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What is the biggest problem Ferrari needs to overcome?

Discussion in 'Ferrari Discussion (not model specific)' started by Ferruccio, Dec 16, 2003.

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What is the biggest problem Ferrari needs to overcome?

  1. Needs better Reliability

  2. Needs More HP

  3. Needs to build them useing less technology and more handbuilt craftsmen techniques (focus on there a

  4. Needs to be less expensive

  5. Needs more exotic styling

  6. Needs to stop selling them to posers (Tommy)

  7. Needs to sell a SUV (vote for this one and your a poser lol)

  8. Other PLEASE SPECIFY IN POST

Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. parkerfe

    parkerfe F1 World Champ

    Sep 4, 2001
    12,887
    Cumming, Georgia
    Full Name:
    Franklin E. Parker
    Make lighter cars. And make a delete option for the a/c, radio. power windows and other luxury items.
     
  2. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    "Not to mention that if thousands of these entry level Ferrari's are produced, they will completely clog the service bays of the few F dealerships."

    Maybe the point is that if they sold more cars (Maserati, Alfa, & Ferrari), they would have more dealerships as well. Or, they could design the engine in the new car to require less maintenance like "normal" cars, hence less trips to the dealer.

    As far as the statements that the $50k starter would be a P.O.S., I have to disagree. While things like aluminum framework, a carbon fiber body, and ceramic brakes would not be affordable, it would still have great performance and hopefully look beautiful. If Germany, Japan, and the U.S. can make sports cars that perform, are reliable, and are not a P.O.S. for $50k, then Italy should be able to as well.

    Maybe they could make everyone happy: An Alfa version for $50k, A Maser variant that is $100k, and a Ferrari clone for $175k.
     
  3. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    You are waaaay missing the point. Yes...Germany, Japan, and the US make $50K sports cars that perform, are reliable and are not POS. HOWEVER...they make far more of them than 5-10,000! For example, GM produces 34,000-35,000 Corvettes per year. AND, GM is IN the business of high volume production.

    Production costs per vehicle are cheaper, the more you make. Tooling, machinery, design, R&D, development, prototyping, etc all cost the same, whether you make 5,000 vehicles or 200,000 vehicles. The higher production output allows them to trim their profit margins on a per-vehicle basis, but still remain profitable based on volume. Now, if a company like Ferrari tries to build the same car, and only make 5,000 or 10,000 of them, do some theoretical math in your head. How do they recoup the fixed costs? (tooling, machines, design, R&D, etc) The only way to do this is to build a smaller number of $150K+ cars, or build tons of lower priced ($50K) cars.
     
  4. KKSBA

    KKSBA F1 World Champ
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    Oct 31, 2003
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    KKSBA
    This could all be true, but change is never immediate and timed perfectly.

    If they built an entry model, it would take some time before new dealerships popped up. I'll bet A LOT of time. Resistance will come from all directions, a substantial amount from existing dealerships.

    Reliability has to be massaged in over years, it isn't going to be instantaneous. In fact this seems to be happening, all though glacially, over the last 30 years.

    The Boxster is a very cheap rendition of a 911. The price difference shows throughout. It would be sad to see a Ferrari built with 75%+ plastic in the cockpit.
     
  5. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    Whether it is $50, 60, 70 or 80k, the point is that at some point the car is profitable and not a P.O.S.. That point is not $180k that the 360 currently sells for, or the $225k or so of a 575. The fact that the Maserati coupe is nicely equipped for under $100k proves that. I have to assume that Fiat is not losing money on each Maser sold, so they must have found a way to make money and have the car cost roughly half that of Ferrari.

    In my original post, reducing capital expense and tooling costs were my reasons for saying to use the existing Maser powerplant and existing Fiat production facilities. With flexible production tooling that must be in place in these factories, the expense for the new car could be minimized.

    If Lotus can build the new Elise for under $50k, why can't Ferrari? Some may argue that the Elise is a P.O.S., but they have the same limitations of a small manufacturer. It can be done. Developing the engine would have been cost prohibitive, so the Toyota engine is used. Use the Maserati V8, and the cost of developing the engine is also saved for this hypothetical car.

    If you want a Ferrari and only have $50k, you end up buying a 328 or 348, the sale of which brings nothing in the way of revenues to Ferrari. The only money going to Ferrari happens for the 15 and 30k service for a few parts. If this hypothetical car were built, the sale of each new one would mean more money into Ferrari's coffers.
     
  6. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    A number of these posts point to this situation "XYZ car company can do this, so why can't Ferrari?" First, each company is different (different production capacities, different product lines, COMPLETELY different market segment, etc.). Ferrari is not company XYZ. Second, why would Ferrari want to be like company XYZ? They would be slitting their own throats if they wanted to be like company XYZ.

    People have been lined up on 360 waiting lists for 2-4 years (depending on the dealer). If this is the case, why would Ferrari want to run out and build a $50K car, or $80K car (the suggested numbers keep changing)? Sure, Maserati can build a decent car for $100K, but do you see people lined up to buy it? It's actually a great car, I'm quite impressed with it, but it doesn't sell. There are far too many options in the $100K range to justify buying the Maser.

    The logical step for Ferrari is to take the segment with the most demand for Ferrari products (buyers of the 360 -- and people on 360 waiting lists), and provide another option in this segment. Why would they want to experiment with a low-cost segment, when they have more demand than they can handle in the $150K-200K range? Because people with $50-75K in their pocket are upset that they can't buy a new Ferrari? Sounds like a silly reason to me.
     
  7. Texas Forever

    Texas Forever Four Time F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Apr 28, 2003
    42,397
    Texas!
    Yes, I realize that this thread is mental, ah, it's a mental exercise, but if you are gonna to blue sky the future, you need to open your eyes a bit further because the classic car manufacturer model is changing and will change drametically in the near future, i.e. the next 10 years.

    Namely, the time will soon come that you will walk into an order center, not a dealership, and order your car right down to the air in the tires. (Alternatively, you will do this on the WWW.) The order processing center will then deliver your car to your doorstep in, say, two weeks and drive away your trade in.

    Nissan (and I believe Toyota) has already built a plant in the US that is model independent. The first car on the line might be a 4-door econo box, the next is a small truck, the next is sports car, the next one is your car.

    In other words, what Walmart has done for BBQ grills, will be the model for the large car manufacturers, i.e., real JIT inventory. No cars out there rusting on the storage lots.

    The life cycle of any particular model will compress to maybe as short as 18 months. Recall, for example, that 3 years ago, PT crusiers were hot. Now they are dogs. In the future, PTs will come and go inside of one to two years.

    Quite franky, if Ford and GM don't leap frog this whole thing by going to hydro powered cars with snap on and snap off bodies, they are toast. They are so far behind that they will never catch up otherwise.

    Where does this leave the Euro car manufacturers? Some are not going to make it. They are either going to have to go high or low. There will be no middle ground. Perhaps now you understand why Mercedes brought Chrylser. I'm sure that they felt that they had no choice but to take the high volume road. Porsche brought itself some time with the Pepper car, but they have some hard decisions to make down the line.

    So what about Ferrari? Simply put, they'd be nuts to even think about taking the high volume road. Study after study has shown that the only ones who can compete with the Wally World Big Boxes are small speciality retailers who carry high-margin, low-volume inventory that the big guys don't want to fool with. Sorry, but Ferrari's best bet will be to limit production even further and increase margins on existing production.

    Any rate, just a thought. Gotta git back to work...

    DrTax
     
  8. Daytonafan

    Daytonafan F1 Rookie

    Oct 18, 2003
    2,679
    Surrey, England
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    Matthew
    I am surprised that no one has raised the issue of Ferrari having rubbish dealers, with salesman who don't have a clue and mechanics who don't know a spanner from a screwdriver.

    I wonder what percentage of Ferrari owners are repeat purchasers?
     
  9. Jameel

    Jameel Formula Junior

    Nov 4, 2003
    401
    Canada
    I’ve read most of the threads on this topic and both sides make very good points.

    Let’s address the Porsche issue 1st (in a nutshell): Porsche in the early to mid 90s where about to go bankrupt, so they decided to create an entry level Porsche (the Boxster). So great, they sold like hot-cakes, and they are still very strong sellers today. Has that reduced the allure of Porsche, maybe to some people? But for me personally, no, because I owned a Boxster. Had it not been for this entry level Porsche I would never have experienced the Porsche “allure” (what ever that involves).
    Now Porsche has developed the Cayenne (sp?). When they 1st came out I was dead against it, but I realized to stay independent and increase the their capital they had to tap into the SUV market.

    Now, on to Ferrari. I sure as hell wouldn’t want to see Ferrari purchased by Ford (or any other American car company). I’d rather see a Boxster competitor from Ferrari rather then have the Ford GT and Ferrari 360 share the same running gear. Will people look down on this entry level Ferrari, NO DOUBT about it! Just like a lot of people looked down on my Boxster.

    It’s hard because I can understand both sides of the equation. On 1 hand if I was rich I wouldn’t want increased production numbers, because it would take away from the exclusivity. On the other hand, since I’m not rich I’d love to see an entry level Ferrari (I might be able to afford it).

    With all that said, in the end, all companies out there exist to make money. And in a lot of Car companies it’s to make money and go racing.
     
  10. mjgermane

    mjgermane Formula Junior

    Jan 21, 2003
    507
    As much as a lot of those categories need a little push in the right direction, I chose not to sell Ferrari's to posers, Tommy was a perfect example.
     
  11. sjb509

    sjb509 Guest

    "So what about Ferrari? Simply put, they'd be nuts to even think about taking the high volume road."

    But aren't they headed down that road already with Maserati and Alfa? The resurrection of Maserati can only be to fill in a segment of lower priced cars and increase revenue. Ditto for Alfa, only at a lower price than Maserati.

    I agree that the name Ferrari is unique and special, and should be reserved for special sports cars only. Limiting production to only 4,000 cars a year preserves the "heritage" and "exclusivity" of the brand. Let the masses have their Masers and Alfas, and attempt to produce as many as they anticipate selling without artificially limiting supply.

    Maybe I could reconsider and take the opposite view, however. Rather than build 4,000 cars @ $200k each ($800M/year). Build only 100 cars per year and charge $8M each for them. Surely there could be 100 willing buyers for the exclusive pleasure of owning one of only 100 Ferraris produced in 2004.
     
  12. Ferruccio

    Ferruccio Formula Junior

    Feb 2, 2003
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    olathe, KS
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    Dan Gordon
    I am very glad my thread recieved so much attention. I love to see how much passion Ferrari stirs up. Although I beleive that Ferraris biggest problem is the fact they are moving away from handbuliding their cars. I wish more people shared that problem. I feel and will alway feel that Ferraris are art and should be treated as such.
     
  13. Hubert888

    Hubert888 F1 Veteran
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    May 14, 2003
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    IMO, Ferrari should give every new model car that comes out a new radical asethetic change. For example like how the 360 replaced the 355. The 360 looks nowhere similar to the 355. What they shouldn't do for example is do what they did with the 575M and the 550. They almost look the same.

    Oh, by the way, there is a typo in the Poll. the 3rd option, they spelled this: "(focus on there art)". THERE?
     
  14. Napolis

    Napolis Three Time F1 World Champ
    Owner Honorary

    Oct 23, 2002
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    Jim Glickenhaus
    Ferrari has nothing to do with Alfa.
    The jury is still very much out on Maser.
    The only F cars that have traded at or over 8 million are a lot rarer than 100 per year.
     
  15. thecarreaper

    thecarreaper F1 World Champ
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    Sep 30, 2003
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    great thread....... lots to think about. A LOT!
     
