Originally Posted by imageWIS
Before Audi I would have agreed with you, but now they are finally creeping towards Ferrari. The Gallardo is pretty damn impressive and if I was a regular Joe with the financial ability to buy one, I would be hard pressed as to which car I’d rather buy. I still stand by my opinion that Ferrari needs a successor to the 512TR and needs to do away with the 599 (that’s why the 612 exists).
While I think a $300,000 mid-engined V12 Ferrari would be cool, I don't think Ferrari, as a company, sees any real need. Why would they?
Sure, the Gallardo happened, and Ferrari has followed suit with the F430. And I don't think Ferrari is that bothered by the Gallardo anyway- the F430 is still all sold out.
Regarding looks, I don't like the 612 at all, though I like the 599 and think it is the best GT available on the market. Quite simply, Lamborghini offers nowhere near the model line-up that Ferrari does. Lambo has taken the "wedge" shape and carried it for decades, including through their current offerings. Yes, they've tweaked the design, but the general shape has been alive for decades. They have proven themselves capable of designing one
particular type of mid-engine shape that appeals to some, but certainly not all, motorists. But other designs? Have Lambo, for instance, shown themselves able to build a 2+2? The Espada was horrible, worse than even the 612. Ferrari is trying to do something with their model line-up that Lambo isn't - and, when they did in the past, they failed.
If it ever got dire - which I don't see anytime soon - of course Ferrari would be smart enough to drop the whole insistence on front engine GT cars as their non-entry level car.
Ferrari has the funds to easily develop: (1) A little $100K sports car; (2) a $300K+ mid-engine Murci competitor. Both would sell like crazy. Ferrari chooses not to; they are sticking with the mid-engine V8 and the two V12 GT cars. Why they do this is anybody's guess. My personal supposition is that they like having a core customer base of people who are multiple-Ferrari owners. And, they think that people are more likely to buy an F430, and a 612, and a 575, each of which serves a slightly different function, than people would be to buy, say, a Gallardo and a Murci. My guess is Ferrari likes having that customer base and likes creating cars that can serve multiple purposes depending on what the client is looking for. When this stops working - and it's been working ever since the 250 GTE - there's no reason to think Ferrari won't shift their strategy.
If Ferrari wanted to make its cars more accessible, it could. If it wanted to sell more, it could. That they don't may piss off some people consumers and send them elsewhere (like Lambo, where not only are there no waiting list, but you are offered deep discounts on brand new cars), but as of now it doesn't affect Ferrari in the slightest.
The Ferrari business people have, I'm sure, thought through it all. How to keep the brand strong. How to keep the exclusivity on which the business so relies. How to keep the advertisers' dollars rolling in. And so on. But I wonder what would happen if they turned back away from the front engine 12s and put the engine in the back.
So, say they made a Murcielago competitor. $300,000 or so. Say they'd still have the 2+2, the entry level V8, and this mid-engined 12. I wonder what would happen to 1) the numbers sold (they are already selling as many cars as they want, no?) 2) the number of V8 cars sold now that another more-expensive-but-less-GT car is on the scene; 3) the effect on the brand power, advertising money, etc. I'm sure all this balancing has been done and they've decided it's a bad idea and they want to stick with the current lineup. It's just interesting to me, from a business perspective, why they chose that course. On the one hand, they'd probably sell more of the mid-engine 12 than they would of the 599. But would that be balanced by selling fewer V8s? Or would there be fewer multiple Ferrari buyers who, for whatever reason, Ferrari wants to be a part of its client base? (This is the theory that I have had for a long time - they have more money, buy more merchandise, maybe buy old F1 cars from the factors, and so on.)
There's some reason why Ferrari wants this kind of model diversification. It's probably a bit of everything. But the way I see it, it probably has a lot to do with that last point - wanting multiple-Ferrari buyers. And it probably has a lot to do with the brand exclusivity bringing in the dollars. So, if Ferrari were like Lambo and made two relatively similar cars, just with the more expensive one having more grunt, then the demand for the entry level car, from people who want a sports car and not a GT, would diminish. Thus, spreading Ferrari buyers around in that way would make a smaller demand/wait list for any one car (the V8, in this case). As a result of that, there is less hype about the brand, and less money coming in from competitors who want a part of the magic. That's my theory on why they went down the road that they have.