Ferrari, a company that still makes fast cars but wants to be known more for making trinkets like hats and perfumes with pictures of pretty horses on them, went to Wall Street with the promise that it would now be a company that wanted to be known for making trinkets like hats and perfumes with pictures of pretty horses on them. That strategy hasn’t worked out so well.
Car companies, for what it’s worth, are uncool right now on Wall Street, mostly because car company valuations are a bit crap relative to other industries. No one wants to be one. Ford and General Motors are, a bit laughably, trying to convince everyone they’re tech companies (with, accordingly, tech company valuations.)
Ferrari is now publicly traded, which means that it also wants a high valuation. It’s never going to be mistaken for Google, but it could—maybe!—get mistaken for something else. Something like Prada.
And how’s that going, Bloomberg?
Ferrari NV’s ambition to compete with luxury-goods brands like Hermes or Prada has failed to make headway in the six months since its initial public offering, raising pressure on the new board to reset the sports-car maker’s strategy.
Skepticism over the company’s prospects has caused the stock to tumble about 20 percent since its October listing.
Ferrari’s share price peaked shortly after it began trading in October. It’s sitting, as of this writing, at $38.60 per share. That’s not great. But how could that be a problem, when you’re doing things like this?
The manufacturer hired Luca Fuso from eyewear maker Safilo in September to replace Andrea Perrone, the former chief of luxury suitmaker Brioni. Perrone was brought in by Marchionne’s predecessor as chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, to expand merchandising and brand licensing. The effort included a clothing line called Pr1ma, which offers 1,980-euro ($2,200) cashmere bomber jackets, 450-euro turtleneck sweaters and 180-euro T-shirts.
Rich people always do well, you’d be forgiven for thinking. But after the massive shift in wealth distribution in the wake of the recession, corrections are on the horizon. Already, China’s economy is faltering, and thus a large portion of the luxury goods market is shriveling up. Prada, Hermes, they’re all getting hit.
Unfortunately, that all came just in time for Ferrari to go on the public market.
Traditional car companies on the other hand, seem to be doing pretty well during the same six-month period as Ferrari’s been on the market.
Maybe everyone should try being boring instead?
(Ferrari will never be boring.)