Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by celine, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. celine

    celine Rookie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Hi everyone !
    I am currently doing a master degree in Marketing in the UK, and I chose to work about the brand Ferrari for one of my module (Strategic Brand Management). The problem is that i have much trouble to find information about the brand in articles, or books. I also have to do interviews among Ferrari enthusiasts, but there are mainly girls in my course, so they are far from passionate about the brand I chose. By the way, I chose Ferrari because for me this is a brand different from all other brand, there is something special about it, that you can't really describe, but that is kind of magical...
    But now, I have problems to write my essay because i did not find many people that can talk about the brand...

    So, if you have time, can you please leave on this post your opinions, feelings, past stories about Ferrari. Key words are sufficient, just describe your relation with the brand, how you love it and why...
    It can really help me !

    Thank you very much in advance !!!

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  3. Bullfighter

    Bullfighter Two Time F1 World Champ
    Lifetime Rossa Owner

    Jan 26, 2005
    Fullerton, California
    Full Name:
    There are hundreds books and films about Ferrari, possibly more than any other automotive marque. I'd suggest you read a bit about the history of Ferrari, because it was pretty much shaped by the character of its founder, Enzo Ferrari. I think you'll need to know the story before our comments are going to mean a lot.

    If you are a sports car enthusiast, Ferrari holds a unique place in your heart because it's a company steeped in motorsports. Whereas companies like Lexus and Acura were made up by the marketing department, and Ford and GM grew through economies of scale and mastery of mass production, Ferrari was predominantly a racing concern that sold cars to a select group of affluent and car-savvy clients. There's an authenticity to Ferrari, and to Porsche, that you can't get from sticking a 'Sport' decal on the side of a coupe or hatch. Jaguar has fumbled away its magnificent heritage by making cruisers for the elderly and neglecting its glory years (D-Type, XK-SS, E-Type). Aston Martin has been bought, sold and forced into platform sharing enough that it has lost its connection with its own glory years and now serves as a sort of upmarket Jag.

    In terms of why I like Ferrari, enough to own one:

    The engine and construction: You can read about flat plane crankshafts, tubular frame construction and all of that, but the bottom line is that a Ferrari feels different to drive, and sounds like a beast. Turning the key gets your heart going, because there's a closeness with the mechanical bits of the car that no other marque has quite duplicated. In comparison, the Porsche 911 feels very businesslike and buttoned-down as it goes fast, and the Lotus Esprit feels like a kit car. Revving a Ferrari engine to 7000+ rpm is the automotive equivalent of sex. When you step out of the car, and get into whatever else you drive, it's more like a reading a book with a couple of sex scenes. The proof is in how many Ferrari owners either haven't bothered with a radio (older cars) or never use it.

    History/heritage: Put simply, you feel like you're part of motoring history. Porsche does SUVs. BMW does estates/wagons. And while companies like Chevy, Dodge and Honda have dabbled in performance street cars (Corvette/Viper/NSX), they make their money from trucks or economy cars and lawn mowers. Ferrari has been Ferrari since 1947, whether it has won or lost races, or made or lost money. There's a unique purity of purpose and lineage to its cars. Lamborghini makes some impressive sports car, but I think even Lambo fans would concede that the Ferrari legend has the deeper roots in motorsport. Likewise, long after TVR, Pagani, Spyker and other upstart exotics have come and gone, Ferrari will be Ferrari -- the ultimate, money-no-object, practicality-be-damned sports car for people passionate enough to make that sort of purchase. When you buy/own a Ferrari, you don't need to explain your choice to anyone. It's every other sporting car that needs to justify itself in the context of Ferrari.

    Aesthetics: If you look at the curves on a 1971 365 GTB4 ("Daytona") or 328, you'll notice there are no "easy" body panels on the car, and the details (door handles, for example) have their own charm and never seem to come from some corporate parts bin. They were designed purposefully and with the aesthetic sense that Italians seem to have more than the rest of us. The proportions of the older cars are dramatic -- you slip into a Boxer/246/308/328 because it's impossibly low, the furthest thing from dropping into the family sedan. The windscreen goes on for an acre in front of you. The tail is barely tall enough to house the taillights. Inside, you have machine stuff, like a gated shifter, a Momo steering wheel with visible bolts (race car cues) and a snug cockpit with gauges instead of 'idiot' lights. Even on the modern cars, which have lost the beauty of the pre-90s cars, Ferrari intuitively equips them with the bits that trigger your racer fantasies. When other marques try it, it feels forced and sometimes pointless. I can still say that every time I walk up to my car (or someone else's Ferrari) in a car park, I see something that makes me stop and take notice: quite simply, the designers paid attention to everything, and out in the real world it becomes clear just how talented Pininfarina's pre-1990 designers really were.

