The Supply Chain Is A Mess But Ferrari Is Still Ballin’

Tmdferrari

Ferrari’s outlook is way up, Stellantis ain’t half bad either, Russians look to Japan for cars, and ADA-compliant green buses are coming to West Virginia.

Welcome to The Morning Dump, bite-sized stories corralled into a single article for your morning perusal. If your morning coffee’s working a little too well, pull up a throne and have a gander at the best of the rest of yesterday.

Ferrari’s Business Model Can Apparently Withstand Supply Disruptions

Purosanguetmd

In our ongoing evaluation of whether inflation is a long-term marcoeconomic response to numerous intersecting factors or, perhaps, a short-term reaction to those factors exacerbated by large corporations extending their profits I would like to present Exhibit B: Ferrari.

The storied Italian brand has sold out most of its models and raised its expectations for revenue for a second time this year, according to this Bloomberg story. From the same piece:

“We continue to manage an outstanding order book: with the exception of few models, our entire range is sold out,” Chief Executive Officer Benedetto Vigna said in a statement, also noting new “macroeconomic challenges on a global scale.”

The manufacturer follows other luxury brands like Mercedes-Benz AG raising guidance to defy economic gloom with wealthy car buyers less acutely affected by soaring inflation and rising interest rates. To counteract higher input costs from industry-wide supply-chain pressures, Ferrari is raising prices for models like the €215,000 Portofino and €1.6 million Monza in the first quarter of next year.

In its own story “Defying gloom, Ferrari sees strong demand for luxury cars,” Reuters mentions the Italian supercar company’s positive outlook, writing:

The Italian carmaker said orders for its new 390,000 euro ($385,000) Purosangue four-seater had outstripped even its most ambitious expectations. It has also pushed up prices by mid-single digit levels on its existing models to offset the impact of inflation.

[…]

We are also very positive for the next year. This is thanks to the order book that we have, that is spanning all the products we have as well as all the regions,” Vigna said.

[…]

A double digit growth in shipments helped Ferrari beat expectations in the third quarter, with its adjusted core earnings rising 17% to 435 million euros.

With a 73% increase, the China, Hong Kong and Taiwan region scored the largest shipment growth in the quarter.

It sort of makes sense that Ferrari, unlike other automakers, can survive limited supply because limited supply is the company’s business. Waiting for a Ferrari is part of buying a Ferrari, which is not true for people buying a Honda Accord. Ferrari owners have told me about the months they’ve waited for cars and they weren’t complaining, they were bragging. Cars have become harder/slower to build, so Ferrari raises prices and doesn’t worry about losing customers. And you can bet that when the cars are easier to build, those prices ain’t dropping; but maybe I’m wrong.

Stellantis Isn’t Half Bad Either

Pug 508

Ferrari’s, er, cousins at Stellantis reported a 29% increase in sales in the third quarter as their supply chain improved and deliveries started catching up to demand. They believe their financials will improve along with the sales increases as the business starts to normalize.

This, I thought, was interesting:

CFO Richard Palmer said the whole industry was facing a scarcity of trucks and drivers, which was making it difficult for Stellantis to “convert our strong order portfolio into sales in Europe.”

Palmer added the company was currently seeing “no red light flashing” on possible energy constraints affecting its supply chain and that the level of concern was now relatively lower compared to a few months ago, as “everyone is taking actions.”

“If the winter is normal … then I think we’re reasonably confident that we can manage production without any significant interruptions,” Palmer said.

That’s from this Automotive News story on the Q3 report, and I think it’s interesting for two reasons:

  1. If winter doesn’t get terribly cold it seems like supplies in Europe can hold out, and prices have even dropped recently.
  2. If it’s not one thing it’s another, and the lack of truck drivers just shows how interconnected everything is.

Russians Are Looking To Japan For Used Cars

Cima Done

As if there weren’t enough reasons to despise Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, it sounds like anyone hoping to import a car from Japan is going to have to compete with some desperate Russian citizens.

We know that sanctions are already taking their toll on Russian car production, but people still need cars. Where are they coming from? According to this Reuters report, the answer is Japan.

Imports, which used to account for around a fifth of the market by volume and half by revenue, have not yet fully recovered. New car imports were well below February levels in August, data from Russian analytical agency Autostat showed, but those of used cars more than doubled to 23,117 from 11,055.

The vast majority, 76%, of used cars were imported from Japan, with Belarus distant second with a 5.3% share, the data showed.

Keep your hands off my Cimas!

West Virginia Gets Its First ADA-Compliant EV Bus

Bus

We’ve talked before about how electric school buses make a lot of sense and it seems like West Virginia is getting in on the action already. Canadian bus company GreenPower Motor Company is building this, the NanoBEAST, which is a “clean sheet” Class A school bus that’s been delivered to Clay County Schools in South Charleston, WV.

From a company press release:

“GreenPower, along with its partner Constellium, has developed a full monocoque structure that utilizes the proven GreenPower purpose-built EV Star platform,” said GreenPower President Brendan Riley.  “The passenger compartment features a flat floor to ensure excellent accessibility for wheelchairs and ensure that there are no seats with compromised foot and legroom.”

Riley also noted the Nano BEAST all-aluminum body is stronger than any other body used for other Type A school buses on the market and the GreenPower design has a higher passenger floor that keeps students out of the typical crash zone.