  16. lotustt

    lotustt Formula 3

    Aug 28, 2002
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    TRM
    Porsche is already under the VW auto group, so how are they still independant? Please correct me if I'm wrong. Ferrari needs to get better reliability and get rid of the belts, its a joke to say they will lose hp by going with chains when every other manufacturer can build high output engines and not have to tear them apart at 30 thousand miles for the most part. I thought ferrari's were not really handbuilt anymore, dont they use more machines now? Tell ferrari to hire Lotus Engineering, they can teach them a thing or two about handleing!!
     
  17. Hubert

    Hubert F1 Rookie

    Jan 3, 2002
    2,642
    The Left Coast
    You're wrong. Porsche Ag and VW have come together on given projects in the past, and most recently in the sharing of a plant to build the cayanne/tourag line of suburban assault vehicles; and they'll be sharing some running gear; i.e., the V6 cayanne, but the VW group doesn't own Porsche.
     
  18. ferrari_kid

    ferrari_kid Formula Junior

    Jul 5, 2003
    768
    To a point I'd agree with this, but what I liked was the connection between the old and the new through subtleties in design. Look at AM and RR, you can trace a lineage from their early cars to a current model. I agree they need a radical design but you make it too often and people will expect something more extreme each time. Look at Japanese car manufacturers. The change in car design can be so radical over the years that sometimes it's hard to see what you originally started with.

    As for the 575M and 550 the idea wasn't to make a new car but to evolve on what they currently had. They realized that the F1 tranny was popular so instead of just releasing it as an option on the 550 they made the 550 a better car with a bigger engine, more hp, and the F1 tranny. You'll see the same thing for their F1 team. If it ain't broke don't fix it.
     
  19. Fastviper

    Fastviper F1 Rookie

    Nov 20, 2003
    4,410
    Texas
    Full Name:
    Dash
    the dream

    When I was a little kid I used to dream everyday of owning a ferrari, When magnum came on I was watching, when miami vice came on I was watching, Then in 1997 I bought my first ferrari a 89 348 ts which i drove 12000 miles over 3 years took it to the shop probably 6 times not a problem for me cause I loved the car. The thing was to get into a new one in 2000 was 160K+ or a used 355 120k+ so I bought a viper gts, had ferrari offered a car for 90K (not 50, or 60K) That looked like a sports car I would of bought it in a second, I will not buy a massarti because it is a old persons car. It is not a true sports car I saw one today that was grey.

    Can they build one for 90K and be profitable, of course they can, and they should, some of you say well what about exclusively, I see maybe one ferrari a month I dont think doubling that will ruin the brand. well what about ferrari going away altogether, Ask any kid now a days what kind of car they dream of and I can tell you its not a 575 but it is foriegn. What happens when these kids grow up, there not going to buy ferrari they are going to buy acuras. Ferrari need to rebuild its brand by making 90K sports cars with 160K big brothers just like 348/ tr. To give people a least a chance to own one thats what makes dreams real. if its sold to any other company we will see 60K ferraris on a corvette base like h2 on surburban or god forbid massarti on lebaron and when that happens all the dreams will go away. So they should take the 308 change the lights and bumpers update the interior put the massarti engine in it sell it for 90k and i will buy one tommorrow.

    john
     
  20. vinny

    vinny Karting

    Nov 1, 2003
    158
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    Vincent Pitocco
    I think the supply - demand ratio is way out of wack. I know Ferrari likes to keep the supply low to create demand, but there are alot more people out there now that can afford them than in the earlier years.So if you build enough cars, not flood the market, but enough to drop prices so they are at mrsp value,then everbody wins (except the speculator). Customers would pay mrsp and not wait 4 years. Ferrari would still get same price and sell more cars,....oh and dont worry about seeing too many cars on the road, because most of people who own them dont drive them anyway.Then take that money and put it into RACING, the true passion of Enzo Ferrari.
     
  21. enzoz

    enzoz Karting

    Nov 2, 2003
    162
    SF Bay Area
    Full Name:
    Rob
    All high line cars should feature... variable awd (except for a few) , sequential manual transmission with changable gear ratios, twin and tripple clutches. Customizable suspensions. Variable aerodynamics. Mixed interiors, part luxiourious, part sporty. If I'm paying $250k-1M for a MODERN 'classic' I better get high tech that works along with the rare art.

