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Ferrari keeps its cutting edge

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Ferrari, the legendary Italian car maker, resists spreading its core activities among different locations. Its corporate facility in Maranello, Italy, is home to passenger-car development, race-team management, technician training and other operations. And the complex is adjacent to a fully equipped test track. The conservative “one location” approach enables a lot of high-tech development:
  • Drivers from Ferrari’s Formula One racing team can test passenger cars on the racetrack and give their expert feedback.

  • Mechanics, who will soon be sent to Ferrari dealerships, learn advanced skills in aluminum fabrication and welding by working on race cars that use ultra-advanced materials.

  • The single location speeds the technology transfer from race cars to passenger cars. Example: Ferrari began installing Formula One-style paddle-shifted transmissions on its passenger cars before other manufacturers.
Lesson: It might cost more to bundle different operations under one roof, but the payback might be worth it.

—Adapted from “Men in Red,” Peter Egan, Road & Track magazine.

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