Archive for the 'Ferrari' Category

Unacceptable: Fiery Ferrari Driver

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

First, off, I’m truly sorry for taking so long to write a post, and a mediocre one at that. I have been caught up on some very interesting projects, which I hope to discuss with you later, including a nonprofit startup: http://www.BreastfeedInternational.org

Now to the video… it’s a video of an angry Ferrari F430 driver who has apparently just been lightly rear-ended (so what only a $40,000 repair bill???) by a Las Vegas cabbie. Don’t get me wrong, it was the cabbie’s fault, but the response from the Ferrari driver was beyond comprehensible. I think I counted the Ferrari driver striking the cab driver no fewer than 3 times. The last one, weirdly, caused the cab driver to fall backward into the door jamb of the Ferrari. This Ferrari driver, it should be noted, is in no way representative of all Ferrari drivers. I have personally met some that are passionate about their cars, and extremely polite and respectful of admirers, such as myself. Still, the Ferrari driver in this video probably needs to spend some time in jail thinking about is disregard for humanity. My two cents.

Dumb stuff: people driving like maniacs

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Jalopnik first broke this video to the masses, and I’ll replay it here because it’s a slow news day.

Safe to say, probably not a great example of defensive driving :-P

I think I would prefer a little slower driving in Ferris Bueller’s Ferrari…

Video of the week: Hybrid Ferrari

Monday, March 29th, 2010

It should be of little surprise that Ferrari is announcing a hybrid version of the 599 model. At the Geneva Auto Show this year, the company known best for Formula One racing, introduced a more environmentally friendly drivetrain that draws from technology borne out of the company’s F1 motorsports division. The technology utilizes kinetic energy produced under breaking to recapture energy and store it in a battery. The HY-KERS systems as Ferrari markets it produces 35% fewer carbon emissions than the standard 599.

Source: Ferrari

Early Fall auto news round-up

Saturday, November 7th, 2009

scirocco_cup_cng

Volkswagen

VW in an effort to promote the tons of eco-friendlier cars launched at IAA in Frankfurt in September has decided to pursue eco-sales with a new eco-friendly racing series. The company is starting a single-make racing series where all of the cars run on bio-produced compressed natural gas. The model used in the series is the new Scirocco and should reduce racetrack CO2 output by 80 per cent over today’s racing fuels. The 2.0-liter 4-cylinder cars will have 220 horsepower on tap. Not bad for an alt fuel car!

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/volkswagen-cng/

On other green fronts, VW Group is working with Stanford University in California in a US$5.75 million project to make VW the largest carmaker with R&D in Silicon Valley. Already the two companies have produced autonomous (read self-driving) versions of the VW Passat and now the Audi TT-S. The Audi TT-S will attempt to drive itself up the 14,110-foot Pike’s Peak next year, according Wired.

vail_01

Source: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2009/10/vw-vail/

Audi’s Johan de Nysschen, critical of the Chevy Volt, took an interview with Time recently to express his views on the state of the luxury auto industry. He stated that Audi’s goal is to be the “top” German luxury manufacturer, but not necessarily in terms of sales. He also reiterated the push for more fuel-efficient vehicles leading to Zero emissions cars in the not so distant future.

Source: http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1933906,00.html

Bugatti

Bugatti has unleashed a new concept car the 4-seat, 4-door (can you believe it???) Galibier 16C. Autocar magazine claims the production will start in 2013 at £900,000. We will believe it when we see it! Interestingly, the car’s engine will be the same as in the Veyron but will only sport 800BHP. Apparently, 200 get lost when adding 2 doors.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=244753

Caterham

Rarely does Caterham make the news, except when they unleash new, wildly fun lightweight roadster, but unfortunately, Caterham’s found Graham Nearn died in late October. Nearn has been selling the then-titled Lotus 7 since its introduction in 1959, and then when the car was discontinued in 1973, Nearn bought the rights and has been producing the car ever since and in more exciting, evolving versions. You can even buy a kit and put a Caterham 7 together yourself. If you are not familiar with this brand, you should be!

