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Ferrari slams McLaren over local pricing

Mac the knife: McLaren slashed more than $100,000 from the price of its MP4-12C in May 2013, only a year after the supercar was launched.

McLaren price tactics described by Ferrari Australasia chief as ‘upsetting’ to brand

Ferrari logo30 Jul 2015

FERRARI has slammed rival supercar marque McLaren over its aggressive pricing strategy in Australia, claiming the British company is only “upsetting” its clients and resale values.

Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth took McLaren Automotive to task this week when asked about the pricing policy behind Ferrari’s range of cars and whether he looked to McLaren’s strategy.

“We absolutely did not and do not want to do what our competition does,” he said.

“Fundamentally, the first thing we have to do is to protect our customer. And reducing the retail price of your car mid-model is just upsetting the resale value of your cars and upsetting all the existing customers who bought that car.

“That is something that you won’t see from Ferrari.”

In May 2013, McLaren slashed $95,100 and $102,120 from its first Australian models, the MP4-12C coupe and roadster respectively – lowering the price from $493,100 to $398,000 (before on-road costs) for the 12C, and from $543,900 to $441,780 for the 12C Spider – and accused its rivals of being “overpriced”.

It also claimed that few supercar customers actually paid the recommended retail price.

“McLaren believes the super-luxury sportscar segment has been historically overpriced in Australia, with a number of the ‘core’ manufacturers employing premium pricing policies in this market,” the company said at the time.

 center imageLeft: Ferrari Australia President and CEO Herbert Appleroth

Mr Appleroth said this week that Ferrari returned value to a client whenever the opportunity arose, pointing to a mid-life update for its 458 Italia that added $56,000 worth of additional content at no extra cost.

While the new 488 GTB is some $55,000 cheaper than the 458, Mr Appleroth said Ferrari “has given that back to the customer to go back and spend on the options that they want”.

Mr Appleroth said resale values were “front and centre” for the Italian brand, and that sales of pre-owned Ferraris had doubled within the dealer network since the factory took over distribution from Ateco Automotive in April 2013.

“We have so much focus from our network on pre-owned,” he said. “One of my biggest KPIs for my network is actually pre-owned sales.

“And guess what happened? The resale value of five current-range models increased last year.

“Having exclusivity of new cars and making them less readily available pushes people to purchase pre-owned or pre-loved cars, values go up. What happens? The gap between purchasing a new Ferrari and trading in your old Ferrari becomes less, and that’s what a responsible luxury brand should do.”

When asked if McLaren had taken a short view on brand growth, Mr Appleroth said: “Well, have a look at their volume. Did it work.”

In the first half of this year, McLaren trailed Ferrari 87 to 95 sales. In 2014, Ferrari’s 116 sales more than quadrupled McLaren’s 26 new registrations.

Mr Appleroth said the 458 Italia gained $56,000 of options midway through its life after a currency fluctuation, but the company decided to pass the savings on to purchasers of the 488.

“It certainly doesn’t affect sales,” he said. “If anything, the interest that we’ve received in this car – and not just on price – ensures the resale value will be front and centre, and again Ferrari will be on top of the market.”

GoAuto contacted McLaren Automotive Asia, who declined to comment.

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