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Auto blogMon, 25 Mar 2013 15:33:00 EST
Humidity, hunger and heartbreak were the takeaways from the Malaysian Formula One Grand Prix. A proper track with a wider variety of straights and corners than the street circuit in Australia, the second race of the season was expected to be a better test of the performance of the 11 teams on the grid. It was also supposed to be a more accurate test of the Pirelli tires, the bits of rubber at the four corners of the car still at the top of the performance agenda for all the top teams except for McLaren, which even larger issues with its new car to deal with.
Then it rained. Then it rained some more. Then it rained so hard just before the race that numerous drivers slid off the track on the parade lap. Then came the race, and then came the figurative tears and ones of the crocodile variety as well.
Most automakers are after one thing and one thing only: selling more cars. Because, after all, selling more cars means making more money. Right? Well that's usually the case, but Ferrari has taken a different approach. Rather than try and sell more cars, Ferrari intentionally sold fewer models in 2013, yet it made more money.
The move was implemented after 2012 emerged as the strongest year in the company's history. Instead of pushing to sell even more cars, it opted to maintain a level of exclusivity by selling fewer - 5.4 percent fewer than the year before, to be specific - thereby ensuring that those it did sell were worth more. As a result, in 2013, Ferrari logged record turnover, profits and finances: on 2.3-billion euros of revenue (up 5 percent from the previous year), Ferrari recorded 363.5 million euros in profit last year - that's roughly $500M USD.
Before you go jumping to conclusions, though, bear a few factors in mind. For one, Ferrari's stakeholders aren't pocketing all that cash - they're reinvesting it into the company: over the course of the same year, Ferrari invested some 337 million euros - 464 million dollars - in research and development. And while the company's extensive merchandizing efforts continue to bring in more cash, at 54 million euros ($74M) raised last year, the branding operation still doesn't account for a sixth of overall revenues. Still, it's little wonder that the experts at Brand Finance have named Ferrari the world's most powerful brand for the second year running.
Don't call it the F150. Ferrari has officially announced it will name its newest Formula One car the F138. The machine is the 59th car Ferrari has built to compete in F1, and it's also the last of the company's F1 efforts to rely on a high-strung V8 for propulsion. F1 rules have changed for next year, forcing competitors to use smaller cylinder counts to get around the track. Ferrari has already said it will use a 1.6-liter turbocharged V6 to do its dirty work. That moves brings an end to the eight-year reign the V8 enjoyed.
Ferrari isn't saying much more about the 2013 car, and the only image we have to go on at the moment is the logo you see above. Stay tuned for more information, and in the interim, be sure to check out the painfully brief press release below.