By Lubna Hamdan
Italian automotive champion fears a feminine model would drive away male customers which make up a significant portion if its consumer base
The world’s most popular supercar maker does not want to make cars for women.
Italian automotive champion Ferrari says it would be a “mistake” to design a car for women because its female clients do not want a “female Ferrari” and look to experience the brand’s renowned performance and aggressive design.
“We know there’s an important number of females who want to drive a Ferrari. The important thing we learned is that they don’t want a Ferrari for females,” Enrico Galliera told Arabian Business.
“A female that wants a sports car wants to drive a sports car…The mistake that automotive [companies] do and that we’re trying not to do is design a car for ladies. I design a car that delivers emotion then male and female have exactly the same need,” said the chief marketing & commercial officer at Ferrari NV and senior vice president-sales of Ferrari SpA.
Ferrari also fears a feminine model would drive away male customers which make up a significant portion if its consumer base.
“If you create a female car in the sports car - I’m not talking about a general car, maybe that’s different - but in the sports world if I create a Ferrari which is a little bit less powerful and aggressive then all the males will not buy it. They will not buy a female car. And the females won’t buy it because why should they be discriminated [against]? Why should they have a less powerful car?” Galliera said.
It takes two to Ferrari
Despite it steering away from designing feminine Ferraris, the brand has seen an increase in female drivers around the world, albeit the rise is unrelated to specific car models but to couples' activities.
“We have seen [a rise in female customers] worldwide. I have to be honest, this is coming because we did a lot of activities where the couple can share the experience… [The activities are] not for the males track who are addicted to the car. It’s the possibility to share the experience.
“All the activities we do all over the world… they are done in a way where you can enjoy the environment, have nice food, nice restaurants, these kinds of stuff so that now we have the companion pushing to come to the event and this is reducing the distance between Ferrari and the [female] segment…,” he said.
Galliera hinted that female customers are afraid to drive a “very aggressive, very sporty” Ferrari and said the new “more elegant” Roma should reduce their fear, but claimed the new 600 horsepower model is aimed at both men and women.
“What we know and that’s why we came up with the new product, the new Roma, is that there is a barrier to buy in some segment of the population. Again, it doesn’t make a difference, male or female, that they are afraid to drive a Ferrari - maybe because of its image; it’s a very aggressive, very sporty, muscle car.
“So that’s why we did the new Roma, the new car we just introduced which is in terms of performance a pure Ferrari and can be driven by anyone. But the design of the car is less aggressive, more elegant so that it should reduce the fear that some segment of the population has, female and male,” Galliera said.
Pretty but not in pink
The new Roma is elegant indeed, with a refined design that takes inspiration from 1960s mid-front-engine grand tourers combined with advanced driveability to make longer trips more relaxing.
But it’s as far as the arguably feminine model goes and you won’t find it in a rosy shade either as Galliera states firmly that pink is off the Ferrari paint menu.
“We’re different versus all the other manufacturers. We have an internal commission that decides if [the request] is consistent with Ferrari’s positioning or not. In the past, this was not coming from the region, but we had a client that came asking to have the car painted in pink. We said sorry, we’re not doing that.
“We are a sports car and there are some colours or combination of colours that we believe shouldn’t be put in our car,” he said.