Several months late to the annual Airing of the Grievances, Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne recently took the opportunity to mildly trash one of his company’s products.
The outspoken CEO, who donned the title last year, apparently takes offence to the company’s California T, complaining to reporters at the Geneva Motor Show that the droptop grand tourer just doesn’t feel like it belongs in the stable.
As such, the model will see changes made to pump more Ferrari blood into its veins, Motoring reports. It’s an odd situation, as Marchionne’s public poo-pooing of the vehicle hasn’t stopped him from owning more than one.
“The car Iâ€™ve had the most difficulty is the California,” he said. “I bought two of them â€” I bought the first one and I liked the car very much but itâ€™s the one car that, from an identity standpoint, has the hardest time of seeing itself as a full-blown Ferrari.â€�
The CEO has big plans for the company, with a looming crop of new models and swag and gear galore, but he admits that the California T “may not be right.” Still, he claims there are no plans to evacuate its market segment. A market for a vehicle similar to the California remains, and a successor will likely appear after the Italian automaker finishes its product review.
As reporters tried to glean more information from Marchionne, the executive admitted that the manual transmission would definitely not return to the lineup. Also, the notoriously electrophobic executive claimed that any fling the company has with battery packs and AC motors is in the interests of speed, not the environment. Ferrari plans to debut a hybrid powertrain in 2019.
â€œWeâ€™re not trying to meet CO2 targets â€” weâ€™re really trying to improve the performance of the car,” he said. “The real objective is to combine the petrol engine and the electric motor to produce the highest possible performance possible.”
Marchionne, who plans to stay on as Ferrari boss after retiring from his CEO role at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles next year, didn’t let a chance to trash a rival pass by. When asked about long wait lists, the CEO claimed the company would work on reducing the number of buyers it sends into the arms on another Italian supercar company.
“A lot of people buy a Lamborghini because they canâ€™t get their hands on a Ferrari,” he said.