Think of Formula One racing as “the advance part of our R&D department,” said Amedeo Felisa, the Italian automaker’s general manager and number-two executive. Ferrari may not be dominating the sport like it did earlier in the decade, but F1 is the source of many of the company’s technical innovations, said Felisa, and will likely become even more important in the future. The new F599 GTB Fiorano is a case in point, with critical components such as the transmission F1-derived. The development of tomorrow’s products has become even more demanding, with a focus on efficiency, rather than pure, brute muscle, explained Felisa, which means lighter weight, better mileage, more output per liter of engine displacement, and “that is what Formula One is doing.”
At a time when many automakers are struggling to maintain market momentum, Ferrari faces quite a different challenge. It is struggling to reduce a sales backlog that is averaging around two years, even more for hot new products, such as the F599, the Italian executive said during an interview at the Los Angeles auto show. Demand is only growing faster as the company expands into new markets, such as
2006 Los Angeles Auto Show by TCC Team (11/30/2006)
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Preview: 2007 Ferrari 599 GTB Fiorano by TCC Team (11/27/2006)
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