Ferrari ‘Plans Plant Expansion’ Amidst Electric Push

Ferrari's hybrid vehicle Stradale. Image credit: Ferrari

Ferrari reportedly planning expansion to plant in northern Italy as it gears up for late entry to electric race helmed by tech veteran Benedetto Vigna

Ferrari is reportedly planning a significant expansion to its plant in northern Italy as part of a highly anticipated electrification strategy expected to be announced this week.

The company has purchased land near its existing plant in Maranello, near Modena, and is preparing a third production line focused on hybrid and electric vehicles, Bloomberg reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the matter.

The expansion is also likely to include a new battery research and development centre, the report said.

The project is expected to be highlighted at Ferrari’s capital markets day on Thursday, at which its new chief executive, tech veteran Benedetto Vigna, is to lay out the company’s plans for the next four years, including its electrification strategy.

Ferrari's hybrid vehicle Stradale. Image credit: Ferrari
Ferrari’s hybrid vehicle Stradale. Image credit: Ferrari

Transformation plan

The former STMicroelectronics executive took the helm at Ferrari last September with the task of steering Ferrarri beyond the era of its signature 12-cylinder engines and four-figure horsepower.

The challenge was made all the more stark after the European Parliament voted last week to support an effective EU ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars from 2035.

Ferrari has a relatively late start in the electric vehicle race, and while it has introduced hybrid models its first fully electric car isn’t expected to arrive until 2025.

So far Vigna has shaken up Ferrari’s organisational structure and has brought in several executives from STMicro and has reached a deal with Qualcomm to work on more digital cockpits.

Tech veteran

At his former employer he led the division that supplies sensors for Apple’s iPhone and automakers’ navigation systems.

Industry analysts have said Vigna could make his mark with Ferrari in areas including data and connectivity.

Citi analysts have said they expect “structurally higher investment to drag on returns” as Ferrari moves into EVs, while Jeffries analsyts said the company “may need a transformational strategy”.

Shares at the company have dropped 22 percent this year in Milan, but have remained relatively flat over the past 12 months, compared to an 18 percent drop in the European auto index and a 70 percent decline for Aston Martin.

Tesla is one of the few carmakers whose stock has outperformed Ferrari over the same period amidst broad macroeconomic disruption.