LUCA CIFERRI

Ferrari teaches Chinese how to drive

Luca Ciferri is chief correspondent at Automotive News EuropeLuca Ciferri is chief correspondent at Automotive News Europe
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Talk about a dream scenario: having your driver’s education course conducted behind the wheel of a brand new Ferrari.

It’s happening in China, where Ferrari is quickly adapting to the peculiarities of what this year probably will be its second-biggest market after the United States.

“In China, is not unusual for a rich father to give a Ferrari model to his son for his 18th birthday,” said Edwin Fenech, president and CEO of the Shanghai-based Ferrari Greater China subsidiary.

To prepare those lucky teenagers for the awesome power of the Italian brand’s supercars, Ferrari offers a driving course for beginners.

Fenech says that the class is not just for young people

“Many successful businessmen in the their mid-50s to early 60s who decide it is time to celebrate their success with buying a Ferrari also to learn how to drive (in the course), because they have been chauffeur-driven for their entire careers,” Fenech says.

Not for sale

Another thing that makes China unique is that there is no second-hand market for Ferrari cars.

“Our customers retain their first Ferrari when they buy a new one, thus becoming instant collectors,” CEO Amedeo Felisa told me.

In the rest of the world, a Ferrari buyer will trade in his or her car for new model once every three years or so.

Ferrari aims to sell 7,000 cars globally this year and 400 of those sales are expected to come from China, up from 300 in 2010.

With that kind of volume, Ferrari is happy to adjust.

You can reach Luca Ciferri at lciferri@crain.com.

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