Top Gear featured it in a segment awhile back:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOxHV6QfJkg

Source: http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle.aspx?AR=244398

Ferrari

Beyond the KM has previously marveled at the sales resiliency of the Ferrari nameplate. But even THIS economy has the prancing stallion kow-towing to the bear market of Wall Street.

Its third quarter results for 2009 showed revenues of 396 million euros (£359m) – down from 450m euros (£408m) in the same period last year. It sold 1454 cars, down 4.3 per cent year on year.

However, Ferrari announced that it has grown its market share in every market it monitors, against a drop in supercar sales of around 40 per cent.

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NEW Xbox 360 in Ferrari Red for Forza and PGR!!!

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

 

UPDATED!!!

 

Microsoft has released pictures of the Exclusive Red Xbox 360 Resident Evil Limited Edition Console, which was confirmedearlier tonight and mentioned officially by Microsoft earlier this month.

The Xbox 360 Elite console is bundled with a red wireless controller, black Xbox 360 headset, 120GB hard drive, via-LIVE-downloadable-Resident-Evil-theme, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and a copy of Resident Evil 5. All this is priced at US$399.

 

 

The new Xbox 360 Limited Edition Console in Red!!!

The new Xbox 360 Limited Edition Console in Red!!!

 

The new Xbox Resident Evil Edition

The new Xbox Resident Evil Edition

Economic failures = new car models for European automakers. Month in review.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Audi R8

The economy is hurting and more and more carmakers are suffering. Not all are doing poorly, though. Audi, as an example reported record sales for 2008, with over 1,000,000 vehicles sold. Lamborghini, owned by the VW/Audi Group, also posted record sales for 2008. Both companies produce sports cars that retail at over US$100,000.

Let us examine the developments of the last month by automaker:

Porsche. There is no substitute for a strong economy. A poor economy negatively impacted sales at the sports car maker, and even a significantly revised 911 model did not save it from a virtual sales slump. Porsche is tighter with numbers than most companies, but while sales were slowing, the company hopes that new models in 2009 will help it combat slumping sales. A four-door car, the Panamera should hit showroom floors in the first half of 2009, while you can expect to drive a 2009 Boxster/Cayman with revised powertrain as soon as March.

In financial news the company announced the first week of January that they had bought an additional 8.16 per cent stake in VW worth 6.1bn Euro/US$8.2bn. Porsche now owns 50.76 per cent of VW Group but may gain further stake in VW, rising to 75 per cent in coming months (if all goes as planned).  In November, news came out that Germany’s upper house of parliament passed new laws regarding ownership of VW, despite European Commission rulings that such laws were illegal.

In November, the high profit-maker in the world gobbled up a stake, which sent hedge funds scrambled to recover from trading, which briefly left VW as the most valuable company in the world. Porsche’s finance team effectively practiced something called “cornering”. Let us not forget that Porsche is better as an investor than as a carmaker – though they are a damned good carmaker. In 2007, the company made 3.6 billion Euros on investments, and only a paltry 1 billion Euros on cars. At a 12 per cent profit margin, the decision to invest in VW stands financial positioning, and partly seeking a partner with whom to share technology development costs.

Still, everyone is watching the dollars and cents these days. Even Porsche has announced that is it pulling out of the American LeMans series for 2009 – in part. It is pulling the P2 team, but not pulling support for the 911 GT3 RSRs in the GT2 category.

Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes has finally announced the much-anticipated E-class for 2009. The new car replaces the round headlights with more rectangular ones, perhaps in the style of the C-class or a Lexus.

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How a reverse VW-Porsche takeover might work

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Unless you have been living in a cave the last two years, you know that Porsche’s strong financial position has allowed them to make a gradual play for VW’s shares. In fact it is just the latest in what has been a long-time partnership between the two + Audi. You may recall that many years ago Audi+Porsche dealerships often shared the same building.

