FEB 16th 2015

GRR Read Test: Car talks Ferrari shares. So, should you invest?

So you want a Ferrari? Why stop at the cars, what about buying the company?


Ferrari, as you may know, is being floated. On the stock market. The initial public offering (IPO) is due in the next few months. For the first time you, us, even the chairman of Ford (now that would be funny – ed) will be able to buy a chunk of prime, prancing horseflesh.

Or, as the March issue of Car has it, ‘Marchionne sells the family silver’. And then just for good measure doctors a photograph of the Fiat empire boss wearing a flat cap, sheepskin jacket and proffering a canteen of cutlery. Ho ho.

So, should we all get on to our stockbrokers forthwith? You’d think so, for as Car says, no other car company gets close to Ferrari’s high average price (£173,000) and high (currently 7000, anticipated to rise to 10,000) annual volume. The 458 has been a cash cow, contributing £618m in annual revenue. Only Porsche is as consistently profitable, reports Car.

But then again… there’s the F1 team (loss making most years, says Car), and the tiny contribution made by merchandising (what, despite all those airport Ferrari shops?). There is also the suggestion that adding 3000 sales a year might not be all that easy since growth in the super luxury market is mostly in saloons and SUVs, and Ferrari is not (yet…?) about to build an SUV.

Car’s story is based on reports into Ferrari’s finances from investment advisors Bernstein Research. Their car analyst Max Warburton is quoted by Car as saying: ‘We struggle to see a market capitalisation materially above €5-6bn (£3.75-4.5bn).’

Sergio Marchionne has suggested that with 10,000 cars a year, Ferrari could be worth almost twice that…

So watch this space for the price of those shares at the IPO. We’d be tempted if only to go to the shareholders’ annual meeting…

The floating of Ferrari makes two pages in Car this month – a tucked-away little gem of the sort that Car does so well. The big feature, and splashed all over the cover, couldn’t be more different. It’s a 33-page special on Japanese sports cars.

There’s surely something here to please all Japanese car fans. The new, the old, the reborn and yet to be… it’s a celebration of car names that could only be Japanese: NSX, GT-R, Nismo, Evo, Type R, LF-A, WRX, 2000GT, R34, 240Z… and of course MX-5, which they have had a jolly good go in – as we have.


Car’s verdict on the all-new fourth-generation Mazda? ‘A proper sports car, not a shopping car in a superhero outfit’. Twenty five years on, it seems the ‘world’s top sports car’ is back with a bang…

Couple of other test verdicts from Car March you may be interested in: Land Rover Discovery Sport (‘fantastically well rounded’) just pips Audi Q5, with Evoque and Jeep in third and fourth spots respectively. And after a 1350-mile drive to Gibraltar in the new Jaguar XE, Car sums up the crucial new car thus: ‘Better than a 3-series? Gut feel is yes, by a margin’. Wow.

Last but not least, Car this month has the ‘Ferrari survival guide’ for Sebastian Vettel. Among the dos and don’ts are, ‘Do lavish Christmas presents on the engineers’, and ‘Don’t call the car a tractor’.


Wise words, but the wisest perhaps come from Niki Lauda. His advice to Seb? ‘Don’t read the Italian newspapers…’


GRR Read Test Verdict 

Good for Japanese car enthusiasts… but what a shame they couldn’t wangle a drive in the new NSX.

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