Winner: Ferrari chairman Benedetto Vigna
His death may have been announced, but for the time being the combustion engine car manufacturer Ferrari is still pushing it to great heights: this week it was announced that the sports car brand saw its net profit exceed the billion euros for the first time in its existence: 1.26 billion. And while the electric advance seems to be slowing down, Ferrari still sees the order books for its six-, eight- and twelve-cylinder engines bulging.
So chairman Benedetto Vigna beamed with pride this week. Although he also sees that the switch to electric is inevitable, and Ferrari is working on a fully electric model, which should be launched next year.
This switch is an exciting one for the Italian sports car brands, which get a large part of the ‘experience’ from the sound of their engines. There is hope for enthusiasts (and the very wealthy), because Europe makes it possible for brands such as Ferrari and Lamborghini to build models with an explosion engine after 2035 (when new combustion engines are banned), as long as they run on fossil-free gasoline. .
For the time being, however, there seems to be no problem, investors also think. The share rose by 8 percent on the day of the publication of the profit figures. And then the news had yet to appear that multiple F1 world champion Lewis Hamilton will switch from Mercedes to Ferrari in 2025.
Loser: Luca de Meo, CEO of Renault
The IPO of Ampere, Renault’s electric arm, should have yielded eight to ten billion. At least that is what Luca de Meo, the successful turnaround manager who previously pulled Seat out of the doldrums and is now doing the same job at the French car manufacturer, said.
De Meo has divided Renault into a number of divisions, of which Ampere focuses on e-cars and software. By transferring the development of e-cars to a new branch, De Meo hopes to be able to operate faster and cheaper.
Renault has been active in electrification for a long time more than other European car manufacturers and produces, among other things, the popular Zoe e-car.
Ampere has been operating independently since November last year and should break even in 2025. Ten thousand people work there, a third of whom are engineers. The IPO would be this spring. But that will not happen, Renault announced this week. The stock market is disappointing and the sales spurt of electric cars does not seem to be happening. So De Meo had to retrace his steps. Analysts were already skeptical. They expected a much lower return, of 3 to 5 billion and wondered whether a successful Ampere would eat up the value of the former parent company.
As befits a good turnaround manager, De Meo tried to turn the setback into something positive: an IPO was no longer necessary because Renault is now doing so well that it can pay for the financing of new e-models itself. Still a winner.