Uh-oh … more signs that the world economy is not in the best of shape comes from Maranello, Italy, where Ferrari (makers of the best cars in the world) has announced that they are going to lay off 10 percent of their workforce.
Ferrari says that there’s no financial crisis, they’re just being proactive. Luca di Montezemolo, the capo di tutti capo, says the move allows Ferrari to respond quickly to markets that might have otherwise waited years for cars. Luca explains further: “Of course the economic problems are being considered. It depends how long this crisis goes on, if this is close to the end or not. Because we will see a different world out the other side.”
Yes, well, obviously … other out there will take this as some sort of sign, that Ferrari is a canary in a coal mine sort of signal.
For starters, canaries are cheap and fragile, that’s why coal miners used them. Ferraris are not cheap, and only on occasion are they fragile. During the last big economic downturn (in the early 90s) I remember reading an interview with Ferrari of North America’s president. They asked him flat out what this meant to the bottom line and if he was worried. He said, in effect, ‘No. You have to understand that we make very few cars a year for a very high price. There will always be two to three thousand people who are rich enough to buy one of our cars.’
Or to put it another way, Ferrari’s market is a fraction of a percentage of th total car market.
If you want to look for real signs of an automotive apocalypse, then look at bigger, more numerous fish.