Ferrari no Longer Maintains its Separation from FCA
While FCA has been the parent company of Ferrari for several years there has always remained a separation of the two in order to maintain the quality and precision of the Ferrari name without allowing it to become part of the mainstream mold of FCA. Because of this separation Ferrari has always maintained its own separate board of directors including a separate CEO which has been Amedeo Felisa who has been part of Ferrari for the past 26 years. Felisa has chosen to step down as CEO and will fill a role on the board of directors as the technical advisor, but this leaves a void that needs to be filled.
FCA CEO Sergio Marchionne will fill this void and act as CEO of Ferrari as well as for the rest of the FCA brands. While it seems this makes some sense with the brand under the umbrella of FCA, Ferrari has been a separate entity that has operated under FCA for years and now the question is a matter of influence. Will have Marchionne at the head of the most admired Italian supercar in the world cause influence to come out of the rest the FCA product lines and filter into somewhere they don’t belong; in Ferrari?
This is a question we certainly need to ask and have to watch as Marchionne takes over and heads up Ferrari. I can remember a time, not too long ago, that Ferrari was looking at creating somewhere near ten new models, some of which would be of more of a mainstream variety. This was the influence of Marchionne at the time and in a graceful maneuver he drew back his ideas and allowed Ferrari to operate the way it should, independent of the outside influence from FCA.
Now that he is the CEO of Ferrari will we see these models offered to us? Will there be Ferrari models that start at prices that are more affordable than what we have on the market now? Will an increased product line water down this highly respected brand name and cause it to be less profitable than it has been in the past? While all these questions will need to be answered, it seems foolish for too much tampering to take place in the Ferrari philosophy and practices as this has been one of the only profitable segments of FCA over the past few years.
As a whole, FCA is working toward getting out of the sedan market and looks to focus its attention on the SUV and sports car markets that have been profitable for the organization as a whole. Now that Marchionne is going to head of Ferrari as well as the rest of FCA what would make more sense is for some of the Ferrari philosophies to bleed over into Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, and Jeep. Will this happen and will some of these brands offer the performance we expect from Ferrari? It will certainly be interesting to see what the future holds for Ferrari and the rest of the FCA name now that Marchionne is CEO of all brands.