Marchionne Suggests The California Is Not A “Full-Blown Ferrari”

Outspoken FCA president and Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne has suggested that the Italian company needs to rethink the California T, as it is not a “full-blown Ferrari”.

During a press conference at the Geneva Motor Show, Marchionne said that the biggest topic of conversation at Ferrari revolves around the California’s future.

“The car I’ve had the most difficulty is the California. I bought two of them — I bought the first one and I liked the car very much but it’s the one car that, from an identity standpoint, has the hardest time of seeing itself as a full-blown Ferrari,” he said, according to a Motoring report.

Marchionne suggested that there is a space in Ferrari’s arsenal for a vehicle like the California but that the company’s interpretation of it may never have been correct.

Ever since launching in 2008, the Ferrari California has been an oddity in Ferrari’s range and understandably so. It was originally conceived as a Maserati but became too expensive forcing Ferrari to slap its badge on it.

While the characterful executive didn’t drop any hits at the California T being culled, his comments do suggest that it could be re-imagined in the future.


  • Miknik

    Marchionne at what he does well, discrediting his own products, like it was with the Chrysler 200. Probably he will be surprised when California sales won’t skyrocket after that….

    Having driven the Claifornia I have to agree though, it is not really a sports car and feels way more Maserati than Ferrari, but still, keep that info to your engineers who work on the next gen entry level Ferrari….

  • europeon

    Well, he’s right.
    California started its life as a Maserati (it was supposed to be the GranCabrio) and very late into development was badged as a Ferrari.

  • Benjamin B.

    California T is the entry level Ferrari. Marchionne is only alienating his customers. Some owners saved up their whole lives to be told their Ferraris aren’t real. They could’ve bought Pontiac Fierros instead.

    Maybe Ferrari SPA (RACE) wants to spin the California off as a new sub brand. There could be a California crossover similar to the Porsche Macan.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      He can’t even manage the brands he already has! Why the hell would he do that?

  • Ary Wisesa

    Stupid statement from an old man. He should shut his mouth! I can imagine how disappointed California owners who work very hard and save their money to be able to purchase a Ferrari, only to be insulted that they bought “fake” Ferrari. They should file a class action againts Ferrari because it’s potentially damage the resale value of their Californias.

    I just can’t understand his stupid statements. Discrediting his own product, for what? And why did they put Ferrari logo onto it if eventually they admit it’s not real Ferrari? It’s kind of fraud to me.

    With California money, the owner could go for a highest spec Porsche 911 Turbo S. Maybe it’s not as flashy a logo as Ferrari, but at least they would have the REAL Porsche (that sit on the very top of Porsche 911 lines). Or maybe they could go for McLaren 570GT, which is a REAL McLaren.

    People buy Ferrari for its legendary and mystique brand image. Saying the California is not real Ferrari is very much a destruction if its image and value.

    Stupid move Marchionne!

    • Vassilis

      At least he’s honest. We all know the real entry level Ferrari is the 488. Some say it out loud, some don’t. And you know, a self-respecting California owner should know what he/she bought and why.

      • nastinupe

        It’s the only hard top Ferrari convertible, plus it has a back seat and a small trunk. Perfect cruiser with the wife. Not everyone is on a track all day every day. Us regular people actually want a car that we can drive around and tote a few things as well and not scape the bottom of the car on pot holes. The California T is great. It just needs a little more aggressive nose and lower spoiler.

        • Vassilis

          There’s nothing wrong with people wanting such cars and objectively it is a great car but that doesn’t mean it’s a real Ferrari. It’s completely different to anything else the company makes or has made in the recent past. It’s there to help them financially which is understandable. But Marchionne is right.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    I like the Cali, but hey, do what you gotta do.

    Hope you can afford lawyers, Serg.

    • nastinupe

      I know right. CEO comments causes my “investment’s” value to tank.

  • nastinupe

    Yeah it’s disappointing to read this. I have always liked the California and have considered it as an option over the Porsche 911 Turbo S in the future. I really liked the changes that they made to the California T, it looks a lot better now. It is a great cruiser and backroads mountain car for the enthusiast-lite. I hope that the values tank so I can pick of a California T for a bargain in the future.

    • Belthronding Tinuviel

      cali t is one of the best GTs to me,also second gen design is better than first one.

  • Honda NSX-R
    • antbee

      This has made my day!

      • Honda NSX-R

        Glad to know.

  • gary4205

    Just retire you greedy a-hole!

  • Astonman

    Isn’t the California their best seller?

    • Belthronding Tinuviel

      yes it is.
      but that is sergio,you better deal with that.

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    he does not see where his speechs are going to.
    whatever his intention at first,discrediting his own products and hurting customers loyalty are not a proper way.

  • TheHake

    This guy is a real poephol…

  • Captain

    Bought my wife a Cali T when I got my 488 and I have to say Marchionne is wrong. With the handling package her Cali T is every bit a real Ferrari and would require me doing dangerous things (on public roads) in my 488 to lose her.