The Asian affairs used to be handled by Ferrari Asia Pacific in Shanghai. Why the split?
Ferrari has been historically strong in the US and Europe, but we want to reinforce our presence in Asia. In 2012, we realised that the organisation at that time was not matching our goals for this market. China is a region by itself and we saw the need to split China from the rest of Asia – we’ve also observed other luxury brands taking this route.The goal of Ferrari Far East is to be based in South-east Asia to be closer to our customers here in the emerging markets.
Ferrari announced last year that it would cut production. How are you going to keep up with demand in Asia?
We limited the supply especially for the more mature markets like the US, but we want to
grow in other regions. Our goal is to rebalance our worldwide footprint. We target to sell equal numbers of cars in the three regions – US, Europe/ Middle East and Asia – in five years.
What are some of the challenges that are unique to Asia for supercar manufacturers?
There are more and more taxes in Asia, especially in South-east Asia: import tax, vehicle-registration tax, luxury tax. It’s the most heavily taxed area of the world. It’s a pity though, because fewer people can experience the “emotion” of our cars. While Ferrari is an exclusive brand, it’s one thing to have luxury pricing and another to be asking for the moon.
What are Ferrari’s goals with the new set-up in South-east Asia?
We need to build recognition in South-east Asia and improve the understanding of our brand and our history. We also want to engage with the local Ferrari communities to develop a culture. To us, a Ferrari is a Ferrari; there’s no old or new Ferrari. Similarly, all Ferraristi (owners) are the same to
us. Some activities we’ve organised include the Sepang Ferrari Race Day in February to reach out to owners from around the region. We would also like to hear feedback from our customers and to collect information for future designs. As a matter of fact, suggestions originating from South-east Asia have influenced the design of the Ferrari launched at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show (held last month).