(By Hannah Elliott)
Forget the hype about China – Mexico is the next big thing for automakers.
“Mexico is the next China,” Ferrari North America CEO Marco Mattiacci said during a panel discussion today about the future of luxury. He was joined by Burgess Yachts CEO Jonathan Beckett and Gotham Jets CEO Gianpaolo De Felice for the hour-long talk, which was held aboard the $40 million yacht KATYA berthed in the Hudson River off New York’s West Side Highway.
Mattiacci said the massive growth anticipated in revenue and manufacturing didn’t necessarily pertain to Ferrari but to a broader 13-year expansion in the auto industry due mainly to dramatic wealth creation, an increased appetite for industry and from considerable investments from abroad.
“We see indicators that lot of manufacturing is moving back to Mexico,” Mattiacci said. “The quality of education is absolutely outstanding, and you have a proximity with the U.S. as well. Plus there has been a change of government.”
Indeed, Mattiacci said record sales and profits have created other unfortunate—if not unwelcome—challenges for the 66-year-old brand. For instance last month Ferrari boss Luca di Montezemolo announced he would reduce annual production to preserve exclusivity after it sold too many cars in 2012. Production for 2013 will be less than 7,000 cars, reduced from the 7,318 sold last year.
Exclusivity in Mexico, on the other hand, is at an all-time high.
“When we launched the new La Ferrari we are positively surprised that sadly we now have on-hand a list of 15 billionaires who want to request that car,” Mattiacci said. “I can tell you that in 2003 when we launched Enzo Mexico was not having that kind of request. That’s a big indicator.”
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