Ferrari has angrily refuted reports circulating earlier this week that the Italian marque was planning lay-offs due to declining sales and slow-moving inventory. The Maranello based manufacturer has been quick to respond, insisting it is operating well within sales target parameters and that there are no job cuts on the horizon.
While sales are slower than last year, 2007 was a bumper year for Ferrari and with the global economic downturn a drop in sales was expected. Sales in fact are down just 120 vehicles year-to-date with 1,482 units sold, a drop of just 7.5 percent (other manufacturers would sell their grandmothers to have held sales at that level in this global environment).
F430 sales are also reportedly in good shape though sales of the drop-top models have slowed as the northern hemisphere gears up for winter - an annual sales cycle factored-in by all convertible manufacturers.
On the matter of the planned production holiday, Ferrari explained that it is taking advantage of the proximity of weekends to the holidays this season. The downtime is not related to a stockpile of inventory as had been incorrectly reported.
Ok. Nothing to see here. In the current global economic mess, you can bank on more rumours and more mischievous mis-information appearing - and then doing the rounds - about a lot of manufacturers. But it can be very damaging. Even in the best of times, consumer confidence in the brand is vital. In this instance, we also got caught - unaware we were peddling rumour - and apologise to Ferrari (a lesson in 'fact-checking' for TMR there).
The recent introduction of the California and the Scuderia Spyder 16M can be taken as clear indicators of the company's confidence in the future. There will always be a market for scarce premium products among premium buyers. And is there any product more aspirational than the 'prancing horse'?