But what we really didn’t know until recently was how Porsche might use VW in their product portfolio. Remember that the VW Touareg , Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne share the same platform. The benefit being significantly cheaper development costs. Bear in mind that Porsche has had a benefit in this partnership of releasing their Cayenne before VW and Audi have released their products. Ironically, it is the smashing success of the Cayenne product line that has given Porsche the ability to launch a takeover of VW.

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Bad times for consumers, Good times for Ferrari

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Are Ferrari and most other supercar makers immune to economic recession? That was the question that everyone wanted an answer to because the “just how bad is it?” gets answered when we financial figures.

Ferrari released this press statement verbatim on October 27:

“Maranello, October 27th, 2008 – The Board of Directors of Ferrari SpA met today under the chairmanship of Luca di Montezemolo, to examine the third quarter results. Ferrari recorded 450 million in revenues (up 22.3 percent year-over-year), and a trading profit of 79 million (17.6 percent of revenues), up 41.1 percent from the 56 million figure (15.2 percent of revenues) for Q3 2007.
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Lamborghini returns!

Monday, July 21st, 2008

How pleased Lamborghini must be that it’s latest supercar, the Murciélago LP640 has just co-starred with Cristian Bale in the latest Batman flick, the Dark Knight. Who knows if Lambo paid dearly for the product placement, but a 155+ million dollar opening weekend is sure to get them a ton of free advertising.

Auto companies are masters at product placement.

A few examples:

  • Ferrari – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Matthew Broderick steals his friend’s father’s 250 GT California.
  • Porsche – Tom Cruise drives a 928 into Lake Michigan (oops!)
  • Dodge Challenger – Vanishing Point’s star car gets driven into 2 bulldozers at high speed. Big crash!

Tons of other examples exist, I am sure someone will point out the cars from Bullitt and Miami Vice, too…

Look for the ultra-exclusive Lamborghini Reventón to appear in a yet-to-be-determined film sometime soon!

LOTW: Supercar Fun Club

Friday, May 16th, 2008

This week’s Link of the Week is pretty cool. Because of their rarity, non-millionaire fans of supercars can often find it difficult to get behind the wheel of the world’s flashiest and fastest cars. Even millionaires find it difficult to choose with a record number of supercars available for public consumption.

If you’ve ever wanted to spend the day “testing” a variety of supercars at supercar speeds, there’s a new option for you. 

It’s called Supercar Life.

The LA Times has written about the program here: http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-fi-garage26apr26,0,4314202.story

Ferrari Salesperson: The Easiest Job in Britain

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

Ferrari 599

Times are good for Ferrari’s motorcar division. The Italian company promotes its motorcars predominantly through motor sports – and it seems to be paying off. Ferrari is not the only carmaker with a waiting list. Bugatti and Lamborghini have both stated in the past that their wait lists are over 12 months.

Ferrari GB has reported a full order book for between 12 months and three years depending on model.

In 1992 the company sold just 128 cars in the UK. In 1997 the figure had increased to 410 and last year sales totalled 699 Ferraris.

Ferrari UK Sales Chart

Although small numbers by most manufacturers standards, the UK market is Ferrari’s third most important after the United States and Germany.

Massimo Fedelli, managing director of Ferrari GB, said: “In many respects Britain is Ferrari’s most important territory. It’s the world’s leading financial centre and is probably the most important market from both a commercial and a media point of view. To succeed we need to understand the British consumer, because you’re very demanding, with the highest expectations when it comes to sales and service.”

Despite economic uncertainty he is upbeat about the prospects of the luxury car market over the next 18 months. Mr Fedelli said: “Britain will remain a point of reference for the rest of the world. It attracts wealth and rich people come here to spend their money, so no matter what happens with the economy, I believe the UK market will remain strong for brands like ours.” (The Times: February 14).

Ferrari Announces Standard Ceramic Disc Brakes – is your Mini next?

