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Seven years a charm for Ferrari

Seventh heaven: no other car company on the planet except Ferrari offers a seven-year free servicing deal.

Back to basics approach boosts local Ferrari popularity

30 Jul 2015

AS it moves towards record-breaking sales territory for 2015, Ferrari Australasia is sweating the details to raise the bar for its customers, with an increasing focus on aftersales satisfaction.

Three-year, unlimited kilometre warranties, a seven-year free servicing deal and price adjustments across the board have seen unprecedented growth for the brand that has one of the highest average costs per model in the industry.

Speaking at the launch of the new 488 GTB, Ferrari Australasia president and CEO Herbert Appleroth said that the company has invested heavily in the Australian market.

"We set up a factory operation here in 2013 because we thought that while the market was mature, there were still some opportunities here,” he said.

“We average around 110-115 sales a year, and while we don’t speak about volumes, you can see that we’re 79 per cent up on last year, which was a great year for us.

“We’re already up to 97 retails (sales) for the year, and we usually do 110 – and that’s before one of these 488s have hit the road.

“We’ll have an entirely renovated dealer network by the end of this year with three new showrooms in Australia this year, and we’re investing an enormous amount of money in our people. We’ve now got a Ferrari Training Academy here in Australia, and we’ve never done the numbers of hours of training that we’re all doing.” Mr Appleroth pointed out that each new Ferrari is sold with a comprehensive servicing program included in the price.

“Servicing is free of charge for seven years,” he said. “It means there’s not going to be extra costs that our clients need to be scared of. It’s one of the reasons we’re getting so many people from other brands that are new to Ferrari, because we’re taking that element of risk out of the market.

“We’re surprised that other manufactures haven’t taken this up yet.”

Globally, Ferrari has moved away from the notion of increasing its annual production tally that was proposed under previous chairman Luca di Montezemolo, which puts unique pressure on Mr Appleroth’s shoulders.

“My job is basically not to sell Ferraris, but to get more cars for our customers, because demand is so strong,” he said. “I need to be a great negotiator to get more cars for Australia.

“We don’t want to flood the market, because resale value is core. At this stage there’s been no change with volume globally, but luckily we’ve got some more cars for our customers. We’ve already got waiting lists for this car out to two years, and anything past two years is difficult for our clients.”

A slowing European market has also freed up some additional supply for the Australia and New Zealand markets, he said.

The $469,888 (before on-road costs) 488 already has a two-year waiting list, and is bringing new customers into the Ferrari fold, as well as enticing previous owners back, according to the CEO.

“We’re seeing people coming from Porsche and Mercedes-AMG, so not necessarily direct competitors, but people who want to step up,” Mr Appleroth said.

“We’re seeing unprecedented levels of new people coming to the 488, and people we’ve never spoken to before. We’re also seeing clients who have not gone from a 360 to a 430 and then to 458 – we haven’t seen some of these 360 and 430 owners for ten years, but they’re putting money down on a 488.”

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