Fer­rari as pop­u­lar as ever

Re­ces­sion is not sti­fling the Pranc­ing Horse, writes STEPHEN OTTLEY

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Prestige -

THE world’s econ­omy may be crash­ing, but Fer­rari is driv­ing full speed into the fu­ture. The wait­ing list for the new Cal­i­for­nia con­vert­ible is al­ready out to two years af­ter a sales rush at the Syd­ney Mo­tor Show.

Fer­rari’s Aus­tralian im­porter, Neville Crich­ton, says al­most 200 or­ders have been taken for the car that was un­veiled at the Paris Mo­tor Show in Septem­ber.

Crich­ton be­lieves Fer­rari can weather the fi­nan­cial storm be­cause of its her­itage as the world’s most de­sir­able car brand.

‘‘I’ve been in the motoring in­dus­try my whole life and there isn’t an­other brand that has the good­will of th­ese brands,’’ Crich­ton says. ‘‘I don’t think any­thing is re­ces­sion­proof, but out of all the mo­tor ve­hi­cle brands it’s the clos­est to it.’’

The wait­ing list for the 430 is out to 18 months and the V12 599 and 612 mod­els need a six to eight­month wait. The V8 mod­els rep­re­sent 70 per cent of the lo­cal sales for the ex­otic brand.

The lat­est fig­ures show sales for the year so far are up 20 per cent, mak­ing it one of only a hand­ful of brands en­joy­ing growth in the cur­rent mar­ket cli­mate.

The big­gest win­ner is sis­ter brand Maserati, which is up 70 per cent.

Fer­rari is one of the few car brands en­joy­ing sig­nif­i­cant growth, es­pe­cially in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

Last year sales in the re­gion were up more than 40 per cent and glob­ally the com­pany is on course for a record sales year.

The strong sales come at the same time the south­ern hemi­sphere’s big­gest Fer­rari and Maserati deal­er­ship opens in Mel­bourne.

Bobby Zagame has just opened the deal­er­ship in Rich­mond, in­vest­ing al­most $30 mil­lion in the three­storey sales palace.

De­spite the eco­nomic down­turn Zagame de­fend­ing his new deal­er­ship as part of build­ing his busi­ness for the fu­ture.

‘‘We’ve not done this for to­day, we’ve done this for the fu­ture,’’ Zagame says. ‘‘If you think small you’ll stay small.’’

Zagame says even if the eco­nomic trou­bles con­tinue his new deal­er­ship will help make Fer­rari and Maserati the most de­sir­able of brands.

Plenty of or­ders: Bobby Zagame with the

Fer­rari Cal­i­for­nia. Pic­ture: CAMERON TANDY

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