Vigna to chart Ferrari’s journey into the electric vehicle era

  • The company will present a new business plan on Thursday
  • Ferrari faces the challenge of electrification
  • CEO Vigna took up his post in September
  • Stocks have outperformed over the past 12 months

MILAN, June 13 (Reuters) – Nine months after taking the top job, Benedetto Vigna, CEO of Ferrari (RACE.MI), is expected this week to explain how the automaker will maintain its cachet – and top prices – in an electrified future becomes cars.

The Italian luxury sports car maker will unveil its much-anticipated business plan on Thursday, ushering in the new era of cleaner, quieter and electric mobility.

That’s a particular challenge for companies like Ferrari, which have built their brand over decades by perfecting the roaring and super-powerful engines that power their cars.

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Vigna, a tech veteran with 26 years of experience in the semiconductor industry who joined Ferrari last September, is tasked with marrying innovation with tradition.

“We should expect a clear focus on the technology shift, which qualifies the central burning question, namely how the company will develop in this new environment, not only in terms of the product portfolio,” said Marco Santino, partner for the automotive practice at the management consultancy Oliver Wyman.

Ferrari has already presented four hybrid models and has promised its first all-electric car for 2025.

Strategic partnerships are key to accessing new technologies while keeping capital expenditure under control.

The company is expected to outline the relevant areas for new partnerships that could develop along the lines of an existing relationship with Britain’s Yasa, now owned by Mercedes (MBGn.DE) and supplying electric propulsion technologies for Ferrari’s hybrid models.

The CEO said earlier this year that Ferrari would rely on partners to develop bio and synthetic fuels, which could offer an additional green option alongside all-electric technology.

Margin on core adjusted earnings

NEW SUV

With the announcement of its first sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Purosangue, for the coming months, Ferrari is also moving into a lucrative market segment where competitors such as Lamborghini, part of the Volkswagen Group (VOWG_p.DE), are already operating.

“A key challenge over the medium term is to maintain world-class profitability while supporting unique efforts to develop new technologies and innovative solutions,” said Santino.

In addition to core technology, Vigna has a number of other areas where it could make its mark, analysts say, including data and connectivity, intellectual property, Formula 1 motorsport performance and increased manufacturing complexity.

Ferrari’s lineup has grown in recent years to include nine models as well as limited edition cars with six, eight, 12-cylinder, hybrid and soon all-electric engines in production.

Investors appear to be staying true to the belief. The company’s shares were little changed over the past 12 months, while the European Auto Index (.SXAP) fell 18% and the Luxury Index (.STXLUXP) fell 13%.

Rival Aston Martin lost nearly 70% over the same period, while shares of Tesla (TSLA.O) were among the few to outperform Ferrari.

But Vigna has something to prove.

“The upcoming Capital Market Day presents many challenges to change the valuation parameters for a company that appears to have been on autopilot in recent years and may be in need of a transformation strategy,” Jefferies analysts said.

($1 = 0.9510 euros)

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Additional reporting by Stefano Berna with editing by Keith Weir and Mark Potter

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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