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Images: California Comes To Paris

California Comes To Paris

Ferrari President
Luca di Montezemolo and CEO Amedeo Felisa
Click to enlarge

Ferrari President Luca di Montezemolo and CEO Amedeo Felisa during the presentation of the Ferrari California at the Paris Auto Show


The Ferrari California finally made its official World debut at the Paris Show today (2 October 2008) after a series of special previews on the web and during two dedicated events staged in Maranello and Los Angeles at which it received a hugely enthusiastic reception.

The Ferrari California’s next public outing will be in Australia, when it debuts at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney on 9 October 2008.

The Ferrari California is an exceptionally innovative car whose philosophy takes its inspiration from the spirit and emotions of one of the great Ferraris of the past, the 1957 250 California, a superbly elegant open top car designed for the track, which has, over the years, come to symbolise not only superior sportiness and performance but also exclusivity, craftsmanship and faultless sophistication.

This new car joins Ferrari's 8-cylinder range which is made up mostly of very high performance models. It also flanks the 12-cylinder flagship 612 Scaglietti in the Grand Tourer category. The Ferrari California is a car with the track in its DNA. It is enormously innovative and will more than fulfill the expectations of even Ferrari’s most discerning clients, offering breathtaking driving pleasure and fun behind the wheel as well as extreme versatility of use and in-car comfort. It is available exclusively as a convertible with retractable folding hard top in either a two-seater version with a traditional rear bench or in the 2+ version which sees the rear bench equipped with seating for one to two passengers.

The new Ferrari
California at the Ferrari stand at the Paris Auto
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The new Ferrari California at the Ferrari stand at the Paris Auto Show

In line with Ferrari tradition, this model positively brims with innovative features. In addition to its retractable hard top and the aforementioned original 2+ concept, the new California also offers: a new direct injection V8 engine, a 7-speed gearbox with steering wheel-mounted F1-style paddles coupled with a new dual clutch, a new suspension system (double wishbones at the front and multilink at the rear), the new evolved F1-Trac traction control system and Brembo brakes with CCM (carbon ceramic material) discs as standard (this latter feature is shared by the other models in the current range).

Ferrari highlights
In 2007, Ferrari's revenues (turnover) increased from the 1,447 million euro recorded in 2006 to 1,668 million euro, a jump of 1.3%. A total of 6,465 road cars were delivered to their owners, an increase of 14% on 2006. Our trading profit of 266 million euro represented a massive 45.4% increase on the previous year and brought our ROS (Return on Sales) up to 16% compared to 12.6% in 2006.

2008 is another year of growth for Ferrari. In the first half of the year, we took in revenues of 969 million euro, up 20.5% on the same period in 2007 We made a trading profit of 164 million euro (equal to 16.9% of revenues), a very impressive 62.4% improvement on the first six months of 2007. During the same period, we delivered a total of 3,506 cars to end-clients (+4.2%).

Last June, President Luca di Montezemolo and CEO Amedeo Felisa presented the new phase of the Formula Uomo programme launched by Ferrari in 1997 to encompass such diverse areas as working environment, safety, environmental impact and energy saving, and services for our employees and their families. In terms of working environments, Ferrari also recently celebrated the opening of its new Car Assembly Line building designed by French architect Jean Nouvel, winner of this year's highly prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, as well as the new company restaurant penned by architect Marco Visconti. With regard to the environment and energy-saving, Ferrari also presented two new projects: a photovoltaic system and a tri-generation plant which will reduce in the amount of electricity we take from the national grid each year by 25% and will also cut our CO2 emissions by 35%. By the end of the year, we will also have begun work on building the new GES.

Overall, since the building in 1997 of Renzo Piano's Wind Tunnel, more than 200 million euro has been invested in Formula Uomo. More than four million euro will also be invested in 2008 in structural and training activities aimed at improving safety in the workplace.

Ferrari Financial Services
Ferrari Financial Services, which operates in the Italian, German, French, Austrian, Belgian, Swiss and US markets, is also faring very well indeed. Thus far it has achieved an average of 31% market penetration in Europe (46% in Germany) and 33% in the US where it has been present for just a year. This means that over a third of the Ferraris sold in the aforementioned countries were purchased under a financing agreement made with our own Financial Services Company. Ferrari Financial Services offers Ferrari clients a completely new way of purchasing their cars under the "Premium Ownership Program" which includes a range of basic services linked to the financing of the cost of the car together with additional "Premium" services specially developed for the Prancing Horse models. The latter, in fact, include a complete range of insurance and planned maintenance packages tailored to suit the needs of each individual client; exclusive lifestyle services and driving courses specific to each model.

Interestingly, the sports driving course for the 430 Scuderia in which Michael Schumacher takes a role has proved particularly successful. The first edition took place at Fiorano while the next one will soon be held at the Nürburgring.

Ferrari Financial Services has also provided financing for 15 former Formula 1 cars (total value, 20 million euro). Financing of historic cars is on the increase too: the Ferrari Financial Services portfolio now includes very rare 1960s 250 California Spiders worth over 5 million euro between them.

The presentation of
the new Ferrari California at the Paris Auto
Click to enlarge

The presentation of the new Ferrari California at the Paris Auto Show

Ferrari Classiche
The Ferrari Classiche division has become enormously popular with collectors the world over due to the quality of the restoration and maintenance, production and sale of major components, engine and gear boxes, in relation to the original castings, and authenticity certification services it provides. Thus far Ferrari Classiche has issued more than 850 certificates of authenticity and received over 1,100 requests for the same. This was done using the technical and historic information contained in the legendary Ferrari archive which includes information on all of the Grand Tourer, competition and sports prototype cars built at Maranello since the company's foundation. A total of 26 full restorations have been completed by the technical workshop dedicated to historic cars too.

Ferrari Stores
The Ferrari Store expansion and development programme continues across the globe with a current total of 22 retail outlets, over half of which are abroad. 2008 brought the opening of Ferrari Stores in Singapore, Honolulu and Miami, as well as a Ferrari Corner in Moscow. By the end of the year, other retail outlets will also have opened on London's chic Regent Street, in Johannesburg and San Francisco.

Ferrari’s online sales through the website are also very good with growth in double figures. Ferrari-branded products can be purchased by anyone, on five continents and in five languages. On the site, in all the Ferrari Stores and all the Ferrari dealers, the new Ferrari California collection is also now available for men, women and children.

Ferrari in France
With 287 cars homologated for road use delivered to clients in 2007, France is Ferrari's sixth largest market after the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan. The importance of the French market to the Prancing Horse is testament to the long Ferrari tradition in the country. In fact, we've been present in France since 1948, just a year after the first Ferrari car was built. The French Ferrari Owners' Club is one of the most loyal to the marque's values, in fact, and this year celebrated its 40th anniversary.


Editor’s Note: The correct definition of the engine position in the Ferrari California is mid-front because while the engine is ahead of passenger compartment, the engine sits behind the front axle line and the entire drivetrain is between the axle lines, making it as much mid-engined as the F430, which is defined as a rear-mid engined car.

© Scoop Media

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