It’s not the sexiest part of the market, but it’s the most logical. That this is apparently a fresh design is interesting because it looks a lot like a repurposed Sprinter, though most vans in this class look fairly identical.

The Flush

We got to spend last night with some readers at the Taco Bell Cantina in Las Vegas and it made me wonder: What car most exemplifies the Live Mas lifestyle?

Photos: Ferrari, Stellantis, GPMC, Nissan

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on whatsapp
WhatsApp
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit

33 Responses

  1. I feel like there are a lot of ways to go with the Taco Bell lifestyle. I could make an obvious joke about a camper van with a toilet, or go with a stereotype. But I really think that the car that best exemplifies Taco Bell needs to be more than that. Taco Bell is a super-Americanized cheap fast food version of Mexican food. The answer isn’t a slammed pickup or anything with hydraulics. No, the answer is probably the Geo Metro. Cheap, not really want people generally want, and you might even be a little ashamed if you chose it.

      1. But “live mas” IS Taco Bell. The mixed language, especially in ensuring it is very identifiable to the audience that is likely to speak only English, makes it the Taco Bell slogan. It’s meaningless when removed from the context.

    1. That said, I would also accept a junker pickup with a cheap body lift that doesn’t serve any purpose. After all, taking something good and messing it up like that is ALSO very Taco Bell.

      1. It’s a Braun Ability Century model, not zoomed in far enough to tell exactly which one.

        It’s the budget/mainstream line of DPA (Dual Parallel Arm) lifts, generally used in smaller buses/vans like this one.

        The ramp-converted minivans are the rock stars of the company, because they are usually sold to consumers rather than transit agencies, but Braun has basically 100% market share in the lift business for good reason.

        As for the revision/series of this line that I worked on in 2016-18, we had lots of new and exciting features prototyped and ready to deploy, but our customers basically told us the only things they valued were low cost and high reliability. So a lot of the design and testing work was never implemented. But it was still a pretty through revamp of the existing model, though mostly behind the scenes visually. Very much in tune with the “give me a $10,000 car with crank windows and no screens” vibe of this place in fact.

    1. My neighbor got a used Dodge Neon in highschool. It was lowered, big wing and lettering across the windshield and rear window that said “El Nino”. It was magnificent. She did NOT fit the description of the person who would buy that car. She was a very normal gal from an Italian family, not into the F&F movies that were big at the time. Not really into cars at all, but the El Nino was cheap.

  2. Look, if the car that defines Live Mas isn’t a 1997 Civic with >2 different rim/tire combinations, a cupholder full of Hot, Fire and Diablo sauce and a smell that can only be described as ‘dank AF’ I need to go rethink my life

  3. Live Mas lowered El Rancho with mismatched rims and a multihued blanket over torn interior.
    Now as a person somewhat familiar with Public Transportation that EV Bus only works if it’s a 1 trip in the AM and 1 in the PM. The public transportation company o work for has 1 EV Bus. All the drivers hate to drive. You can barely get 2 laps on a route before you need to charge it. So buy 3 for each route. I hated the CNG busses worse. One little ding it needs pulled off the road for inspection. The multi million fueling station will freeze and leak. And as the temperature changes so the the psi in the tank.

  4. Live Mas – faded silver/grey 1985 automatic Cavalier wagon. House of Pain “Jump Around” playing in the cassette deck and Pyle Driver 10” sub in the back. 2 pm Friday afternoon. Slight alcohol buzz, still a little weed smell in the car, pulling through the Taco Bell drive thru. As soon as the speaker keys, driver yells “I want a f’ing Taco Salad!” The other 3 guys in the car start laughing hysterically. Live Mas.

  5. Ok let’s think about the flush logically. What is Taco Bell? It’s a restaurant that’s not so concerned with heritage and traditions and authenticity. Live mas? That’s like two different languages bro. So I’m thinking Kia Stinger. Stingers don’t care about heritage and so called “DNA”. They wanted a sport sedan so they built it. They didn’t care if Germany was the original. They put a crunchy delicious Dorito shell over some questionable ingredients and just went for it.

  6. I guess i’m not surprised ferrari are doing great,no matter what.Their business model for the past two decades has been rock solid: Make very desirable cars, but dont make enough of them.
    If only they’d stop selling to the dodgiest of the rich they’d be a respectable company.

    I remember reading about the russian used imports some years ago.The story (written by a westerner) was particularly interesting because he showed how the small guys did it.Basically they’d ride the train to vladivostock, buy one car then drive it aaaaaallllllll the way back to moscow.
    Apparently a lot of people did this.And it probably surprises no one to hear a lot of car buyers bought their own car that way.Hey,road trip *and* save money?What’s not to like? 🙂

    So these days how does Ukraine get their used imports now?The overland route is impossible so are they getting them delivered by ship?Surely not with the ongoing war? Are they now buying cars from europe?

  7. GreenPower Motor Company is producing electric busses in its new facility in South Charleston WV. Several of the larger busses are running around the school districts here. Plus, Constellium has a large manufacturing facility in nearby Jackson Co. WV.

  8. Live Mas car would have to be jack of all trades vehicle. Perhaps an R1S Rivian, lots of power surprisingly nimble, acceptable off road, but not great of course. capable of towing, though the BEV part of that limits it a bit. Family sized enough for most.

Leave a Reply