Finding one's self at the helm of a storied automaker like Ferrari must be equal parts amazing and terrifying. While you have the power to steer the company in any direction you so please, you're also saddled with serving the high expectations of the world. Luca Cordero di Montezemolo knows all about those pressures. The Piedmontese aristocrat took the helm of Ferrari nearly 20 years and has largely been responsible for the company's transformation in that time. Motor Trend recently took the time to sit down with Montezemolo for a brief chat about his time with the automaker to learn a little more about how things changed after company founder Enzo Ferrari passed away in 1988.

In addition to increasing the company's revenue from a modest €230 million in 1993 (around $300M USD) to €2 billion ($2.59B) last year, Montezemolo ensured 17 to 20 percent of the company's earnings were rolled into research and development each year. The CEO was also instrumental in guiding the company to becoming "The Best Workplace in Europe" as named by London's Financial Times. Each Ferrari worker has access to free school books for their children, free family medical checkups and a low home mortgage rate.

Head over to Motor Trend for a fascinating look at how Montezemolo worked to craft Ferrari into the global performance and marketing powerhouse it is today... and who knows, you just might be learning more about Italy's next prime minister.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Vimicus
      • 3 Years Ago
      Relentless visionary and genius. Although there is always room for improvement, pretty sure the gap isn't too big with him around.
      Big Rocket
      • 3 Years Ago
      If Ferrari workers get "free school books for their children, free family medical checkups", does that mean other workers in Italy don't? I was under the impression Italy has universal healthcare and free public education. If any Italian forum poster can shed some light, it would be much appreciated. And there is one tidbit in the source article that surprised me. Not to spoil it for anyone here, but it involves a certain VW.
      timber
      • 3 Years Ago
      When he started at Ferrari the cars (despite being superb sport cars) in Europe were know as having poor reliability, constant maintenance and low quality materials. A Ferrari was more to be owned than used. They were a sort of opposite to Porsche which could deliver a usable sports car. He commanded that change while keeping Ferrari Italian with the sort of high technology engines and engineering a European sports car is supposed to have. And at the same time Ferrari stopped being a joke in Formula 1 that it was.
      reyg006
      • 3 Years Ago
      this guy looks like mr. burns with hair.
      IBx27
      • 3 Years Ago
      How he revolutionized ferrari: -Automatic-only with no manual option -Station wagon -Frog faces
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        Automatic only transmissions is due to the fact that unfortunately only 1% of Ferrari's buyers of cars like the F430 (manual and auto options) ever bothered to choose the manual. Partly because Ferrari's paddle shifters have become so effing brilliant, but mainly because of the clientele not wanting to row their own. Cant blame Ferrari for not catering to 1% of the 1% who can afford and buy new Ferraris. If people bought manual Ferraris like they buy manual Porsches, you can probably guarantee Ferrari wouldnt have killed off the 3 pedal + gated shifter formula. Station wagon FF? Pretty badass, and I like it. Helps really differentiate the 612 successor from the 599 successor, which will remain a lighter, rwd, 2 seat coupe. Frog faces? That's an opinion, and not all new Ferraris have that face. It's most evident on the FF, but the 458 manages to pull it off beautifully.
        tinted up
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        You can't blame him for the newer creations when Ferrari is mostly owned by Fiat SPA anyway...
        The Law
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        I like the new Ferrari's, it's called technology.
        Xedicon
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        I'd bet a whole pot of gold that if you actually drove their "station wagon" you'd have to be pried out of it with a crowbar when it was time to get out.
          IBx27
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Xedicon
          I highly doubt it. Where's my gold?
        warren,
        • 3 Years Ago
        @IBx27
        "Station wagon"? Are you f'ing kidding me? I'm going to guess you read this term in conjunction with news reports on the FF..... and as far as I can tell, the first such popular references were from Fox News. And we all know they aren't exactly committed to factual accuracy..... Anyways, the FF is about the 10th car in a 50-year tradition of 2 + 2 coupes in Ferrari's history, starting with the 250 GT/E which was introduced around 1960. Go look at pictures of, oh, I dunno, how about the 1967 365 GT 2+2 if you need a little refresher on this very important part of Ferrari's business and history. Also, while you're out on the Internet learning things, go look up the difference between "shooting brake" and "station wagon". I'll give you a big hint -- DOOR COUNT.
      Robert Fahey
      • 3 Years Ago
      This photo reminds me that Ferrari has lost the simple rawness that used to turn me on. Push-button everything and schmancy materials don't do it for me.
      Skicat
      • 3 Years Ago
      See! This is what happens when you GIVE autoworkers all kinds of stuff they don't deserve. Like a great workplace, subsidized healthcare and mortgages. They build crap like Ferraris. They should treat autoworkers like we do in Murica!
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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