By on November 7, 2009

It wasn't always like that. Or was it? (courtesy

Ferrari singled out their Swedish dealer Autoropa at the brand’s 60th anniversary in Maranello, lauding their high sales stats. A reporter asked CEO Filip Larsson how they managed to sell so many cars in such a small country. “Easy,” Filip said. “We sell two cars instead of one.” Enkel. Unless you pay WAY over the odds to jump the queue for a hot new Ferrari—a practice which would earn some serious ire—there’s always a wait for the latest example of Maranello magic. While customers count the days until their nuova bella macchina assumes its rightful place in their humidity-controlled garage, Filip sells him/her a used Ferrari as a placeholder. ‘Cause it comes to getting a new Ferrari, Ferrari prefers Ferrari owners to own a Ferrari. Or two. Or three. Or more. Meanwhile, over at Porsche . . .

Porsche does the same thing only different. About three years into the production run, they release the second generation, or facelifted, version of their vehicle. It’s usually upgraded in the power department with some extra eye candy. A large portion of the first generation model’s buyers feel compelled to buy the new model just to own the latest, greatest Porsche—even though it’s basically the same vehicle that they already own. The dealers get to make their huge margins on all those expensive new car options AND sell the “hand me downs” for a tidy profit.

I suspect that most Porsche buyers couldn’t appreciate the performance difference between one generation and another in a blind test. But that’s not the point. Once you get to a certain level of exclusivity, he who flatters the ego banks the gold.

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16 Comments on “Porsche and Ferrari: As Smart As They Come?...”

  • avatar

    If I could afford it I’d be glad to participate in the Swedish Ferrari dealers program. There is no Ferrari that I wouldn’t like. A friend of mine in CA was told the same thing by a Ferrari dealer, if he wanted to get on the waiting list for a new one he had to purchase a used one. He ended up with a SL 55.

  • avatar

    One Porsche dealer here in So Cal would give the looky-loo the car for the weekend ,if they looked like a good credit risk. By Monday after telling all the lies, to their friends, and trying to pick up women, the LL would rob a bank or do whatever it took to keep that car.

    That sold a lot of extra cars.

  • avatar

    I’ll take that SWB 250 over a current California any day.

  • avatar

    I was talking to a guy with a Scuderia at a track day. He said he had another F430 at home.

    Turns out he had owned the F430, then the dealer called him down to look at a new Scuderia that had come it. He drove it and bought it. He drove the 599 too, but thought it was more of an executive car than a fun car.

    I asked him if he checked out anything else – Lambos, Astons, you know – and he said no. He said he trusted Ferrari and that he liked the fact that it had pedigree (damned upstart Aston).

    I dunno – to my mind, that’s not exactly a car person. Anyone who has the chance to go drive the best cars in the world (and if you pull up with an F430, you damned well can) and isn’t even interested is a different sort. It reminds me of a lot of Porsche owners I’ve met (but not all of them!), who discount everything else because they like their Porsche, and the one they had before it.

    I really do think we’re increasingly seeing the effects of accumulating wealth. It’s giving us more and better supercars, but it’s also amplifying a situation where a lot of people can drop absurd amounts on cars they don’t care about, and the rest of people could never, ever afford one of those cars no matter what.

    I realize there were rich people 30 years ago, but this large class differentiation is getting worse. I figure I’m doing pretty well, but the multiple-Ferrari thing is like some kind of throwback to royal classes or something.

  • avatar

    I’ll take a 250 GT SWB, 250 GT SWB/LWB California, 250 GT Lusso, 250 Pininfarina Spyder, any 275 GTB, a 365 GTB/4 Daytona and some other former production models that I’m forgetting over the new Ferraris.

    Which is not to say that I don’t love the contemporary Fezza’s. I wasn’t to fond of the F430, but I’m sure a 599GTB or that new 458 Italia will get me from A to B with a smile on my face. I can’t stop watching that 458 Italia Gran Turismo 5 tribute on a popular video hosting site. Even the 612 appeals more and more to me over time.

    If I was to come in to some serious disposable moulah I would probably run to the dealer myself to pick up a nice 360 to cruise around in while waiting for that 458. I would look for one with the Daytona seats though (in the 360, I don’t know if they are available in the 458 yet)…

  • avatar
    Andy D

    I check Tom Yamg’s Ferrari resto site. I admire his 10 year project to restore a basket case 63 America 330. And I thought Jags were just slapped together, and, yes,there are electics even worse than Lucas. Malle, IIRC

  • avatar

    Ferraris are interesting, but I’ll take the humility and compassion I’ve learned over any car. They can keep their cars and money, I won’t trade who I am for anything in the world. That said, I’ve love to drive those cars. Although I rather learn to be a good driver. Also be better able to stop and smell the roses.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    I thought you needed two so that you could drive one while the other one was in the shop.

  • avatar

    I’ll surrender my humility and compassion for a 330GT any day. And besides, most modern rose hybrids have no perfume.

  • avatar

    Ima surely the most humble fella on this site and I’d kick Mother Teresa in the head for a 365 GTB/4

  • avatar

    There are a coupla Hyun/Kia stealerships in the area that are always doing this.. “We sell two cars instead of one” shpiel..

    Guess FERRARI is taking lessons from them now…

  • avatar

    In the last 20 years or so, the rose fragrance pendulum has swung back. Most rose breeders now work hard to include great fragrance along with all the other desirable rose qualities, and possibly even more important than classic hybrid tea form. See the roses of David Austin — scarcely a hybrid tea among them, but most smell wonderful.

    If I were in the fortunate position of choosing a supercar, sorry Ferrari, but I’d head first to Aston Martin. I like Aston interiors better, and I don’t need to pretend that I drive it on the track every other weekend.

  • avatar

    True Story

    One day I had a customer come in to service about a scratch in the rear window of his humble little boxster he had been driving for a couple years. His car was ugly lapis blue and I told him to forget about that car and lets trade it on a different color boxster. Well I awakened a demon in this guy and now 6 years later he has bought 44 new cars from me. No bullshit. Hes driving a e550 coupe right now and at 3 months its the longest hes kept a car besides his wifes a4 cabriolet that they drove for one about a year. There is no rhyme or reason to what he buys. He would trade in a 997 turbo and buy an a3. Then he’d trade the a3 on a boxster, boxster for cayenne, cayenne for carrera, carrera for a4. Sometimes I’ll have 3 or 4 of his cars in the used inventory with less than a thousand miles on them.

  • avatar


    And thanks to him, you now drive an F430?

  • avatar

    In regards to the Porsche refresh strategy…all manufacturers do that. Mid model refreshes, special additions, even new colors are all ways to drum up new buyers cheaply. Mustang Bullet anyone, debuting the F1 tranny in the 355, 2004 S2000…

  • avatar

    Not really about the post, I saw a panamera yesterday for the first time (turbo), in black, it is a much nicer looking car in person (driving) than it is in photo’s.

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