autoevolution

Sergio Marchionne Virtually Confirmed the Apocalypse Won't Happen Soon

A lot of people regard Ferrari as the last bastion of what the automotive industry used to be about. Yes, the Italian prancing horse did build a four-wheel-drive car, and now it's started using hybrid technology, but despite all that, its cars are still all about driving.
Ferrari GTC4 Lusso interior 1 photo
They can put all the electric motors in a Ferrari as long as there's still a big V engine in there somewhere. These vehicles are precision tools that don't need to find excuses for not being politically correct, environmentally friendly or fuel efficient. They may not have reached the level of Lamborghini's nihilism, but they're close. If a Lamborghini is a mohawked punk in a leather jacket, the Ferrari is one that's all dressed up for a wedding.

Up until now, Ferrari has tried really hard - and mostly succeeded - to stay true to its principles. All the apparent concessions it made all had a very good reason behind them: nobody ever complained about how the FF - the four-wheel drive Ferrari - drove, and we all agree the hybrid technology allows the LaFerrari to do things otherwise impossible. So while these models have been a little hard to digest at first, they've all proven to be very much in that Ferrari vein we all know and love.

However, the current automotive landscape has two very clear directions it's going in, and they both collide with Ferrari's way of life: one is the proliferation of the all-electric vehicle, and the other is the redundancy of the driver thanks to autonomous cars. You can now breathe a huge sigh of relief: Marchionne, the CEO of Ferrari, made it clear the Maranello brand will have nothing to do with either of these two.

Tesla is doing its best to prove an EV can be tons of fun, and it's hard to argue against the facts, but Ferrari is having none of that. And while we could maybe live with an electric Ferrari in twenty years from now (not that there's any plan for one), an autonomous one would probably spell the end of the world as we know it. The second Ferrari launched a self-driving model, it would be time to switch off the lights and go home: the automotive world would have fatally failed.

Marchionne is not exactly a likable guy - he has made some dubious decisions in the past and when he took over Ferrari from Montezemolo, a lot of people thought he would be the doom of the much-loved brand. But for all his foibles, he made it very clear that Ferrari would stay away from the autonomous craze. And Ferrari has proven it can go against the flow of the market if it contradicts with its core values, the best example being the absence of a Ferrari SUV ("You have to shoot me first," the CEO said about the prospect).

Marchionne seems to have the right attitude, he appears to understand what those cars are all about, and he has a clear image of the profile of Ferrari clients. So, no, there will be no Apocalypse on Sergio Marchionne's watch.

 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories