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Ferrari to maintain pricing in Oz for existing models

Fast money: The 458 Speciale has just gone on sale in Australia for $550,000.

No price cuts on existing models for Ferrari, but boosting resale is a priority

Ferrari logo5 Dec 2013

FERRARI will not follow Porsche and McLaren’s lead of cutting prices to boost sales in Australia, as it would have a negative impact on resale value and could dilute the brand, according to its local chief.

Speaking at the Australian launch of the 458 Speciale supercar, Ferrari Australia CEO Herbert Appleroth said the Italian marque’s local arm is focussed on adding value to its existing range through specification, rather than cutting prices.

“I think we, ultimately, have to give the best experience with the greatest value,” he said. “And where there is the chance to give value back to our clients we will and have done in recent years.

“The current Ferrari range has fantastic levels of specification as standard, like no other country. That was afforded because there was a small shift in currency.”

Mr Appleroth said he was comfortable with the pricing structure in place and has no intention of changing it to chase sales.

“Other brands decided on a different strategy which was to reduce retail prices. That is something we will never do, which is change the retail prices of our cars because then it affects the resale value of our cars. We will not do that.

“We are very comfortable where we sit. We have got the small growth we are after and we have wonderful feedback from the clients so we have no reason to alter it.”

Pricing for the Prancing Horse brand’s local line-up starts at $459,295 for the California hard-top convertible before moving up to the 458 Italia for $525,417 and $588,451 for the 458 Spider, while the current flagship – the F12Berlinetta – retails for $690,745 excluding on-road costs.

In May this year, McLaren axed more the $100,000 from its 12C supercar, a direct rival for the Prancing Horse’s 458. At $398,000, it is significantly cheaper than the Italian Stallion.

Fellow sportscar-maker Porsche shocked the local premium performance car establishment in April this year when it dropped the prices of every model in its arsenal, with the exception of the four-door Panamera.

Price cuts ranged between $5500 from the base model Boxster, bringing it down to $101,500, to a drop of $36,300 for the 911 Carrera 4 Cabriolet. The cuts were designed to drive sales, with the Volkswagen-owned company looking to double its volume in Australia to 3000 units annually by 2016.

While Porsche’s price cuts were no doubt welcomed by prospective buyers, the company faced some concerns from existing owners that had either missed out on the lower pricing or were concerned about the future resale value of their cars.

At the time, then Porsche Cars Australia managing director Michael Winkler told GoAuto the company received around 50 customer complaints, adding “we took care of those people and resolved each case without question”.

Rolls-Royce also “realigned” its Australian pricing in November 2012, with jaw-dropping reductions of between $213,000 for a short-wheelbase Phantom, while the Drophead Coupe shed a staggering $280,000 for a new price of $1,075,000, drive-away.

Mr Appleroth said he was keen to build demand for new Ferrari models in Australia, but is also determined to maintain the resale value of Ferraris after prices of second-hand models took a hit during the global financial crisis.

“Not only we want to build demand for new cars but build demand for pre-owned cars and bring that resale value back to where it should be, which has been affected, like every other brand, after the GFC,” he said.

“We now have an issue whereby our dealers cannot get enough used Ferraris. We are having to directly contact customers asking if we can buy their cars because we have built this demand but we don't have enough supply.

“What happens when there is demand and no supply? Prices go up. So the strategy is already working.”

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