    The top end cars...

    racer- A one seater track day car that looks like a Formula car, open front wheels, everything customizable for track days. The engine should feature some slick tech like F1 style valves and a real deal F1 sequential paddle shift system and steering wheel. Two wheel drive though.

    F60- Top supercar. This ***** should feature the highest technology out there. Pure F1 tech inside and out. Make it almost open wheeled like that design the Prowler had. That would look insane. The front end should be even more like an F1 car. Basically the Enzo Ferrari to another level. Bridging the gap from Enzo to F1 racer for the street.

    712TR- 7L V12 unit, mid rear mounted. 2 seater

    600GTO- 6L V12 unit, front mid mounted. 2 seater

    Mondial- 5.0L V10 car, mid rear mounted. 2+2 (they could have done better with the concept behind the Mondial, IMHO, much potential)

    Dino- 4.0L V6 with optional 4.5L V8 unit, mid rear mounted, 2 seater. Classic gated shifter for 6 speed tranny. Classic looking interior made of quality materials. This car should be the big seller.

    Maserati,

    Spider- Luxo crusier with convertable hardtop and Semi auto tranny, 2 seater. Mondial V10.

    The Quatsalot should feature a V12 (from GTO but less tunned) and offer better luxury then Benz. Semi auto tranny.

    An Italian 'muscle car.' A car shaped like an E46 M3, wide, muscular, agressive, but with the V8 from the Dino model @ 5.5L. "Powered by Ferrari" badges on side to scare the posers from challenging you as they see the flaired 2+2 with an exotic sound to it at the stop light. This car should come with a gated six speed from Dino.

    And the 4x4 of course... should be better than Cayenne T on road, should not go off road. They should use the Mondial V10.

    ________________

    I think Ferrari is headed the right way with supercars. Insanity is needed. They're an exotic car company for crying out loud. The cars should be totally absurd in terms of go fast technology. And I think the TR and front mounted GTO would be awesome revivals. Totally evocative names and body shapes and engines noises. And like I said, I think the 2+2 mid mounted motor car is an awesome idea with great potential so I thought that would be interesting than another 3** series car. But infact, by bringing back the Dino and giving it a high revving V8 option you get both done, the little classic sportster and a car like the 3** series.

    As for Maser... well I think the current line up is interesting but still a little bland IMHO for a company called MASERATI.
     
  22. robert biscan

    robert biscan F1 Rookie

    I voted for styling and hand built art and design. My 360 is plenty fast. It's hard to drive under 80mph on the highway. I know let up on the pedal. The car just has lots of torque and in no time you're flying.
    I probably will never buy a new mercedes again. I think for a top end car they really watered down their product. The used car prices drop like a rock. The entry level cars have many of the components of the top of line cars except the engine size. Buy a 600 sl today and watch it have a value of 50% in three years. They are having customer satisfaction issues too.
    That's why I don't think Ferrari should build a low end car for the masses. The value of the top end cars will be diminished. Let the used car market supply the demand for lower priced Ferraris.
     
  23. Clax

    Clax Formula 3

    Oct 3, 2002
    1,611
    I agree the 360 is fast, but it does not have "lots of torque". I wish it had about 50% more torque. Torque is definitely not it's strongpoint. Still an outstanding car, however.
     
  24. notoboy

    notoboy F1 Rookie

    Jul 8, 2003
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    David
    Getting back to the poll, I would love more HP or less weight, but the one thing that really gets me in the price of ownership is MAINTENANCE.

    Today, youc
     
  25. notoboy

    notoboy F1 Rookie

    Jul 8, 2003
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    David
    For a well cared for 91 TR, I have spent over 30K over the past 4 years and 15K miles, and its time for a 15K service again (still more $$$).

    THAT is ridiculous! Reliability and maintenance are DEFINITELY the most important problems Ferrari needs to overcome, even before hp, weight or performance. And that is why my little bro and several friends bought Porsches instead of a Ferrari.

    David
     

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