Ferrari to gear up and drive sales

Updated: 2011-01-15 10:17

By Li Fangfang (China Daily)

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Sports carmaker says country may become its second-biggest market

SHANGHAI - The Italian sports car brand Ferrari expects China will be its second-biggest market in the near future, and sees potential in the country's growing new rich and the robust economy, said company executives.

"China represents a market where Ferrari will keep investing and strengthening its structure and presence, not only through the dealership network, but also through services and new Ferrari Stores," said Chief Executive Officer Amedeo Felisa.

"We hope the country will soon be our second-largest market, behind the United States."

Now China ranks in fifth position in Ferrari's global markets, following the US, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.

In 2010, Ferrari delivered around 300 of its cars to consumers on the Chinese mainland, a record high for the company, which entered the nation's market in 2004. The number increased nearly 50 percent compared with 2009.

Felisa told China Daily that he hopes Ferrari's sales in 2011 will hit 600 units on the mainland, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

To achieve the target and provide better services to local customers, Felisa said the company will add five more dealers this year, all in second- and third-tier cities, to its current network of 10 dealers.

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"In the future, we will shift our focus of dealership expansion from the coastal regions to the second- and third-tier inland cities, following the footprint of the Chinese economy's development," said Felisa, who was in China on Friday to deliver the Italian super sports car to its 999th local customer.

"We believe that after becoming the world's biggest automobile market, China has the potential to be No 1 for the luxury segment someday, with growth much faster than the US has experienced," said Edwin Fenech, the company's Asia-Pacific chief executive officer.

The company will expend great efforts in China in the future, following a passionate response from young and successful Chinese customers to the design, technology and fun of driving a Ferrari.

"This year will also see the start of the first Asian championship in the Ferrari Challenge single-make racing series, as well as the launch of the Chinese version of our Ferrari magazine, the third language (after the Italian and English) we provide to our consumers," said Fenech, who wants to deepen Ferrari's sports car culture in the nation.

China has been a hotspot for premium and super-sports car makers in recent years, as they look for future growth, the potential for which is especially evident among the country's younger generation and the newly rich.

Earlier this week, the British premium car brand Rolls-Royce announced that China has become its second-biggest market, accounting for one fourth of its total sales of 2,711 units in 2010.


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