Frankfurt Show: Missing the Ferrari Magic

Posted on September 12, 2019.

F8 spider and 812 GTS debuted at Universo Ferrari and were not at Frankfurt

This report by Andrea Malan first appeared in Automotive News Europe

Ferrari has joined rival high-end automakers including Aston Martin, Bentley and Rolls-Royce in skipping this year’s Frankfurt auto show, despite launching two new models on the eve of the event.

Ferrari chose to launch the F8 spider and 812 GTS in Maranello, Italy, despite the opportunity of an ideal venue in Germany, Europe’s biggest auto market, and despite the Italian launch costing more money than an appearanc ein Frankfurt.

Ferrari Chief Marketing Officer Enrico Galliera said the use of  the Universo Ferrari in Fiorano, a purpose-built building beside the company’s test circuit in Maranello, had cost more than a stand at a big auto show.

Galliera said the Universo Ferrari was available for one month compared with 10 days at the Frankfurt show. It also offered more space.

“We took the decision to organize something here in Maranello because we needed a much bigger space. Here we have 8,000 square meters,” Galliera said.

Show stands were sometimes so small he said that Ferrari was unable to show its entire range or even “offer a coffee to a potential customer,” he said.

But, perhaps launching its models alongside brands with a less noble pedigree and forcing its customers to rub shoulders with less affluent show visitors also plays a role in Ferrari’s decision?

Mass-market brands including Toyota, Peugeot, Citroen, Nissan, Kia, Volvo, Mazda, and all of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ brands will also skip Frankfurt this year. For some, cost-cutting will play a role in their decision. But not for Ferrari.

The brand will also be absent at the Tokyo and Los Angeles shows later this year, while Ferrari’s presence at the Shanghai show has already developed into a separate downtown exhibition space.

Does this mean a final farewell to Ferrari’s presence at these events? Galliera says Ferrari will decide the relevance of shows on a “step by step” basis.

But if the string of cancellations is anything to go by, we could be seeing less of Ferrari at such events. Which is certainly bad news for auto shows. After all, it’s the magic of supercars that are among the biggest draws at such shows. Mass-market cars we can see every day.

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