Ferrari takes the wheel in NZ and Australia

By Damien O'Caroll

Neville Crichton's European Automotive Imports has boosted Ferrari sales.
Neville Crichton's European Automotive Imports has boosted Ferrari sales.

The Ferrari factory is widening its global grasp with the recent announcement of a new factory-owned operation, Ferrari Australasia, that will take over the distribution of the Italian marque in Australia and New Zealand.

Ferrari is now distributed in New Zealand and Australia by Kiwi Neville Crichton's company, European Automotive Imports.

EAI is wholly owned by Crichton, and is one of the companies in his Ateco Group of companies that also includes Ateco Automotive Pty Ltd, Ateco Automotive NZ Ltd and the latest company, Fiat Chrysler NZ.

This is a new joint venture company which will take over Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep and Chrysler distribution in New Zealand from May 1.

During its seven years distributing Ferrari in New Zealand and Australia, EAI has dramatically increased the brand's market, delivering more than 1000 Ferraris since it took over, in comparison to the 1500 delivered in Australasia over the previous 53 years.

The company has opened four new Ferrari dealerships in Australia, including the A$38 million dollar Ferrari Maserati Sydney and Zagame Ferrari in Melbourne, described at their opening as the "best Ferrari dealerships in the world" by senior Ferrari management.

EAI also recently revamped its dealership in Newmarket, Auckland.

The expansion of the Ferrari factory operation and the start of Ferrari Australasia is part of the Italian company's push to "strengthen its personal relationships with clients".

The CEO of Ferrari Japan, Herbert Appleroth, is now head of Ferrari Australasia. He says Ferrari has taken over as official importer in several "mature markets" where the marque has long been established.

Japan was the first market to be incorporated into the regional network, in 2008, and Australia and New Zealand are next.

Ferrari's senior vice-president of commercial and marketing, Enrico Galliera, said the company had a long history in Australia and New Zealand, where the brand had captured "the hearts of sports car owners for more than six decades".

He said that Ferrari had reshaped its business around four "geographic hubs", including one dedicated to the Far East that will oversee all its activities in the Asia Pacific region, excluding China.

Ferrari sales are split 20 per cent in North America, 50 per cent in Europe, 20 per cent in Asia Pacific and 10 per cent in the Middle East.

While Ferrari Australasia will take over the distribution of the marque across the two countries, European Automotive Imports will continue with its wholly-owned Ferrari Maserati Sydney dealership - which accounts for 40 per cent of Ferraris sold in Australasia - and will also continue to store and distribute Ferrari parts in New Zealand and Australia on behalf of the new factory-owned importer.

EAI will also continue to distribute Maserati in New Zealand and Australia.

Maserati has committed to launching all its forthcoming new models in Australasia in partnership with EAI.

New dealerships will be opened on the Gold Coast and in Sydney and Melbourne and existing dealerships will be expanded as sales grow to a planned 1500 by 2016, an eight-fold increase.

- NZ Herald

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