Ferrari has decided to keep its production capped to around 7,000 vehicles per year in order to "preserve the brand's uniqueness", Fiat chief Sergio Marchionne has confirmed today.
Marchionne laid out the supercar brand’s plans for the next four years at the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) investor relations meeting in Michigan. The production cap was instigated last year and was announced by Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo in May 2013.
Marchionne has, however, left the door open for potential expansion to approximately 10,000 cars in the future, to allow the growth of high-net-worth-high-earning population in emerging and non-traditional markets.
Marchionne also reiterated at the presentation that "Ferrari is not for sale", scotching speculation in the business world that the Fiat group could consider offloading its prized asset.
Ferrari’s current line-up of eight-cylinder machines comprises the 458 Italia, 458 Speciale and California T. The 12-cylinder cars are the F12 Berlinetta, FF and the new LaFerrari hypercar.
Ferrari’s plans for the next four years involve launching a new model every year. Each new model will have a four year lifecycle, and will be followed by ‘M’ versions that remain on sale for four more years. Ferrari often uses the ‘M’ – for ‘modificado’ – designation when it is developing models that have been upgraded or heavily revised. For example, the Ferrari 360 had the internal denomination of F136. The model that succeeded it, the F430, bore the identifier F136M.
The 458 Italia is currently in its fourth model year and could be ripe for refreshment under this strategy. Indeed, 458 Italia development mules – rumoured to feature a turbocharged engine in place of the current normally aspirated V8 – have already been spied. Ferrari will also concentrate on "selective launch of special series targeting high-end customers", according to Marchionne. This could hint at a hardcore version of LaFerrari designed solely for track use, as is in the news already.
Marchionne added that the Maranello-based company will also focus investment in its Formula 1 motorsport division. The carmaker hasn’t won a championship since the 2008 constructors’ title.