Ferrari’s local division says it will hold off on implementing any further price cuts beyond the $50k it just stripped out of the updated $409,880 California T launched this week.
Speaking at the regional launch of the new twin-turbocharged Ferrari California T, Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth (pictured below) told CarAdvice that cutting the price of a model in the middle of its lifecycle risked hurting the resale value and alienating buyers.
Instead, Appleroth insisted Ferrari products were the best in the business and that the company was happy to charge accordingly, adding that big price cuts from rival sports car specialist McLaren had not made a significant impact on sales.
“For us, resale value is absolute key,” Appleroth said.
“Reducing retail price of a current model does nothing but erode resale value and we won’t do it. We need to protect our customers first and foremost.
“We’re not trying to chase volume, but remember Ferrari delivers the best packaging – it is the best – and for the best you expect to pay a little bit more don’t you?”
Appleroth’s reference to not reducing the retail price of a “current” model appears to explain Ferrari’s decision to cut $50k from the California T, which has been updated with a new 412kW/755Nm twin-turbo engine that differentiates it significantly from the old 338kW/485Nm naturally aspirated version.
Backing up comments he made back in December last year about never burning its customers on resale value, Appleroth went further, saying price cutting by the likes of McLaren and Porsche “certainly doesn’t affect us”.
“It hasn’t affected our sales and I don’t think, if you look at VFACTS [new car sales figures], dropping $100,000 for McLaren has helped their sales either.”
Claiming value derived from boosted standard equipment levels “far beyond any other Ferrari market in the world”, the division chief said once you start adding these up – some $50-60k worth of options in a Ferrari 458 Italia or Spyder for example – “the gap is really zero”.
“And you haven’t upset all the loyal customers who bought the previous model by reducing the retail price.”
One big benefit that Ferrari’s Australian fans can expect is the wait-time for new models, which will be dramatically cut thanks to the presence of a factory importer, rather than third party distributor.
“Us [Ferrari Australasia] coming to Australia also shortens the delay period from when we launch internationally to when we launch here," Appleroth said.
“So we’re bringing to market much quicker than what would have happened in the past.
“Traditionally right-hand-drive has been six months, we’re now about one month to two months after Europe. It’s quick. Now it’s just basically shipping time delaying cars coming to Australia.
“When you take over a market place as we did last year … I think it allows [for] the voice [to be] a little bit louder than what it traditionally would be," Appleroth said, suggesting “focus” was responsible for the decreased lead times rather than outright demand.
Before Ferrari Australasia took over in April last year, the distribution of Ferraris had been the province of Sydney-based European Automotive Imports, which shares a building with budget brand importer Ateco Automotive.
The reduced lead-times will become increasingly important for local fans of the Prancing Horse, since its new model rollout is about to step-up in a big way.
Confirming plans outlined by the CEO of Ferrari’s parent group Fiat Chrysler Automobiles back in May, Appleroth said: “We’re always evolving and there’s going to be at least one new model from Ferrari every year.”
Though specifics of what the new Ferrari models will be are still yet to be revealed, an updated – and possibly turbocharged – 458 Italia and the recently spied LaFerrari XX model are two potential debuts.
One thing we do know is that the California T will remain the range price-leader, a mantle it has worn since first launching in 2009.
“No, that [the California] is our first price leader as such,” Appleroth said. “California’s always been positioned that way.”