D.he small town of Maranello in northern Italy is something of a pilgrimage site for friends of noisy, fast sports cars. Ferrari has been building its cars with high-powered combustion engines there for decades. But that will change over the next few years. As one of the last automakers in Europe, the Italian company is transitioning to electromobility and is committed to achieving its climate neutrality goal by 2030.
As early as 2026, pure-combustion models are expected to account for just 40% of Ferrari sales, the company announced at an analyst conference in Maranello. A year earlier, the first purely electric Ferrari will be presented.
So far, the brand has four hybrid models on the market. Overall, the management around the new CEO Benedetto Vigna plans to launch 15 new models by 2026. By the end of the decade, 80% of all new cars will be powered by electric motors.
Vigna, who has been at the helm of the company for eight months, is an unusual choice. The Italian is from semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics, he is a physicist and has no “stale smell” from the automotive industry. Vigna is therefore the opposite of a manager with “petrol in his blood”, who usually sits on the boards of directors of the sector.
The chairman of the board John Elkann, frontman of the Agnelli family that dominates the company, has specifically selected him to lead the change. “He has an eye not only on the automotive industry, but also on the rest of the world,” Elkann said.
At the event, Vigna showed how it will be. The Italians want to build the electric motors and battery modules for their electric cars themselves.
For this purpose, the Maranello plant will be expanded. The battery cells will be delivered, however, clarified Vigna. Ferrari also does not produce aluminum on its own.
Compared to competitors such as Porsche, the manufacturer is lagging behind in the switch to electric cars. The Stuttgart-based company has had its Taycan on the market since 2019. However, other brands like Lamborghini aren’t much more ambitious in their conversion plans.
In order for the remaining combustion models to function in 2030 in a climate-neutral way, hopefully synthetic fuels, Vigna said, without going into further details. Porsche is already a big step forward: together with partners such as Siemens Energie, the company is building a pilot plant for such climate-neutral gasoline in Chile. The first liters of fuel should already be produced there in the autumn.
In fact, CO2 emissions from vehicles in circulation represent the majority of greenhouse gas emissions in the Ferrari balance sheet. The company also showed it to analysts. Overall, last year’s CO2 footprint was 622,000 tons, including 195,000 tons in the car use phase.
The second major block is followed by emissions deriving from the extraction of raw materials (175,000 tons of CO2). The emissions in the supply chain that Ferrari will not be able to completely eliminate by 2030 should at least be offset by certificates – and by a forest that the company will reforest in Italy itself.
Ferrari is also planning an SUV
The company is also moving closer to the mainstream of its competitors when it comes to the product range. The Purosangue, the first SUV, will be presented in September. The engine for the SUV is not yet clear. To rival Lamborghini, this class of vehicle is a big seller and profit maker.
At Ferrari, the SUV is expected to represent a maximum of 20 percent of sales volume. And the Ferrari shouldn’t be off-road either, but clearly remain a sports car.
Despite the great transformation, Elkann and Vigna aim to maintain the very high level of profits of the producer. No European car group even comes close to the performance level of the luxury brand.
On average, Ferrari currently generates sales of around € 250,000 per vehicle, with a pre-tax return of 25%. Although € 4.4 billion is invested in the switch to electric vehicles, profits are projected to increase from € 1.5 billion last year to € 2.5-2.7 billion in 2026.
Of course, Ferrari can only remain this kind of money machine if fans also buy models with electric motors. Elkann is confident: “Everything we do will be clearly recognizable as a Ferrari,” he promises his customers. The electrification will allow the company to build even more iconic vehicles than before.
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