Ferrari Puts I-Pad in Supercars as It Widens Apple Deal

Ferrari SpA, the luxury carmaker owned by Fiat SpA (F), will be “more precise” about its partnership with Apple (AAPL) Inc. in the next few months, Chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo said.

Ferrari, which today unveiled the 1 million euro hybrid model “LaFerrari,” is in talks with Apple about broadening a partnership on in-car entertainment, Di Montezemolo said today at the Geneva motor show. The new four-seater Ferrari model includes mini i-Pads on the passenger seats. Eddy Cue, Apple senior vice president overseeing online services, joined the Ferrari board last year.

Ferrari posted a 12 percent increase in profit to 351 million euros ($457 million) last year. Revenue rose 8 percent to 2.43 billion euros with 7,318 cars sold. Global sales of cars costing more than 100,000 euros are forecast to beat the 2007 peak this year and will climb 35 percent to almost 540,000 by 2015, according to IHS Automotive. The jump will be fueled by a 52 percent surge in North America, it said.

Last year, demand in Europe fell 7.8 percent to 12.5 million vehicle registrations, the lowest level in 19 years, according to European industry body ACEA, and figures for January showed sales continued to fall into 2013.

Ferrari will find it “difficult” to match earnings achieved in 2012 amid shrinking car sales in Europe, Chairman Luca Cordero Di Montezemolo said.

“It will be difficult,” he said. “We are fighters and challenge is in our job,” Di Montezemolo said, adding it was “too early” to make forecasts.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Tommaso Ebhardt in Milan at tebhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Chad Thomas at cthomas16@bloomberg.net

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