    Rarity: There aren't any common Ferraris until you get to the really recent cars, and even then they're not that common. I drive a black 328 in southern California, and over the last two years I've seen exactly one (1) other 328 on the road. For the price of a nice 328, your options would be a Porsche Boxster S, a BMW M3 or another performance car that you stand a good chance of seeing in multiples on every block. There's a "Holy crap it's a Ferrari!" reflex that even people who have never opened a copy of Octane or Motor Trend can't help but have. When I pull into the garage next to my own car it's like running into the pope as you're walking into church. Ferrari's biggest achievement, on the road car side, may be that they've managed to keep a Ferrari sighting special, even for those who own one.

    There. Now, spell check this, turn it in, and let me know how we came out on the grade. ;)
  4. BigTex

    BigTex Seven Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Dec 6, 2002
    Houston, Texas
    Full Name:
    I think we've had this request here before.....


    Welcome, and maybe try "Search" to find that older discussion!
  5. Ken

    Ken F1 World Champ

    Oct 19, 2001
    Arlington Heights IL
    Full Name:
    Nice post from Bullfighter! I have a few thoughts as a non owner (but I have a Lotus):

    Ferrari is careful to not make "cheap" cars. The entry level for a current model is much more money than cars of equal performance like Vettes, etc. This enhances the brand as "poor" people cannot afford new ones (the used market is somewhat different). There is a waiting list for most new models when they first come out; you cannot walk in to a dealer and get a new current model at list price except for some rare failures. You can buy a new model for substantially over sticker in the "after market" however. No other exotic company like Lamborghini, Lotus, Maserati, Aston, Porsche can claim this.

    Ferrari has run adds in the past, but their only major advertising is in the guise of the F 1 team, which has had multiple recent successes. They use the racing team to sell street cars as opposed to the "old days" when they sold street cars to finance racing. But the brand has not suffered from this change in business plan.

  6. celine

    celine Rookie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Wow thank you so much for your help ! Bullfighter, your post is just amazing, perfectly what i was looking for ! Thank you also for the other replies, it will help me a lot !
    It was very nice of you to pay attention to my post!
    Now i am very enthusiastic about writing my essay ! And i will definitely tell you "our" grade (not available before May I guess...).
    If you still have comments, do not hesitate to post them here, i'll go on checking if there are new answers.

    Again, thank you !
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  8. James_Woods

    James_Woods F1 World Champ

    May 17, 2006
    Dallas, Tx.
    Full Name:
    James K. Woods
    Celine - at first I was skeptical about your statement that it was very hard to find information on Ferrari; there must be hundreds of books and articles on this manufacturer.

    But then, I just went into Amazon to look for links from some of the books I have -

    Kings of the Road - (Ken W. Purdy): one used for $5.00, but it is listed as 1952; I am pretty sure the correct date is 1962 but in any case it has only one article (chapter) on Ferrari. It is a great reminder, though, on how highly rated this brand was even after only 15 years of existence way back nearly 50 years ago.

    Ferrari - the Road Cars - (Antoine Prunet): listed, but currently not available. The hardbound has great B&W and color art and is a great reference. However, again - not much "color" on why people like these cars so much (as Purdy did best).

    Ferrari - Road & Competition Cars 1947 to 1977 (Dean Batchelor): listed, but currently not available.

    What this made me realize is that a lot of the books around are about the racing record, the technical details like engine size and gear ratios, how many were made, etc. There are really not many that get into the legend itself in great detail, so I understand that just doing a search on Ferrari might not easily reveal enough useful detail to go into a paper - likely would reveal so much extraneous stuff that it would be like the haystack.

    Let me suggest this: If I were going about your task, I would:

    a) - concentrate on the years in which the legend was built - say 1947 up to 1977 like the Batchelor and Prunet books. This was the foundation on which the later great success was built.

    b) - look for biographical data on the man himself, Enzo Ferrari. And his engineers Colombo and Jano, his son, and the various body makers - Scaglietti, Farina(PininFarina), Touring, etc.

    c) - make some comparisons to similar "legends": two that come to mind are the Harley Davidson (American) motorcyclesof the 1920s to this day, and Bugatti (French) with many classic models from early 1900s to just after WW2, (they are making it still too, but these are held by many to be mere modern cars with a name badge.

    A theme set might be - how has Ferrari maintained the "image" so well where so many others have failed? Is Ferrari losing the true blood image, or improving on it? Was winning races necessary to the image, and is it still?

