Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth told CarAdvice his company has no intention of following the lead of Porsche and McLaren in cutting tens of thousands of dollars from the price of its vehicles, preferring instead to improve value by boosting equipment levels as currencies fluctuate and vehicles age.
“We never touch the price of the car,” Appleroth said. “Even though other brands have, there’s no real desire to lower the price, but we do need to ensure that our customers have maximum value.
“All we’ve done for the last couple of years is add value-add to the range. In 458 Italia and Spider there’s an incredible amount of free options there in what we call ‘Oz Pack’, and that will continue.
“There’s no change and there never will be a change to the retail price of Ferrari.”
Appleroth admitted it was a different story when launching an entirely new model, however.
“When we’re launching a new car, if there’s a chance [to introduce lower pricing], we can.”
The Ferrari 458 Speciale, which debuted in Australia yesterday ahead of its official second-quarter 2014 launch, is the first example of Ferrari Australasia’s new pricing structure. At $550,000, the Speciale is $24K more than the 458 Italia on which it’s based, despite featuring extensive engine, aero, design and cabin enhancements.
In contrast, its predecessor, the 430 Scuderia (below), cost $573,700 – almost $140K more than the regular F430.
Appleroth said Ferrari Australasia would reduce prices of all-new models “where we can”, adding that lower purchase prices improved resale values, protecting regular customers and collectors alike.
“The idea is for this car [458 Speciale] to be hotly contested, which it already is, but we’re expecting it to go back to the old days where people were selling their cars and making money,” he said.
“That’s the whole strategy from [Ferrari chairman Luca di] Montezemolo: to reduce the numbers, create value, create very special cars, and really boost the resale value.
“We’ve got to be more like Patek Philippe, more like Hermes, a little bit more exclusive, and obviously that revolves around resale values.”
Appleroth says the 458 Speciale debuted in Australia “way earlier” under Ferrari Australasia than it would have under previous distributor Ateco Automotive, and said shorter lead times for upcoming models could be expected from the factory importer in the future.
“One of the advantages of Ferrari taking over the market is we’re able to get the car here quicker… about three months earlier than what we have traditionally.
“Traditionally no one would see the car for at least six months after the launch. Our launch was at Frankfurt, so it’s only … two months ago.
“We kind of rate now Australia a greater priority. You always look after the big markets, and obviously us taking over puts a focal point on the Australian market and Australian customers.
“There’s a lot of advantages that go along with that, getting cars early, different production numbers… We’re actually getting a lot more numbers than what we probably would have in the past, particularly when it comes to special cars.”
Ferrari sales have increased eight per cent in 2013 to 91 cars to the end of October, though Appleroth said further growth in 2014 was not the primary goal.
“We love to build sales as far as the orders we collect, because we’re in pursuit to not only look after our loyal customers but also bring new people to the Ferrari family, but our volumes as far as deliveries will not change that much.
“With Montezemolo reducing [production] numbers from 7500 to sub-7000 there’s more pressure on allocation than ever and of course sometimes that means you have to say ‘no’ to some customers or they may have to wait a little longer.
“That’s the strategy moving forward, to build that exclusivity, to build the resale value, to continue to have the number one resale value in the marketplace and to reposition ourselves completely different to the rest of the car market.”