Ferrari has made a serious blunder in China.
Ferrari has a new 458 Italia Dragon Edition meant to commemorate the Chinese New Year and drum up even more interest in the brand in the Far East. Well, all that good will went to holy heck the other day as the Italians created a faux pas much worse than they could have imagined. For a princely fee of, according to the BBC, $12,000, the team was given permission by government authorities to take their 458 Italia to the top of the Zhonghua Gate Tower in Nanjing for some late night drifting.
Cleaning crews could be seen the next morning desperately trying to scrub off all that burnt rubber that comes after rounds of donuts and hoonery.
The stunt was deemed a "rude insult to Chinese culture." Ferrari has since apologized for the stunt-gone-wrong, blaming a single "rogue Ferrari employee" for the offensive actions. The backlash took on a mind of its own on the Chinese Twitter-like site Weibo, where the Chinese government even went so far as to block the term "Ferrari" so as to keep criticism of officials to a minimum (again, according to the BBC). "Ferrari is fully at the disposal of the local authority to solve the situation. At the same time Ferrari has asked the dealer to take immediate action with the employee who had such regrettable behavior," the Italian company said.
We will see if any further backlash comes from this story, though drifting on a 600-year old wall that served as a landmark to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) never was and still is a bad idea.