Is its time limited?
Many of you probably remember how adamant Ferrari was when it said it wouldn’t build an entry-level model just prior to the California’s introduction, which was in 2008. In other words, the California, nor its successor, the California T, aren’t considered "entry-level" by Ferrari, but rather grand tourers that compete against the likes of the Aston Martin Vantage. More simply put, Ferrari wanted to expand its customer base with a more tamed model. But according to Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne, that may not have been the best idea.
Speaking to the press at his annual FCA press conference at Geneva, Marchionne touched upon a number of subjects, and the future status of the California T was one of them. "It has a hard time seeing itself as a full-blown Ferrari," the sweater loving CEO stated bluntly, as is his usual style. "This is the biggest topic of conversation at Ferrari right now." So why are customers (and Ferrari) having a difficult time figuring out the California T’s ethos? A very good reason, for starters, is because its California predecessor was first conceived as a Maserati, and that matters significantly.
It wasn’t until fairly late in its development that it became a Ferrari, which at the time made more sense; its price could be increased and the prancing horse gained a new model and, therefore, more potential customers. But things are different today. Maserati is in (somewhat) better shape with the arrival of its Levante SUV, while Ferrari remains at the top of its game with the rest of its lineup. So if the California T were to be dropped without a successor, would the cheapest Ferrari end up being the 488 GTB? Does Ferrari having something else in mind? Too early to say at this time, but with Marchionne at the helm until at least 2020, anything’s possible – exception being a Ferrari SUV. Thank heavens.