MARANELLO, Italy (Bloomberg) -- Ferrari plans to reduce sales to fewer than 7,000 vehicles this year to maintain the exclusivity of the brand.
"We made this decision because it's important also for the dealer cultures," Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, said at a strategy presentation today at the company's headquarters in Maranello. "Dealers must understand that quality is important, not just quantity."
Ferrari, which unveiled the 1 million-euro ($1.32 million) LaFerrari hybrid model at the Geneva car show in March, plans to boost profitability with high-end, customized version of its vehicles while holding back on their availability.
Ferrari sold 7,318 cars in 2012. The brand's first-quarter trading profit, or earnings before interest, taxes and one-time items, surged 43 percent to 80 million euros, helped by higher sales and contributions from product licensing and car customization. Revenue increased 8 percent to 551 million euros.
Ferrari plans to hire 250 workers this year. Of the new employees, 200 will build engines for Maserati as part of Fiat's plan to boost sales of upscale models to counter losses in the volume car business in Europe.
The super-sports-car segment is expected to slow globally this year, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said on Tuesday in an interview.
Montezemolo said Ferrari parent Fiat Group doesn't intend to sell shares in Ferrari or spin off the unit as part of the its plan to merge with its Chrysler Group unit in the U.S. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne wants to combine Fiat and Chrysler after buying full control of Chrysler.
Ferrari is in talks with Apple about broadening a partnership on in-car entertainment, Montezemolo said in March. The four-seat Ferrari FF model includes the U.S. mobile-device maker's mini iPad tablets on the passenger seats. Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president overseeing online services, joined the Ferrari board last year.