The adage “Less is more” isn’t something you’d expect to hear from a horsepower-driven carmaker such as Ferrari, but that’s exactly the strategy the exotic Italian sports car brand is pursuing. While mass-market auto manufacturers fight for market share and upscale leaders BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz aggressively vie to be No. 1 in luxury car sales, Ferrari Chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo is hitting the brakes. The luxury unit of Fiat, which makes the $1.3 million LaFerrari hybrid supercar, plans to cut deliveries by 400 vehicles this year, to about 6,900.
It’s a bet—akin to the strategies of Patek Philippe watches and Hermès handbags—that scarcity has more value for “Il Cavallino Rampante” than pushing sales. Shifting down a gear on deliveries doesn’t mean Ferrari doesn’t want growth; it just hopes to sell buyers more than exotic supercars. “We have such amazing customers, including artists and novelists, so I should give them something no one else can provide,” says Montezemolo, 65, at his red leather-topped desk. “Ferrari must stay above other car brands in terms of profit, quality, and exclusivity, but also make money with additional services.”