How Ferrari Makes More Money By Not Selling You Their Cars

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1st Gear: Is Luca di Montezemolo really Eric Cartman?


While Lamborghini seems anxious to sell their cars to anyone who can string together a monthly payment, and one might assume Porsche keeps a rotating ad in all the finest oral medicine journals, Ferrari has always been notoriously stingy with their cars.

And it works. It works so good. The lowliest Ferrari is still a Ferrari and there are very few products that immediately and hilariously depreciate. The aura of Ferrari is mostly untouched, surviving even the stigma of DeMuro owning one.

How is it for profits? Ferrari had their brief shareholders meeting and from the minutes I imagine it went something like this:

"Sales fell 5.4%"

Cheers from the shareholders!

"Revenues are up 5%"

Cheers from the shareholders!

"Net profits are up 5.4%"

Cheers from the shareholders!

"Time to appoint people for a new Board of Statutory Auditors"

Everyone goes back to playing on their smartphones

It's the Eric Cartman roller coaster strategy, and it somehow works.

2nd Gear: Not Everyone Is Happy To Lose Sales


Is the market screwed or is weather still a factor? While it's still been cold, the big surge of could-be buyers everyone assumed were waiting for it to warm up haven't shown up yet.

According to Automotive News, analysts didn't see enough of a push of buyers to get an increase in 1st Quarter growth.


Look at SAAR to reach mid-to-upper 15 million in March, shy of the 16 million SAAR needed to reach 16.3 million sales this year.

3rd Gear: A Guide To GM'S Small Engines


GM is going to make small engines like EcoBoost, but they're going to call them EcoTec, which if you think about it is a better name even though GM fumbled the marketing of it.


Here's a deep dive from C/D's Csebe Csere, whom I instinctively call Chubby Checkers whenever I see him because that's the easiest way to pronounce it.

4th Gear: Consumer Advocates Advocate For Tesla


The one thing about the dealer model that should be hard to argue with is that you should always be able to get an affordable, competent, high quality service at the same place you bought the car.

If your iMac screws up a month after buying it you can take it back to Apple and they'll fix just about anything non-Coffee-related and get it back to you quickly and for free.


Unfortunately, the one thing that dealers can use as their argument for why they need to exist is directly related to everyone's worst experiences with dealers. As profit centers, many dealerships have pressed their advantage to squeeze as much money out of service as possible.

If you're not getting it paid for by someone else, the dealership is often the last choice you want to make. Thus, as Bloombeg reports, consumer rights folks are actually pro-Tesla, which seems counter-intuitive.

The Center for Auto Safety, a Washington-based consumer group, doesn't support allowing manufacturers to sell all of their vehicles directly. That could create a monopoly, Executive Director Clarence Ditlow said. Even so, direct sales are a welcome form of competition, and dealer claims about being champions for customers ring hollow, Ditlow said.

"Dealers are not consumer advocates," Ditlow said in a telephone interview. "They're advocating for themselves, and when they try to put on a consumer mantle, it's really to disguise their pro-dealer position."


Whatever Elon Musk's true motives — and we should assume his are as selfish as the NADA's — he has generations of bad dealer experiences on his side.

5th Gear: One GM Story


We've been heavy on the GM recall beat lately, because it's super damn important and, unlike the Malaysian plane, we're actually learning something every day besides "cable news sucks."

The New York Times has the best take this morning, explaining how GM reacted to families killed in their cars, sometimes threatening to counter-sue.


Here's the nut:

A New York Times review of 19 of those accidents — where victims were identified through interviews with survivors, family members, lawyers and law enforcement officials — found that G.M. pushed back against families in at least two of the accidents, and reached settlements that required the victims to keep the discussions confidential.


It's worth reading the rest.

Reverse: Huh, She's Almost One Year Older Than I am

On this day in 1982, Danica Patrick, the first woman to win an IndyCar Series race, America's top level of open-wheel racing, is born in Beloit, Wisconsin.



Neutral: Does not being able to buy a Ferrari make you want it more?

Or less?

Photo Credit: Getty Images/Newspress/AP

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