Tokyo, 23rd October 2003 – Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo, along with the engineer, Amedeo Felisa, managing director of the Granturismo division and Giuseppe Bonollo, in charge of product development strategy, met the Japanese and international media at the Tokyo Motor Show today. During the meeting, Luca di Montezemolo thanked the Japanese fans and dedicated the team’s victory in the Grand Prix held at Suzuka to them.
Montezemolo emphasised again that clinching a fifth consecutive Constructors’ Championship, in competition with the biggest car manufacturers in the world can only be done through the continuous capacity for innovation. In fact, Ferrari’s success also comes from the ability to transfer this innovation to the road cars, aimed at its customers. One example of this is the Challenge Stradale, shown on the stand, which uses carbon-ceramic brakes and an F1-type gearchange, which is derived directly from experienced gained in Formula 1.
Also on show on the stand in Tokyo is the the 575M Maranello, the first 12 cylinder powered car from the Prancing Horse to feature the F1 gearchange, directly derived from racing.
Once again in 2003, Ferrari has shown its ability to innovate and to look forward with the futuristic new Pininfarina designed Ferrari 612 Scaglietti, the spiritual heir to the 456. The car will be presented at the Detroit Show in January 2004.
The style of the 612 Scaglietti can also be seen through its performance, provided by a sophisticated 540 horsepower V12, which is the result of the various latest Ferrari engine research initiatives, which allows the car to reach a speed well above 300 kilometres per hour. Finally, the most significant feature of this model: the choice, for the first time for a 12 cylinder car, of a chassis and bodywork manufactured in aluminium.
This solution, already successfully evaluated by Ferrari, offers a range of benefits, as a result of its reduced weight: acceleration, braking efficiency, handling, active safety as well as greater overall rigidity. This last benefit is also enhanced by the front-central mounting of the engine and the 'transaxle' drive, which allows for a weight distribution typical of a rear engined car (46%-54%.)
2003 has been a positive year for Ferrari with sales results to date pointing at an absolute record. The Company can therefore count on another strong result for 2003, an impressive preamble to planned expansion in two important areas of development. As of next year, Ferrari will, for the first time, have an official presence in the Russian market and also in 2004, there are plans to strengthen its position in China, as a result of changes to importation laws, which will guarantee greater commercial opportunities.
As for the Japanese market, thanks to constant collaboration with importers, Cornes, which has enjoyed success since the mid-Seventies, it is expected that Ferrari sales in Japan will come in at a similar level to the previous year, with around 270 units sold; an encouraging result in a market which is dealing with serious economic stagnation.
The Ferrari importer in Japan has eight dealers in its network, throughout the major islands of the Japanese archipelago. There is plenty of passion for Ferrari in Japan: several historic Prancing Horse models are in the hands of private collectors and Japanese museums. Scuderia Ferrari also has a significant contingent of fans here, who were able to share the joy of victory and nine consecutive world championship titles at Suzuka.