Monday, December 10th, 2007

Picture of a Yellow Ferrari F430

Ferrari recently announced that all of their models will come with Ceramic disc brakes as standard equipment from 2008. This is great news for Ferrari buyers as a once $10,000 optional extra is now standard. These disc brakes have, for a few years now, been a very expensive add-on, but a very good one as they nearly eliminate brake fade, and very lightweight, and work to reduce stopping distances – critical in preventing auto accidents.
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Schumi’s Return to Motorsports?

Wednesday, November 7th, 2007

Well, Michael Schumacher has only been “retired” for one season from the Ferrari F1 progam, but with his participation in an upcoming motorsports event in Barcelona, and Ferrari’s Jean Todt stating that Schumi is more than welcome to return whenever, one can only speculate.

Read more below:

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Middle East Supercar Sales Surge, You Pay for Them!

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Enjoying paying US$3+ for that gallon of gas? Didn’t think so. But don’t worry the Middle Easterners are more than happy to sell your their pricey car juice. And they’ll use it to buy themselves a Ferrari! Super!

Yellow Ferrari F430 Spyder

Article Here

Aston Martins, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis are selling like hot cakes in the land of sand, so get yours before the list gets too long…

Photo courtesy Ferrari.

A World Conference to End Road Deaths? How Novel.

Saturday, May 5th, 2007

The BBC recently reported that British Prime Minister Tony Blair and F1 racing legend Michael Schumacher have been talking. The two want to but an end to crashes that result in highway deaths. Traffic deaths kill more young men than any other cause, except HIV/AIDS.

To put the problem in perspective, the BBC notes that 1,200,000 people are killed each year in traffic accidents. Of those, 400,000 are under 25 years of age. 66,000 people are seriously injured in traffic accidents every day as well. In Africa, BBC claims that 70% of the children injured are providing the main source of income for the family. Such injury can be devastating to the injured and those dependent upon the income.

Red Mini Cooper Crash

Photo courtesy BMW.

Schumacher proposes the “Make the Roads Safe” campaign. Aside from the obvious goal, the aim of the summit/conference/meeting/rendezvous would to bring nations together to enact legislation and program that would decrease the accident rate.

At BTKM, we think that specific objectives should be laid out. This could include:

1) Mandatory training for all drivers. Even experienced drivers could benefit from additional training. Take the U.S. for example, where virtually no Americans are trained to drive at speeds in excess of 75 miles per hour. In such instance, the real danger is not the speed it is the inability of the driver to cope with the speed and anticipate and react to problems in the road ahead.

2) Mandatory testing. Drivers of all ages, whether they are 16, 66, or 106 years of age should go through specific and credible testing every other year. This assures that the drivers continue forth in good health and well being towards other drivers.

3) Improved awareness and engineering at car markers. All automakers must be aware of the need to improve safety to the public on both sides of the windscreen. Government must work to encourage companies to build safer cars. In addition, government must provide encouragement and incentive to buy newer cars, which are safer and which must be equipped with passive and active safety devices.

4) All cars currently on the road must go through tedious and complete checks to determine car safety. This would include visual and mechanical inspection by approved departments of motor vehicles safety in the respective localities. Cars failing to meet these strict requirements shall required to be fixed, updated, or removed from road use.

5) Governments must provide assurance that all roads are properly maintained and made safe. Roads being build or refurbished for future use shall be capable of holding cars traveling at distances in excess for 155 miles per hour.

6) All governments and automakers should meet annually to discuss improvements to the regulations. Audits should be conducted in all localities annually to assure compliance with regulations set forth at the summits.

This may not be the end all, be all of road safety but there is no doubt that with the enactment of these rules alone, fatalities and serious injury on roads can be significantly reduced. We will never be able to eliminate all road deaths but prudent and reasonable resolutions like the ones outlined below can lead to better prevention.