    Good luck with this -

    James - (I happen to have the 1986 Testarossa along with several Corvette, Porsche, and others. There Ferrari is the undisputed KING, and don't let anybody tell you different!)
  9. dinogt4guy

    dinogt4guy F1 Rookie

    Oct 31, 2004
    Hewitt, Tx.
    Full Name:
    Dino Tifosi
    Awsum write up Bullfighter, I give you an A+! :D

    Your lucky though, I've never actually seen another GT4 on the road, only 1 other just recently in the showroom at RTGT. Now I beleive its gone.

    Again, great job!

  10. Jeff Kennedy

    Jeff Kennedy F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Oct 16, 2007
    Edwardsville, IL
    Full Name:
    Jeff Kennedy

    If you wish to take another track with this paper look at how the Ferrari of old compares to the marketing machine that licenses everything and controls everything about their branding. As an example there is another current thread in this section of the forum on how Ferrari North America (FNA) has made all their dealers remove/stop advertising that offers any currently in production model for sale.

    Is over managing the "brand" going to be detrimental in the long term? Does all this ultimately cause the company to profit (massively so) currently on the history but this will later come back as having devalued the anciliary marketing/licensing and then the underlying brand itself? Does the current direction of the brand marketing play on selling to the "trendy" people who will come and go with the latest fad?

    Bullfighter - stunning write up.

  11. celine

    celine Rookie

    Feb 28, 2008
    Ok, i am going to check the other thread right now. You're right, it can be very useful for my essay !
    Thank you for the advice !
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  13. ylshih

    ylshih Global Moderator
    Global Moderator Advising Moderator Honorary Owner

    Mar 21, 2004
    Northern CA
    Full Name:
  14. ducowti

    ducowti Formula 3

    Jan 27, 2008
    Full Name:
    Well said Bullfighter - the whole post - with particular approval of the above two excerpts!
  15. Teenferrarifan

    Teenferrarifan F1 Rookie

    Feb 21, 2003
    Media, PA
    Full Name:
    Great post, and I could not agree with you more. I have always liked how Ferrari has almost hidden the interior door handles on their cars, and there really are no easy panels on a Ferrari. Even vintage Ferrari's lines are incredible when compared to other cars of the era, it is hard not to smile when any Ferrari passes. Bullfighter your post is a prime reason why I would take a 20 year old 328 over a brand new Corvette. Some people do not understand, but those few that do own Ferrari's.
  16. Hoodude

    Hoodude F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    May 5, 2007
    North Carolina
    Full Name:
    You may like to search for ''Fastaone''s 9/13/07 post titled 'A Little History',,,I can't link it,,,someone else may be able to however,,,it is about 10k words of as he says history translated from Spanish and it covers alot of Ferrarista.
    A look would be worth your effort,,,
    best wishes,
  17. 134282

    134282 Four Time F1 World Champ

    Aug 3, 2002
    Full Name:
    Carbon McCoy
    A very important factor to consider is acquiring the correct information. There are many sources on the Internet and abroad that exhibit (purposely or otherwise) the semblance of disseminating accurate information. But they, in fact, do not. Part of the mystique of Ferrari is the inability to easily locate accurate information. Misinformation is widespread, as is a lack of continuity in Ferrari's actions, further perpetuating incorrect data, as well as the mystique. Good luck with your essay and be sure to start threads with any of the different questions you may have.
  18. amslb182

    amslb182 Formula Junior

    Oct 3, 2004
    Full Name:
    Andrew LeGrant
    I must admit that i always liked ferrari cars but didnt start to love them until i started to research the company, its founder and their history. there is so much more to a ferrari then it just being a car. I guess from a marketing stand point they are unlike any other company in the world. This all started with the fact that the cars they made were to fund the race cars, and Enzo never wanted to make street cars he only wanted to race. He made just enough cars to fund his racing ventures, so even from the start regardless of who you were you had to wait to have a car built for you. They made their name in racing and i think if they were to stop racing today they would lose much support and brand loyalty would fall. From a marketing stand point their business model is unique because they fail to meet the age old law of supply and demand. Enzo didnt care who you were or how much money you had, if he didnt think you were "worthy" of one of his automobiles, you did not get one. Take the production of the F50 for example. Market research suggested there were 350 people who would want one that would be elligable to buy one. So what did Ferrari do, they build 349, just so somebody(but in reality many people) could not get one. Ferrari is the only company that could do something like this. One of the reasons i love Ferrari (i should mention im a business major) is because their business practices are as unique as their vehicles.

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