2004 will mark the fiftieth year of Ferrari activity in the United States.
The link with the USA is fundamental for the Prancing Horse as North American is
Ferrari's number one market.
A little over a month from this important anniversary (one that will be celebrated with the official presentation of the '612 Scaglietti' at the Detroit Motorshow) Luca di Montezemolo, President of the Ferrari Maserati Group, displayed the new 12 cylinder model in New York to a select number of American clients and VIPs.
Flanked by some historic cars from the past and the F1 World Championship
winning F2003-GA, President Montezemolo defined 2004 as a crucial year as it
marked a half century of Ferrari presence in the US. 'The relationship began in
the 1950s and got stronger in 1960s, when three Prancing Horse models won at
Daytona ahead of the Fords'. This unleashed the passion and enthusiasm of the
American public for cars from the Modena. This same enthusiasm will bring 2003
to a good end: it has been a record year for Ferrari in America with a 15%
growth in sales compared to 2002. Maserati has also fared well in a sector -
that of luxury cars like Porsche and Jaguar - that has shown an overall fall of
20%. Montezemolo preannounced that 2003 will see total
sales for Ferrari in the US of 1,300 with Maserati at 1,000 (thanks to 33
Prancing Horse and 40 Maserati sales points).
The '612 Scaglietti', defined by Montezemolo as 'the fastest 2+2 in the world', was presented in two liveries: one in Ferrari Red and the other in Ingrid grey. 'Ingrid' is the name given to the grey tone requested by the director Roberto Rossellini for the Ferrari given to his partner Ingrid Bergman, famed for her icy grey eyes.
President Montezemolo also recalled the emotional rollercoaster that was the last F1 season. It was a win that gave the Scuderia Ferrari a new record, partly secured by the crucial victory at Indianapolis. 'No-one has ever won five straight consecutive constructors' titles and four consecutive drivers' championships. Ferrari is a mid-sized Italian company gifted with passion and enthusiasm, always under the spotlight, but it is just like the hundreds of thousands of other Italian companies that have the same passion. Now we can enjoy the moment but we will keep our feet on the ground.'
The North American market continues to acclaim Ferrari: for the fourth time the 360 Modena, one of the best-loved Ferraris in the US, won a prize from the American Automobile Magazine. Two years ago, the same magazine awarded President Montezemolo as 'Man of the year'.