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Manufacturer insight: Ferrari

The most active work that Ferrari got involved in was the switching of production slots. UK, USA and Germany all showed signs of stress.

So China, Japan and the Middle East got more cars.

Ferrari has used its period of success to protect the future. It has introduced a four-year warranty and a seven-year full service package and is the only supercar maker to do so.

That means that all routine servicing is covered in the first seven years and there is no restriction on mileage.

That also means that if an owner is doing 25,000 miles a year he is getting two services a year for seven years for free.

Dealers are invited to spend heavily on their facilities to embrace and emphasise the quality of the cars that they are dealing with.

In the UK there is a corporate identity revamp in progress.

The first UK dealers to embrace it are Graypaul Birmingham, JCT600 Brooklands Leeds, and Dick Lovett Swindon. Others are currently laying plans and consulting architects.

It is tangible evidence that dealers believe that Ferrari is still a brand with momentum.

UK sales were 574 cars in 2011 which was up on the previous year by an astonishing 23%.

Part of that rise of course is rebound because earlier years have seen quite painful declines.

The peak year was the 600 cars of 2008. In the two years following, there was a 25% decline which only in part was due to the vagaries of the new product cycle.

The 458 Italia and the FF introductions both prevented a true assessment of the underlying trends.

This year, within a few months there is a new Ferrari which even by Ferrari standards is a wild beast.

It’s called the F12 Berlinetta and is said to have a lunatic top speed of more than 210mph.

That sort of speed requires forced air cooling for the brakes and carbon pads, and the driver to have the responses of a fighter pilot.

You have to wonder whether every owner will feel duty bound to check that speed on the public highway at least once, and whether something a little less formidable might be better for owners and other road users alike.

Three quarters of cars are V8s and the rest are V12s. In the UK, the two-seater V8s sell far better than the four-seaters.

The consequence is a far better residual in the UK for the two-seater. In Switzerland, the reverse is true and the residuals again follow the better-selling cars.

Right-hand drive cars are usually introduced part-way through the year and the FF only started to reach the UK at the end of last year, but was on sale elsewhere six months earlier.

The global market has remained strong and total sales were down only 5%. Ferrari has now emerged from that reversal and sales are climbing.

So confident is the company that it knows its market that it always has 12 months of production sold before it even unveils the car for casual sales.

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