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BW Businessworld

We Can’t Afford To Make Another Mistake In This Market, Says Ferrari’s Galliera

"We don’t have sales targets in this business. If that’s the objective, we can have many dealers and showrooms in the country and push the sales as much as possible. In our dealership agreements, there is no mention of sales targets. But, the customer satisfaction and the best after-sales experience are the only and the most important targets for us"

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Iconic luxury sports car maker Ferrari SpA has made a fresh entry into the Indian market, appointing two new local dealers -- Select Car Private Ltd and Navnit Motors -- in Delhi and Mumbai, respectively. Its earlier dealership in the country was terminated abruptly a couple of years ago due to servicing and delivery issues. By opening its first ever retail outlet in Mumbai, the Italian car maker is also making the second entry a big bang affair to capture the minds of its aspiring clients among India’s fast growing billionaire club. Ferrari will now sell its entire range in the country, except the LaFerrari hypercar, including California T, Ferrari FF and the Ferrari 488 GTB, Ferrari 458 Spider and Ferrari 458 Speciale. Ferrari, which already has many loyal owners and fans in the country, is now helping these local clients to get even closer to the iconic brand with fresh market entry, said its senior vice-president, (global) commercial and marketing, Enrico Galliera, in an exclusive interview with BW Businessworld.

Yours is not a commodity business and you can’t target volume sales. So why do you need multiple dealers in a market like India where the number of Ferraries sold is still in two digit? Do you have a fresh business target here?
We have a very simple target, which is very important in our business that’s to make sure we deliver the best service to our clients. As you rightly said, there are some 50 Ferraris being currently run on Indian roads of which half are in Mumbai and the western region and the other half in Delhi. But, in this segment the clients experience is far more important. We don’t have sales targets in this business. If that’s the objective, we can have many dealers and showrooms in the country and push the sales as much as possible. In our dealership agreements, there is no mention of sales targets. But, the customer satisfaction and the best after-sales experience are the only and the most important targets for us. That’s why we wanted to have two partners in this market to cater to Mumbai and the western and southern region, and in Delhi to look after that region. Not having the same kind of an insight about this market was the biggest mistake we did earlier.

Why did Ferrari take long to appoint the new dealers after the termination of the first one?
We can’t afford to make another mistake in this market, which is emerging as an important location for Ferrari as the number of billionaires and aspiring customers are increasing. And, as I said earlier, taking care of the existing clients in the way it should be is another big challenge that we need to address. So, we took time to ensure these while selecting the new local partners. More importantly, we are here for a long term business. So, we need to make sure that our partners have the ability to maintain these for long without fail and I am sure that Select Cars and Navnit (the two dealers appointed by Ferrari in India) have the capabilities to meet these key objectives.

There were lots of customer complaints, including failure to provide services and non-delivery of cars after booking, among others, in India earlier?
We have settled all those issues by dealing directly with those aggrieved clients. We made sure that all those complaints in India were attended directly by contacting the clients on a personalised way after the termination of the earlier partner. All the cases of non-delivery were also addressed directly by identifying those clients and ensuring the best service. In fact these new partners, who were actually chosen early this year (in January), were also helped addressing these emergency issues.

Are the two new local outlets equipped to handle technical services and customisation, which is key in luxury sports cars like Ferrari?
We have stringent policies regarding servicing of cars, including selection and training of people at the servicing floor. So the facilities provided with the two partners, who would actually work in coordination, would match those standards. And, we also have our service people flying down from Dubai or other regional hubs to attend high-end cases. As far as customis ation is concerned, we will only take maximum two orders in a year, which would require the clients’ personal involvement with our design team and visits to the main production centre at Maranello in Italy multiple times. The Indian showroom can now accommodate up to three cars and will also have a personalisation area for the customers.