It’s simple; I’m not getting in the car if you don’t tell me where we’re…
Enzo Ferrari and His Vision
Inspirational men in business.
Ferrari: The man, the brand, the legend.
Enzo Ferrari was a true visionary. Single-minded and of a single purpose, his vision was to create unique, high- performance motor cars developed based on success and excellence achieved on the motor racing track.
He created a company renowned throughout the world for its creation of truly special motor vehicles. Over the 90 years of his life, Enzo built an amazing company and left a legacy that today is valued at approximately US$25B.
I was fortunate enough to have a long holiday in Europe recently, and Italy was a key part of my journey. I’m a moderate car fan, so Modena and Maranello in northern Italy were destination highlights for me. They are the birthplaces of Enzo Ferrari and the Ferrari factory and home of the two Ferrari Museums. Definitely worth a visit, the Ferrari Museums depicted an amazing collection of history, memorabilia and spectacular works of motor vehicle art.
Born in 1898, Enzo Ferrari caught the motor racing bug early when his father took him to a motor race at the age of 10. After some time in the army and fighting in World War I, Enzo became a race car driver for Alfa Romeo in 1919 and tasted early success with a number of victories.
Motor racing history was made when he established the Scuderia Ferrari (Ferrari Stable) in 1929. He competed in his final race as a driver in 1931 and continued his racing association with Alfa Romeo until 1939.
World War II interrupted many activities around the world, including that of motor racing. Enzo resumed his work after the war and in 1947 produced his very first Ferrari, the 125 S, which was the start of a commitment and a legacy to motor racing that continues to this day.
Ferrari is the oldest and most successful Formula One team and is the only team to have competed in every Formula One World Championship since its inception in 1950, a continuous run now approaching 70 years.
“Ferrari, Italian Excellence that makes the world dream.”
This is the Vision Statement of Ferrari on their website. Concise and clear, like a good Vision Statement should be. Piero Ferrari, Enzo’s billionaire son who is the Vice Chairman and owner of 10% of the company’s shares says,
“My father always had one objective in mind – always improve. He was never satisfied, and he expected that from everybody else. He was curious, and he wanted to find original solutions. I admired his courage and his vision for the future.”
The pursuit of excellence was a constant throughout Enzo’s life, who clearly had a passion for creating exceptional motor vehicles that would spark a desire in his customers to experience the thrill of the drive. A symbol of the success of Enzo’s vision was the rating of Ferrari as the world’s most powerful brand by Brand Finance in 2014.
Ferrari’s ability to capture the hearts and minds of their customers through a range of avenues was one of their keys to success, via a multitude of famous celebrities and TV and movie features (who can forget Tom Selleck driving his bright red Ferrari 308 GTS in the famous 80’s TV show Magnum PI?).
Two of Enzo Ferrari’s most famous quotes provide great insight into his vision and his commitment to motor racing and building unique cars:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
“Racing is a great mania to which one must sacrifice everything, without reticence, without hesitation.”
It seems that Enzo’s early partnership with Alfa Romeo taught him well. He realised that he would need strategic partners to help make his business a success. The first of these partnerships was specialist Italian auto design firm Pininfarina, which began in 1951 shortly after the first Ferrari rolled out of the factory and continues to this day.
In 1969, Italian auto giant Fiat bought 50% of Ferrari and then in 1988 increased their ownership to 90%. The might of the big automaker gave support to Ferrari’s exclusive niche, allowing them to focus on racing success and building aspirational cars that set hearts racing.
In late 2015, Ferrari went public at an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange under the appropriate ticker symbol RACE. The listing was a great success, with the share price hitting a peak nearly three times the opening price less than three years after listing.
On my recent visit to Europe, I witnessed Enzo’s legacy on the streets of Monaco and in the museums of Modena and Maranello. His vision and single-minded purpose drove him through his life to pursue excellence and create works of motor vehicle art, always remaining focused on performance and exclusivity.
Enzo passed away 30 years ago, but his legacy lives on, enjoyed by so many passionate fans the world over.
What’s your vision for your business? Are you building a brand that will stand the test of time?
Take some inspiration from the legend Enzo Ferrari, and maybe your business will set hearts racing with your passionate fans!
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