks company’s the first turbocharged production car since the iconic F40.




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