The small town of Maranello in northern Italy is a kind of pilgrimage site for friends of loud and fast sports cars. Ferrari has been building its cars with high-horsepower combustion engines there for decades. But that will change in the coming years. As one of the last automobile manufacturers in Europe, the Italian company is switching to electromobility – and is committed to the goal of climate neutrality by 2030.
As early as 2026, pure combustion models should only account for 40 percent of Ferrari sales, the company announced at an analysts’ conference in Maranello. The first purely electric Ferrari is to be presented a year earlier.
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 percent of all new cars will be powered by electric motors.
Vigna, who has been running the company for eight months, is an unusual choice. The Italian comes from the semiconductor manufacturer STMicroelectronics, he is a physicist and doesn’t have a “stale smell” from the automotive industry. Vigna is thus the opposite of a manager with “petrol in his blood”, who usually sits on the executive boards in the industry.
Chairman John Elkann, frontman of the Agnelli family that dominates the company, specifically chose him to drive change. “He has an eye not only on the auto industry, but on the wider world,” said Elkann.
At the event, Vigna showed what this will look like. The Italians want to build the electric motors and battery modules for their electric cars themselves.
The plant in Maranello is to be expanded for this purpose. Battery cells will be delivered, however, Vigna clarified. Ferrari doesn’t produce aluminum itself either.
Compared to competitors like Porsche, the manufacturer is late in switching to electric cars. The Stuttgart-based company has had its Taycan on the market since 2019. However, other brands such as Lamborghini are not much more ambitious in their transition plans.
In order to be able to operate the remaining combustion models in 2030 in a climate-neutral manner, one hopes for synthetic fuels, said Vigna, without going into further details. Porsche is already a big step further: together with partners such as Siemens Energie, the company is building a pilot plant for such an almost climate-neutral gasoline in Chile. The first liters of fuel should already be produced there in autumn.
In fact, the CO2 emissions from the vehicles in operation account for the majority of the greenhouse gas emissions in Ferrari’s balance sheet. The company also showed this to the analysts. Overall, the CO2 footprint last year was 622,000 tons, of which 195,000 tons in the use phase of the cars.
Emissions from the extraction of raw materials (175,000 tons of CO2) follow as the second large block. Emissions in the supply chain that Ferrari cannot fully eliminate by 2030 should at least be offset by certificates – and a forest that the company will reforest itself in Italy.
The company is also approaching the mainstream of its competitors when it comes to the product range. In September, the Purosangue, the first SUV, will be presented. The engine for the SUV is not yet clear. At the competitor Lamborghini, this vehicle class is a big seller and profit maker.
At Ferrari, the SUV should make up a maximum of 20 percent of sales volume. And the Ferrari should not be off-road either, but clearly remain a sports car.
Despite the major transformation, Elkann and Vigna aim to maintain the manufacturer’s very high level of profits. No car group from Europe even comes close to the return level of the luxury brand.
On average, Ferrari currently generates sales of around 250,000 euros per vehicle, with a pre-tax return of 25 percent. Although 4.4 billion euros are being invested in switching to electric vehicles, profits are expected to increase from 1.5 billion euros last year to 2.5 to 2.7 billion euros in 2026.
Of course, Ferrari can only remain this kind of money machine if the fans also buy models with electric motors. Elkann is confident: “Everything we do will be clearly recognizable as a Ferrari,” he promises his customers. Electrification will enable the company to build even more iconic vehicles than before.
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