Sergio Marchionne has been appointed as Ferrari’s new Chief Executive Officer, in addition to his current role as its Chairman. He replaces outgoing CEO Amedeo Felisa.
The announcement came as Ferrari revealed its first-quarter earnings, up 19% year over year with a profit of almost $90 million.
The Italian carmaker has increased its output by 15% and is expected to sell almost 8,000 cars in 2016, continuing the growth trajectory that Marchionne had earmarked when he outlined his vision to move the brand from being niche to truly standalone after taking over from then-chairman Luca Montezemolo.
Parent company Fiat Chrysler Automobiles – of which Marchionne is also CEO – spun Ferrari off as a standalone company in January and launched an initial public offering for a portion of the company on the New York Stock Exchange last year. The IPO inflated the share price to a 52-week high of $60.97 last October, but it has since lost over a quarter of its value and was priced at $44.53 a share at the time of the earnings announcement.
Marchionne also used the latest profit announcement to reaffirm his commitment to expanding Ferrari’s sales in the luxury goods market, as well as its expanding its reach into theme parks. Following the opening of FerrariWorld in Abu Dhabi in 2010, it is on the verge of finishing construction of the FerrariLand theme park near Barcelona. A third theme park was announced for the carmaker’s largest market, China, although the location is still to be determined.
While the finances of the carmaker are its best ever, it relies heavily on the success of its Formula 1 team, which has netted just four podium finishes to-date in 2016 and is languishing well behind Mercedes.
“We remain hugely disappointed by the performance of the Scuderia (racing team),” Marchionne said. “We need to correct this pretty quickly.”
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