But labels Teslas as being merely 'functional' and not threats to Ferrari in any way.
Ferrari's recently appointed CEO, Benedetto Vigna, has high praise for Tesla and Elon Musk in saying that the EV automaker was an industry "wake-up call" by shaking things up in several ways aside from its cars.
Speaking to Bloomberg, Vigna said that Tesla "shook up the industry and accelerated processes and decisions. They were faster and more agile." The auto industry has a reputation for making decisions rather slowly and isn't always open to change. Tesla altered that, and Ferrari's board of directors was paying close attention. How so?
For one thing, Vigna's professional background includes time spent as an executive for a company that developed sensors for billions of iPhones.
He understands and has experience in a high-tech company and now he's bringing that knowledge to Ferrari.
"Electrification is a new way to provide our customers a unique driving experience, and I've no doubt that our electric powertrains will give clients the same thrills of combustion engines," he said. And at age 53, he's only two years older than Musk.
He's also a serious car guy but does not see Tesla as a serious Ferrari rival. Each automaker appeals to very different types of customers. He considers Tesla to be "a functional car. It's meant to go from one point to another."
Ferraris are emotional cars. With that in mind, Vigna confirmed that Ferrari remains on schedule to launch its first all-electric model in 2025, and it will hit the market the following year. But don't assume Ferrari under Vigna's leadership will become an EV-only automaker.
"Electrification is just one piece of the pie, and there's indeed too much hype about it as well as on software and the debate about the need to consolidate the supply chain," he explained. "Technology is just a tool, and I think there's too much money poured into this, and this is because there's a lack of deep knowledge."
Ferrari's most recent success story is the Purosangue, a V12-powered SUV (of sorts) which, according to Vigna, has filled the marque's "order book four times faster than our original plan."
A plug-in hybrid version is expected at some point down the road. Vigna's plans will see Ferrari focus significantly on sustainability, with the goal of becoming carbon neutral by the end of 2030. A full lineup of pure battery electrics is not necessary for that to happen, but reducing emissions is still achievable with PHEVs like the SF90 Stradale.
Join The Discussion