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Report: Ferrari Plotting Italian EV Assembly Line

Ferrari is rumored to be preparing a third assembly line in Maranello, Italy, dedicated for electric vehicles. The automaker has already purchased land near the facility and is presumed to make an official announcement on June 16th when it’s scheduled to present its four-year business plan.

As usual, this comes from a major media outlet that cited unnamed sources from within the industry. Though, considering the luxury sports car manufacturer’s confirmation that it would begin producing hybrid and all-electric automobiles, it’s more than plausible. Ferrari’s first battery electric vehicles are scheduled to arrive in 2025 and it still needs somewhere to build them. 

According to Bloomberg, the company’s stock rose by as much as 1.3 percent as of midday Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange, flipping earlier declines. Though it has pitched back down by 3 percent since then — undoing any short-term gains allegedly made by the leaked information. Media analysts are still beating the EV drum, however.

“Ferrari has looked a bit less exceptional in recent years, with returns coming off peaks and competitors raising their game,” Jefferies analysts wrote in a note from May 30th. “[The June 16th announcement will serve as] an opportunity to reclaim leadership and better understand why John Elkann appointed outsider Benedetto Vigna, to ‘reinvent’ Ferrari.”

From Bloomberg:

Ferrari NV plans to significantly expand its factory in northern Italy as part of the electrification strategy it will unveil during a highly anticipated briefing next week, according to people familiar with the matter.

The supercar manufacturer has snapped up space near its Maranello plant and started clearing the way for a third production line that will be dedicated to making hybrid and electric vehicles, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private. The expansion will also likely include a new battery research-and-development center, they said.

Ferrari will highlight the project during its June 16 capital markets day, when Chief Executive Officer Benedetto Vigna is expected to shed light on Ferrari’s EV strategy and lay out his business plan for the next four years. The former STMicroelectronics NV executive was brought in to accelerate the shift away from the 12-cylinder engines and four-figure horsepower the carmaker is known for.

Because nothing says Ferrari like ditching high-output V12 engines. Bah. Whatever the finer details of the plan happen to be, investment costs are likely to become a major factor in the years ahead. Ferrari has historically liked to keep production in-house whenever possible and this is assumed to continue with the launch of a new battery R&D center and EV assembly line.

Despite the ability to post extremely enviable profit margins, Ferrari’s formerly healthy stock performance has been on the decline since late 2021. Corporate stock has declined by roughly 22 percent this year in Milan, trailing Italy’s benchmark stock index and its European automotive peers. Market analysts have speculated that this is due to the automaker dilly-dallying in terms of transitioning toward electrified vehicles and the resulting costs of making the swap after some of its rivals (namely Lamborghini). However, your author is less than convinced things are quite that simple.

If Ferrari is ever to start manufacturing EVs for itself, the necessary investments are (and were) completely unavoidable. While the company previously said it would never go all-electric under former-CEO Louis Camilleri, the European Union is now plotting to ban the sale of new gasoline and diesel cars by 2035. This has placed the automaker in quite the pickle, as it effectively has to reimagine itself in order to keep selling cars to Europeans.

This is hardly a unique problem for the industry; though it poses an especially big conundrum for an Italian manufacturer specializing in extremely high-end vehicles that trade almost exclusively on heritage and performance. My assumption is that any EV-related hype that might have bumped up Ferrari’s stock in the past has since abated and everyone is now waiting to see what the company actually has in store for the future. The automaker’s svelte and expensive lineup means that any duds added to the roster will have a big impact on its bottom line. Investors may simply be waiting to see what’s next before calling their broker.

[Images: Juraj Kamenicky/Shutterstock; Veyron Photo/Shutterstock]

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