Lessons Learned and Dreams Lived at a Ferrari Dealer

August 9th, 2013

Ferrari_California

I spent the majority of the afternoon yesterday hanging with some new friends at the Ferrari/Maserati dealership in Seattle, and all I got was a hat.

An exotic car dealer is nothing like your run-of-the-mill Chevrolet dealer. The showroom is more like an art gallery, with strategically placed cars sitting behind placards that display the model name, some highlights and available options. One would almost expect the cars to sit behind red velvet rope.

The prices at a Ferrari dealer aren’t as evident as they are for shoppers at a Chevy dealer, but that’s to be expected when the wares for sale cost upwards of $250,000. Even the certified used cars have a special place, right alongside their later-model cousins.

If dropping $292,000 for the white Ferrari 458 Italia with $8,000 carbon fiber seats and a $4,000 LED steering wheel is just not in the cards, you can opt for the certified pre-owned F430 sitting next to it for $190,000. Or, if you’d rather keep your spending under the $200K level but still buy new, there’s a Ferrari California available for your driving pleasure.

Ferrari logoMy point here isn’t to rub in the fact that even a used Ferrari is out of reach, but to bring up the point that maybe traditional dealers should consider putting some certified used inventory on the showroom floor, right next to the model that replaced it. I think that would accomplish a couple of different goals:

1. Upsell the buyers who want the latest and greatest cars
2. Provide an option for the people who prefer a better value to the newest car

If I were in the market for a Ferrari, having the F430 next to the 458 would emphasize the point that the newer 458 is worth the extra hundred grand or so. Having had some seat time in both, getting the F430 would make me feel like I had to settle for an inferior car, which no one should ever feel when taking a Ferrari home.

That effect might not be as pronounced when comparing a new and used Malibu, but I think it’s something a dealer should try!

I said goodbye to my Prancing Horse friends, but not before handing over my credit card. Not for a deposit on that new 458, but for a genuine officially licensed Scuderia Ferrari hat.

Even that was hard to afford.

Should certified used cars be sold next to new ones?

-tgriffith

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Used Chevrolet Malibu

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  1. Randy
    | #1

    Reminds me of one of our engineers who was sent to Ferrari in Italy to help them with a software problem in the controller for the Magnaride dampers they were using in one of their cars. Before he left (after successfully fixing the problem) he got to visit he Ferrari factory store where he bought some racing shoes, and took a ride on a rainy highway with a factory driver (yes, they check them out on local roads). This engineer was pretty good at terrorizing me during test runs on the track, but he got his comuppance real good with the Ferrari driver passing on rainy roads at crazy speeds in a new Ferrari. (If you’ve never ridden or driven on Italian roads, you can’t appreciate what I mean.)

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