He also reveals a few details about the Purosangue – Ferrari’s first SUV.
Sergio Marchionne’s unexpected death earlier this year shocked the automotive world. His deteriorating health forced him from the position of CEO of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and CEO and chairman of Ferrari just days before he passed. Many didn’t know he was sick – not even FCA. The company learned about his health on July 20, naming a replacement the following day. Ferrari quickly named Louis Carey Camilleri as Marchionne’s successor. In a wide-ranging interview, Piero Ferrari, son of Ferrari founder Enzo, company vice chairman, and 10-percent owner, discusses his experiences and encounters with the Marchionne, who worked hard to spin the Italian supercar company off into its own entity.
Piero talks a lot about Marchionne’s “grit,” hard work ethic, and no-nonsense decision making. Piero remembers inviting Marchionne over for dinner on weekends, but Marchionne would politely decline every time he’d ask. Marchionne owned several Ferrari’s, according to Piero, but the vice chairman believes many in Marchionne’s collection have “really low miles.” Marchionne was also the type to give direct yes-or-no answers. While he was a finance guy by trade, he took the time to learn about the products before making a decision.
While much of the interview is about Piero’s relationship with Marchionne as both a friend and colleague, Piero did talk about Ferrari’s future and how the former CEO shaped the company moving forward. Marchionne created a four-year plan for the company before his passing, which the company presented earlier this month. Piero even talked about Ferrari’s upcoming SUV – the Purosangue. He said it would be a Ferrari with four doors, “but it cannot be confused with all the other SUVs on the market.”
When Marchionne died, tributes poured in not only from industry notables but also from the motorsports and technology communities, too, including Apple CEO Tim Cook. Marchionne helped mold Ferrari into a tech-focused automaker, pulled Fiat and then Chrysler out of financial ruin, and left a lasting legacy in the automotive industry. Piero’s interview humanizes Marchionne, and it’s worth your time.