Source:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6583151.stm

Supercar Profits a Pipe Dream?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

In our most recent posting we pointed out that Aston Martin was integral to Ford’s Premier Auto Group, not just because it represented Ford’s presence in the supercar market, but because it was also profitable.

Profitability is something that once eluded supercar makers such as Aston, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, even Porsche at times. We noted that Aston Martin is, according to Ford, now a profitable unit. As Ford does not publish profitability for each of the PAG’s units, we will have to take their word for it, but we do know they sold over 5000 cars in 2006.

Take a look at Lamborghini, which according to the company, pretax profits rose to €18.1 million in 2006. That’s a 4.5-fold increase from 2005 when profits were only €4.4 million. CEO Stephan Winkelmann has said, “We have a complete model range, which is the youngest we’ve ever had. We are now a real car manufacturer.” While the “real-ness” of Lamborghini’s product line may be debatable, they do have 10-cylinder and 12-cylinder models, the Gallardo and Murciélago, respectively. Both models feature a coupe and roadster version.


Collage of Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari FXX, Porsche 911 Turbo

Part of this increase has been due to higher demand and production. In 2000, Lamborghini produced just 1 car per day, but in 2006 they had ramped up to 13 per day. This figure is still more than a bit shy of Porsche, but respectable for considering competitor Pagani has said it will make only about 20 cars for the year.

Doing very simple math, without consideration for one time write offs/sales, we can note the following per car sales for 2006:

Manufacturer

Profit (pretax)

Production (# of cars produced)

Per car profit

Lamborghini

€ 18,000,000

2095

€ 8,591.89

Ferrari

€ 183,000,000

5671

€ 32,269.44

Aston Martin

N/A

5000

N/A

Porsche

€ 1,390,000,000

86426

€ 16,083.12

Porsche is the most profitable auto manufacturer in Europe, but per car averages put Ferrari impressively on top. Aston Martin and Pagani do not post numbers officially, but Aston reports a profit, however small that may be. Bottom-line, money CAN be made in supercars!


Sources:

Bloomberg http://quote.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000080&sid=aLQlMBk2X4yM
Lamborghini
Ferrari
http://www.automotoportal.com/article/ferrari-annual-report-2006-impressive-growth-in-revenues-and-profits
http://www.autoblog.com/2006/07/04/aston-martin-makes-a-profit
Aston Martin
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article681820.ece
Porsche
http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/11/15/bloomberg/bxporsche.php

Where art Thou Mondeo?

Friday, March 16th, 2007

Our friends at Winding Road magazine recently spent the time and money to go to the Geneva Motor Show, one of the top motor shows in the world. Where there, they spotted the all-new Ford Mondeo.

We noted some months ago that Ford was opting not to sell their hot hatchback Ford Focus ST and Ford Focus RS in the USA, a market that craves large engines and fast cars. It is no wonder Ferrari’s number one market is the gas-guzzling American market. The Mondeo is no gas-guzzler. It is a well-designed and well-engineered family sedan, much like the Fusion in the American market. But make no mistake, it is most definitely not the Ford Fusion. What this represents is a poor marketing effort on the part of Ford Motor Company. It also signifies a synergy lost in a global company. Ford could save money by eliminating the Fusion and using the Mondeo in the USA. A smart move, but instead the company struggles and has to sell of its profitable Aston Martin division, and brand that did not fit into the streamlined strategy of the future Ford PAG.

The conclusion is that we should not be surprised about this ill-advised move considering they have brought back the Taurus name – a name synonymous with boring sedans.

Source:http://news.windingroad.com/countriesmarkets/euro/geneva-motor-show-ford-mondeo-launches-and-we-wish-it-was-our-fusion/

ING Loves Renault

Monday, January 29th, 2007

Maybe ING saw our posting and saw the benefit of a sponsorship with the Renault Formula 1 team. Maybe they are just making too much money and need to “make an investment.” Either way the Dutch Banking and Insurance giant has signed a 3-year deal with team Renault for some prime ad space, and name sponsorship, on the next series of cars.

