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Ferrari: Patience & Managing the Waiting List

Giuseppe Cattaneo
Current CEO at Ferrari, China

Learning outcomes

  • How Ferrari can deal with the potential pressures to pull forward demand to drive volume
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Executive Bio

Giuseppe Cattaneo

Current CEO at Ferrari, China

Giuseppe is the Current CEO at Ferrari, China and has over 25 years experience working in China. From 2004-9, he was CEO of Pirelli’s China Division before being promoted to CEO of APAC in 2009. Giuseppe then joined Ferrari as President and CEO of Far East Asia in 2013 before rejoining Pirelli as CEO of APAC for another three years in September 2014. Giuseppe has recently rejoined Ferrari in 2020 with full P&L responsibility of the China business. Read more

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Interview Transcript

Can I go back to the point you made that Ferrari will always sell one car less than the demand, to maintain that brand equity. How do you deal with that, as a manager, to not push your team and to be willing to really stay true to that? Keep the waiting list long, not pull demand forward and drive production. How do you deal with that and how does the culture deal with that?

I understand the nature of the question, because people tend to say, okay, we’ll sell more to have more profit and so on and so forth. But this is not our business. We work in a different way. The target of our salespeople is generating orders. It’s not generating sales. The sales will come one year later, the aftersales. Invoice, sales, P&L, profit. The order I’m doing now is 2021 P&L. Now I’m delivering cars that were sold between 12 and 24 months ago. My P&L is influenced by sales from two years ago. Our people know that the key issue for us is to let the client understand the product, explain the content very well and keep the level of desire very high. The rule of the game is to have the desire for the car. This is what the good salespeople of Ferrari should do.

Now Ferrari is a public company, do you think it will be tempted or pressured to pull demand forward and reduce the waiting list, now they have shareholders?

I don’t think so. On the contrary, you can go check, the company has an extremely high – it could be higher – performance. Our business model has proved to be consistent with the request of the shareholders. Honestly, I don’t know. It’s already been several years that we have been listed and, so far, the company is very consistent with the business model and the philosophy to sell one car less than the demand has never changed; nobody has even considered it. Maybe in the industry, yes, but we are not the only one in the world to sell forward. There are watches, sometimes, following the same approach. Even for some leather bags for women. There are several brands that follow this process. It’s not something unique.

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