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Ferrari’s Five-Year Plan In Jeopardy

I recently posted about how Ferrari switched from the production of cars to the production of parts to help fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, they fired up their production lines to create pieces for scuba masks to be converted into respirators. But, manufacturers across the automotive industry have begun talking about resuming vehicle production, as has Ferrari. In fact, Ferrari wants to do more than just resume production. It wants to introduce new models.  

A blue Ferrari F12 Berlinetta parked on the street.
Ferrari F12 Berlinetta | Martyn Lucy/Getty Images

Get the excitement back

Resuming production is something that everybody wants to do at the right time. It will help restart the economy by bringing people back to work. It will also bring with it a sense of normalcy. The resumption of production also brings a desire to return manufacturers to their business at hand. That is, making people excited about their models and brand. One way to do that is to introduce changes in products or to introduce new products altogether. Ferrari gets this. 

Five-year plan

Back in 2018, Ferrari set forth an ambitious plan to launch 15 new cars in five years. Don’t lose your breath – some of the vehicles in the plan are being considered for hybrid powertrains. However, Ferrari is still planning on keeping the V12 through 2022. Also, an SUV might be part of the plan toward the end of the five years.

The world has changed since that five-year plan was announced. Recently, of course, the Coronavirus has caused the world to pause. Right before the idling of plants, Enrique Galliera, Ferrari’s Commercial Chief, had said, 

“We’re always planning to do something more, and we intend to make some news. We will launch two new models by the end of the year.”

Coronavirus curveball

Now, however, Ferrari has had to deal with a Coronavirus curve-ball. Their plants Modela and Maranello, which were idled, may start again late this month, in theory. But, what do the global pandemic and worldwide economic slowdown do to the proposed launch of the two models that were anticipated? Well, there are fewer shows remaining this year in the international car show tour schedule. Typically, launches happen at these events.

A Ferrari logo on the hood of a car
Ferrari | MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images

Shareholders

There is something more pressing than car shows, though. May is Ferrari’s scheduled shareholder’s meeting. Shareholders will want answers for how Ferrari is going to get things going again, how quickly it can do it, and how it plans to maintain being one of the world’s most valuable automakers. 

The pressure is on Ferrari. Yes, they want to make sure their workers returning to the plants have safe workplaces. Yes, they want to continue to work on the vehicles they were already making prior to the pandemic. But, with lost time and production, the two new models that were expected to be brought forth by the end of the year are questionable, at best. So, it is conceivable that there will be product announcements of some sort coming out of that meeting next month. The question is whether the announcement will be about delays for one or two models.