When Fiat Chrysler chief, Sergio Marchionne, fired just about everyone including Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo and became the head of the Italian sports car manufacturer, there was always the implied intent that the famous Maranello brand would be used to fuel the Fiat Chrysler empire and it seems that now is the time when Ferrari goes on the chopping block.
According to a New York Times article, Ferrari has listed with the New York Stock Exchange for an IPO of approximately 10% of it outstanding shares with Fiat, the parent company of Ferrari since 1969, to retain 80%.
Say what you will about Luca, he was a racer and passionate Ferrari man while Marchionne seems to be a passionate business man who has been long of criticism of the famous company ans short on praise or deference. He’s been critical of the operation and fired most of its key executive management while offering polemics such as a losing Ferrari isn’t a Ferrari. That has played well in the 24-hour news cycle talking points but it offers very little in regards to real Formula 1 long-term strategy.
While firing most of the key personnel has seemed like a results-driven strategy, the reality is that Pat Fry’s car is what we are seeing at work in 2015 and it is with Luca Marmorini’s power unit improvements.
Time will tell as to how Ferrari will fare on the open market but suffice to say, if you’ve ever wanted to own of piece of the Italian car company, now is the time. I’ll be honest, as a Ferrari fan, I’m not jazzed about this IPO and while I had no issues with Fiat gaining from Ferrari’s brand equity, I am concerned about Ferrari’s open-market form as a publicly traded company. That brings in a lot of non-racers and simple car fanatics and opportunists but lets hope the injection of cash pays dividends for the folks in Maranello.
Hat Tip: NYT