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New CEO For Ferrari

Ferrari announced today that Luca Cordero di Montezemolo will step down as chairman of Ferrari as of Oct. 13 and will be replaced by Fiat Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, Fiat said in a statement today.

The departure of Montezemolo, 67, was widely expected after escalating clashes between the two executives over strategy and the role of Ferrari within the Fiat group.

Ferrari is a key component of Marchionne’s plans to expand in luxury cars to better compete with Volkswagen, which owns Lamborghini among its stable of high-end nameplates.

Montezemolo wanted to maintain Ferrari’s autonomous status and limit sales to about 7,000 cars a year to preserve the brand’s exclusive allure. That clashed with Marchionne’s goal of having Ferrari bolster a shift by Fiat into upscale cars as part of its merger with Chrysler Group.

Marchionne told reporters today that Ferrari will continue to limit annual sales but may gradually raise the cap to cater for rising demand. The cap could undergo “small changes” in some markets to prevent rivals getting an advantage by letting waiting lists get too long, he said. A Ferrari spokesman said the U.S. is one of the markets where demand for Ferrari cars is strong.

Ferrari will continue to provide engineering assistance to Fiat Group’s Maserati and Alfa Romeo brands to improve the quality of their cars. “Ferrari is a good school. Its importance within the group should not be underestimated,” Marchionne said.

Marchionne added that his new role as Ferrari chairman was not temporary and that bringing in a new chief executive for the brand was not on the agenda. He said there is no plan to fold Ferrari into the rest of Fiat Chrysler. “The success of Ferrari is mainly due to its unique brand,” he said.

Montezemolo’s Oct. 13 resignation date coincides with the day when Fiat plans to list Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) in New York after completing a merger with its U.S. business and cementing a shift of the Italian group from its home for the past 115 years.

‘New phase’

“Ferrari will have an important role to play within the FCA Group in the upcoming flotation on Wall Street. This will open up a new and different phase, which I feel should be spearheaded by the CEO of the Group,” Montezemolo said in a statement.

Marchionne said that he and Montezemolo had discussed the future of Ferrari at length and that “our mutual desire to see Ferrari achieve its true potential on the [Formula One] track has led to misunderstandings, which became clearly visible over the last weekend.” Marchionne said on Sunday that the recent disappointing performance of Ferrari’s F1 team was “unacceptable” and that it was “absolutely non-negotiable” that Ferrari should win F1 races. He also took issue with comments from Montezemolo offering to continue running the brand for three more years, saying that “nobody is indispensable.”

Under Montezemolo’s tenure, Ferrari raced to the top of the F1 standings, increased revenues tenfold and tripled sales volumes as the Italian family business grew into one of the world’s most powerful brands.  Will this move benefit the auto giant?


Read full article here 

The 2014 Gumball 3000, Kicked Off Today


The 2014 Gumball 3000 kicked off today with drivers racing from Miami to Ibiza.  This year had some stars attending including DeadMau5 and several others.

If you are unfamiliar with the Gumball 3000, it is an annual international road rally full of mayhem, exotic cars and car enthusiasts racing/partying for 3,000-miles (4,800 kms) along public roads with a different driving route around the world each year.

Kicking off in the sunny streets of Miami, this year’s Gumball 3000 participants have a long road ahead (see official 2014 Gumball 3000 map) as they’ll even have to pack their cars up into cargo containers in NYC and ship them over to Europe, as they race towards the finish line in Ibiza, Spain.

Most of the cars entered into the Gumball 3000 are rare and exotic like this McClaren P1 or Ferrari F40, but then you also get a few strange but cool oddities like the Batmobile Tumbler and Toronto’s own Deadmau5 behind the wheel of his “cat-powered” Purrari 458 Italia.

When it comes to picking pole position on the grid, it’s uniquely decided by the teams who’ve received the most charitable donations. The race so far has raised around US$167,000 for charity! Not a big surprise considering some of the the drivers include world famous celebrities and high rolling millionaires. On top of that the drivers in this race come from as far as Dubai to compete in it, although we did spot a couple New York, California and even Ontario, Canada tags as well!

Although some still think this an underground race where driver’s dog fight the whole length of the race, the answer is no, no it isn’t. The Gumball 3000 is much more than that. The Gumball 3000 is the ultimate road trip, jam packed with wild parties and good times in every city it passes through.  This race is about having fun and showing off amazing cars!

click here to read the full article and to see pictures from the event.


The Ferrari Brand Gets Its Own Theme Park: Ferrari Land

Brand-loyalists and Ferrari enthusiasts will soon have a new place to visit.

Here’s one theme park where you can pretty much be sure there will be a car ride: Ferrari Land.

Ferrari is signed an agreement to build Ferrari Land at the PortAventura resort outside Barcelona.

When it opens in 2016, the park is expected to host 4 million visitors a year, half of them from outside Spain.

The park celebrates one of the world’s best-known performance car brands. Like the cars, the park will put a premium on speed. Ferrari says it will have one of Europe’s highest and fastest rides. A Ferrari-themed hotel will also be built.

Read the full article here.