Effective January 1st 2003 Ferrari’s German network of 24 authorized dealerships was expanded by an additional franchise: Thomas Sportwagen Ltd. of Radebeul near Dresden has become the first authorized Ferrari dealer in former East Germany some twelve years after the German reunification in October of 1990. The official inauguration of the new dealership took place on January 24th, 2003.
Germany’s youngest franchised Ferrari dealer is female: Sibylle Thomas-Göbelbecker is the patron of the newly founded company. The successful businesswoman, aged 32, has realised her lifetime dream by setting up her own Ferrari dealership. “As long as I can recall, I have been crazy for fast sports cars.” states Sibylle Thomas-Göbelbecker “First of all, I fell in love with the dream cars from Maranello.”
Her father, Lothar Thomas, who has been a long-time Bugatti owner and who competed in saloon car races in the German Democratic Republic back in the 1970’s, driving a Skoda 130 RS, triggered her affection to sporty motorcars. In the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, young Sibylle accompanied her father to various races in several countries of the Eastern Bloc. At an event in Brno she saw several Ferraris for the first time: These were owned by competitors from Western European countries who took part in the event and who had left their road cars in the paddock or in the visitors’ car park. That was when Sibylle Thomas-Göbelbecker made up her mind to get one in the future.
Till 1989, the political conditions and the general circumstances limited Sibylle’s automotive ambitions to intensive studies of West German car- and motor sport magazines smuggled into East Germany by relatives and friends. But very shortly after the political turmoil of November 1989 the situation changed when her father founded a BMW dealership in Meissen near Dresden — when the German reunification was still some months away! Sibylle took over as general manager of the dealership in 1996. Two years earlier, she had her first drive in a Ferrari at the wheel of a 348 spider. She later drove several F355s and a 550 Maranello, all owned by friends and customers. In 1997, she plucked up the courage and sent a letter to Ferrari Deutschland. In this letter she promoted herself as suitable to set up the first official Ferrari dealership in the Eastern part of the reunited Germany.
It took five years before an agreement was made. In the meantime Sibylle had decided to open a second BMW dealership in a suburb of the capital of Saxony, Dresden. In 1997 Maserati was taken over by Ferrari and this provided the background that made the financial aspects of the combined Ferrari and Maserati dealership in former East Germany appear much more reasonable. On April 29, 2002 Sibylle and Ferrari Deutschland’s general manager Gianluca Pazzaglini worked out a contract that turned the young businesswoman into the first official Ferrari and Maserati dealer for the eastern states of the German Federal Republic.
The exclusive Dresden suburb of Radebeul was chosen as the location of the new dealership. Situated conveniently on the town’s main street and directly on Dresden’s city limits, 2.2 million Euros were invested in a 1.300 square metre building. About 650 square metres are reserved for the sales of Ferrari and Maserati, which are presented in an impressive showroom with a height of more than six metres. The new dealership features the latest elements of Ferrari’s and Maserati’s new Corporate Identity design. Of a total of twelve employees, two are dedicated exclusively to the service for the Italian marques while Sibylle herself handles the sales.
About 350 Ferrari are currently registered for road use in the Eastern part of Germany, 60 of these in Saxony. Sibylle Thomas-Göbelbecker plans to expand these figures significantly by offering an interesting range of new and used cars. We wish her all the best!
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