It is quite clear that Formula One reaches far more people than NASCAR in the US or GT racing in Europe. Despite running 2007 sans Fernando Alonso (two-time F1 champion), Renault has a full-sponsorship. ING CEO Michel Tilmant is right to think that F1 is an opportunity to build the ING brand globally in a quick way. The Shell-Ferrari relationship is a similar example.

Lessons in brand management that when you spend marketing dollars, they should be spent to gain positive exposure for the brand. The idea is to associate the brand with a winning concept. Renault has certainly proven itself a winner the last two years. It is estimated that the contract was equivalent to 5% of ING’s global marketing budget. We estimate that such a deal is worth over $85 million per annum.

One final note: our earlier analysis stated that sponsorship opportunities would come as a result of big tobacco being forced out of F1 racing in most countries. That foresight has proven correct as ING will replace a number of previous Renault sponsors, including Japanese Tobacco.

Car of the Year Awards Winter 2007

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Yes, it’s that time of the year, the picks for the best cars as of Winter 2007.

Which European cars are by matter of fact, “the best”? Find out below:

Best Supercar over $500,000: Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Best Supercar under $500,000: Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Best Ultra Luxury Convertible: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

Best Ultra Luxury Sedan: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Best Ultra Luxury Coupé: Bentley GT

Best Hot Hatchback: VW GTI

Best Hot Sedan: Audi S8

Best sound: (tie) Ferrari 599 GTB/Ferrari F430

Best sports car under $100,000: Porsche 911 Carrera S

Best sports car over $100,000: Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Best new sports car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Best Small Car: Mini Cooper S (John Cooper Works Edition)

Best Old Car Experience: Caterham Lotus 7 SV

Most economical and fun sports car: Lotus Elise

Mid-sized Sedan: BMW M5

Best Car for Old People Who Don’t Give a Damn: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Best SUV: Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

Best minivan/mpv (yes, I’m ACTUALLY including this category): Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG

The New Formula 1

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

For the last billion years, motor sports, and more specifically Formula 1, has been dominated quite solidly by Scuderia Ferrari and its hallowed driver, Michael Schumacher. Last weekend marked the end of Michael Schumacher’s career and the end of Scuderia Ferrari.

That’s not to say that Ferrari won’t be returning to racing next year. Quite the opposite, actually. Felipe Massa will return to Ferrari next year along with a new teammate, Kimi Raikkonen. Both racers have achieved great respect and success of the GP circuit. Ferrari, despite coming in second in the constructor’s championship this year, will be powering more vehicles for next year. Unfortunately for Scuderia Ferrari, much of the technical team that helped Michael Schumacher win dozens of races and six championships is splitting up.

With so many changes, on might ask: will Formula 1 ever be the same? To answer this is to realize which changes will be made. First, no Schumacher in 2007. Fernando Alonso may be the best driver next year, and for all we know, he may eventually become the best of all time, but he is unlikely to have the same pull or marketing appeal to the sport that Schumacher brought.

Second Renault and Ferrari are both suffering from major team changes at the end of this year. Renault stands to lose everything with the change of its champion drive. Ferrari is likely to be diluted by having to produce more engines for more teams, assembling a new management team, and leaving Massa to take over for a top driver.

Third and most importantly, the money that pours into Formula 1 will be changing. New EU rules outlaw the Marlboro type of advertising. These new rules have prompted an exodus from F1 by tobacco companies including British American Tobacco (producer of Lucky Strike cigarettes), once a title partner with the Honda team will exit. Marlboro has promised to stay on with Ferrari, but will be severely limited in advertising for the 2007 season onward. This regulation means that some teams will have a very difficult time finding major sponsors for next year. Formula 1 after all, is not cheap to run. On the upside, Speed TV in the U.S. has succeeded in paying a lot of money to the Formula 1 Administration to broadcast races next year, so no team is likely to be starving.