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The head of any company has to juggle the relationship between supply and demand. Of course, that applies to automakers too, even ones as high-end as Ferrari. And as with many other decisions, the way Ferrari has addressed supply and demand has come down principally to the principal.
Enzo Ferrari may have only wanted to sell as many vehicles as he needed in order to fund his company's racing department, but with the F40 - the last model made under his watch - Ferrari ended up increasing supply to meet growing demand. However, after Luca di Montezemolo took over in the wake of Enzo's passing, he started constricting supply. He figured Ferrari could sell 400 units of the F50, for example, so he built 399. More recently, Montezemolo undertook a course of action that spread Ferrari into more markets, while simultaneously constricting supply to increase demand and thereby profitability.
It's been a winning formula for Ferrari. Just days ago, the company announced record earnings up by 14.5 percent in the first half of 2014 over the same period last year, which itself had seen a 7.1-percent increase over the year before. Clearly the strategy has worked, but Montezemolo's successor is already eying a different approach.
The Ferrari F40 has become one of the iconic cars of the last 50 years. It presaged the supercars of the future with its extensive use of carbon fiber and turbocharged engine, but it was also old school with no traction control, stability control or even anti-lock supervision to save the driver if they got in over their head. In its latest video, XCar Films takes a look at the F40 through the lens of a man in the UK who specializes in keeping them on the road and occasionally races these quintessential sports cars.
John Pogson has spent his entire life surrounded by engines. His father was a transport manager for a trucking company and he used to accompany him out on repairs. When he was old enough, John started repairing vehicles at a Lancia dealer, and from there, he started working for Ferrari. Eventually, he saved up enough money to open his own, independent Italian car garage. His new business proved successful, and Pogson's customers started asking him to race their Ferraris, including the F40 - something he did with great success. How could you say no to that opportunity?
While Italian cars are his specialty, Pogson also has a soft spot for all performance cars. The video shows him driving his AC Cobra with a claimed 600 horsepower and doing some smoky donuts in it. Scroll down to learn more about the F40 from one of the people that knows it best.
Ferrari makes road cars and they make race cars, but the automaker found a middle ground somewhere in between when it launched the FXX in 2005. Homologated neither for race or street, the FXX emerged as Maranello's first customer development prototype, "allowing" well-heeled clients to test new components for the factory from behind the wheel of one of the most extreme performance machines Ferrari had ever made.
The FXX was based on the Enzo, and was succeeded by the Fiorano-based 599XX. Given the apparent success of the program, we knew it would only be a matter of time before Ferrari would roll out the next XX prototype. But what would it be based on? The Enzo-succeeding LaFerrari? The F12 Berlinetta that replaced the 599 GTB Fiorano? Or another model entirely, like the 458 Italia, FF or California?
Well now we appear to have our answer. Speaking during the Ferrari Racing Days (an extravaganza of cavallinos prancing around a different racetrack each year, held recently in Sydney), Antonello Coletta confirmed that development is underway on a LaFerrari XX. And he ought to know, seeing as how he's the head of the company's new Sporting Activity Department that overseas all of Ferrari's on-track activities - including the XX program. The news was confirmed by Ferrari in correspondence with Autoblog. Oh, and perhaps because of the spy photos you see above, which were shot recently at the famed Nürburgring track, showing an unpainted LaFerrari of some sort making fast laps and testing various tire options.