Sergio Marchionne Has a Problem With the Ferrari California T, and You're Gonna Hear About It

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
sergio marchionne has a problem with the ferrari california t and you re gonna hear

Several months late to the annual Airing of the Grievances, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne recently took the opportunity to mildly trash one of his company’s products.

The outspoken CEO, who donned the title last year, apparently takes offence to the company’s California T, complaining to reporters at the Geneva Motor Show that the droptop grand tourer just doesn’t feel like it belongs in the stable.

As such, the model will see changes made to pump more Ferrari blood into its veins, Motoring reports. It’s an odd situation, as Marchionne’s public poo-pooing of the vehicle hasn’t stopped him from owning more than one.

“The car I’ve had the most difficulty is the California,” he said. “I bought two of them — I bought the first one and I liked the car very much but it’s the one car that, from an identity standpoint, has the hardest time of seeing itself as a full-blown Ferrari.”

The CEO has big plans for the company, with a looming crop of new models and swag and gear galore, but he admits that the California T “may not be right.” Still, he claims there are no plans to evacuate its market segment. A market for a vehicle similar to the California remains, and a successor will likely appear after the Italian automaker finishes its product review.

As reporters tried to glean more information from Marchionne, the executive admitted that the manual transmission would definitely not return to the lineup. Also, the notoriously electrophobic executive claimed that any fling the company has with battery packs and AC motors is in the interests of speed, not the environment. Ferrari plans to debut a hybrid powertrain in 2019.

“We’re not trying to meet CO2 targets — we’re really trying to improve the performance of the car,” he said. “The real objective is to combine the petrol engine and the electric motor to produce the highest possible performance possible.”

Marchionne, who plans to stay on as Ferrari boss after retiring from his CEO role at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles next year, didn’t let a chance to trash a rival pass by. When asked about long wait lists, the CEO claimed the company would work on reducing the number of buyers it sends into the arms on another Italian supercar company.

“A lot of people buy a Lamborghini because they can’t get their hands on a Ferrari,” he said.

[Image: Ferrari]

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  • Q Q on Mar 14, 2017

    Put a gated manual in it and it would turn it around (for me). I don't dream of driving (new) Ferraris any longer because the gated manual is dead; that Luca di Montezemolo is full of $&$?! man.

  • Motormouth Motormouth on Mar 15, 2017

    New headline: Marchionne views California as hormone-deficient guy attending a testosterone convention I think the poor guy is missing the point. It's the intro Ferrari, an estimated 70% of buyers are new to the brand.

  • Nrd515 I don't really see the point of annual inspections, especially when the car is under 3 years (warranty) old. Inspections should be safety related, ONLY, none of the nonsensical CA ARB rules that end up being something like, "Your air intake doesn't have an ARB sticker on it, so you have to remove it and buy one just like it that does have the ARB sticker on it!". If the car or whatever isn't puking smoke out of it, and it doesn't make your eyes water, like an old Chevy Bel-Air I was behind on Wed did, it's fine. I was stuck in traffic behind that old car, and wow, the gasoline smell was super potent. It was in nice shape, but man, it was choking me. I was amused by the 80 something old guy driving it, he even had a hat with a feather in it, THE sign of someone you don't want to be driving anywhere near you.
  • Lou_BC "15mpg EPA" The 2023 ZR2 Colorado is supposed to be 16 mpg
  • ToolGuy "The more aerodynamic, organic shape of the Mark VIII meant ride height was slightly lower than before at 53.6 inches, over 54.2” for the Mark VII."• I am not sure that ride height means what you think it means.Elaboration: There is some possible disagreement about what "ride height" refers to. Some say ground clearance, some say H point (without calling it that), some say something else. But none of those people would use a number of over 4 feet for a stock Mark anything.Then you go on to use it correctly ("A notable advancement in the Mark VIII’s suspension was programming to lower the ride height slightly at high speeds, which assisted fuel economy via improved aerodynamics.") so what do I know. Plus, I ended a sentence with a preposition. 🙂
  • ToolGuy The dealer knows best. 🙂
  • ToolGuy Cool.