Welcome to Ferrari's next era.
In a somewhat surprising move last September, Luca Di Montezemolo stepped down as Ferrari chairman after 23 years at the helm. His replacement? Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne. Fiat now owns 90 percent of Ferrari but in the coming months it’ll spin off the brand as part of a capital plan needed to raise funds for FCA’s future growth. That could be a reason why Montezemolo left (read: forced to leave). Other possible explanations include increasing Ferrari production numbers or even a potential SUV.
The rumors will undoubtedly continue. However, there’s still one individual still at Ferrari with a direct link to the "Old Man," Enzo Ferrari, himself. That would be his second (illegitimate) and only surviving son, Piero Lardi Ferrari. In a recent interview with an Italian newspaper, Ferrari stated clearly that he fully backs Marchionne and the changes he is making. Describing Marchionne as a man who “"hates delays…works hard, recognizing and solving problems instantly," Ferrari believes he’s the right man for his time and place. “I saw him speaking clearly and honestly, without subterfuge or like a politician,” Ferrari stated. "My father would have understood (Marchionne) at a glance."
Like Enzo Ferrari did back in 1961 after the season ended, Marchionne has been cleaning shop at Ferrari F1 by immediately firing people left and right. He wasted no time in making what he felt were absolutely necessary changes. Piero Ferrari further made clear these were the right decisions.