Ferrari Names Sergio Marchionne as CEO – Wall Street Journal

Updated Might 2, 2016 3:33 p.m. ET

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne is likewise taking the wheel at Ferrari NV, a relocate that provides him or her charge over the luxury sports automobile maker his firm spun off much less compared to a year ago.

The widely anticipated relocate comes as Mr. Marchionne looks to discover a companion for Fiat Chrysler. Formed as a merger that began while the U.S. unit joined bankruptcy, Fiat Chrysler is growing in the U.S. on the strength of its Jeep sport-utility auto and Ram truck brands, yet it continues to battle in passenger cars.

Mr. Marchionne, that replaces Amedeo Felisa at Ferrari, has actually been Fiat’s leader for a lot more compared to a decade, and decided to carve out Ferrari as a divide firm in 2014. Shares of Ferrari lately traded at $44.48 in Brand-new York on Monday, down 3%; its $8.4 billion market value just slightly trails the $10.6 billion investors assign to Fiat Chrysler.

Ferrari said profit grew 20% in its the majority of recent quarter. The Manarello, Italy-based firm posted a profit of €78 million ($89.8 million), or 41 European cents a share, up from €65 million, or 34 European cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue flower 8.8% to €675 million.

Ferrari sold 1,882 cars in the quarter, up 15% from the period a year ago. The vehicles sell on standard for regarding €250,000 apiece. Fiat Chrysler, meanwhile sold a lot more compared to one million over the exact same period.

Founded in 1929 by Enzo Ferrari, the sports-automobile maker had for decades been a section of the Fiat empire. Its slim production, traditionally capped at regarding 7,000 vehicles annually, and high-performance engineering have actually allowed executives to charge a few of the highest sticker prices in the world.

Mr. Marchionne has actually to job at preserving the allure and exclusivity of Ferrari’s performance devices while attempting to extend production amid a surge in need in China and others emerging markets. In an era as soon as numerous high-end sports-automobile brands are expanding—notably Porsche—Ferrari has actually employed rigid discipline as soon as it concerns factory output. There has actually long been a deep waiting list for Ferraris.

The executive has actually said the most effective route for Ferrari “is to go on to keep its uniqueness in an environment which is make to protect it from the contamination of a big mass market producer.” At the exact same time, he aims to much better monetize the Ferrari image by expanding the brand’s usage in consumer product areas, including suiting up or theme parks.

Mr. Marchione has actually been successful at expanding Fiat Chrysler sales in recent years. In the U.S., the firm has actually reported a lot more compared to 70-consecutive months of sales growth. Jeep SUVs and Ram trucks have actually benefited from relatively reduced gas prices.

Still, the company’s vehicles have actually done poorly in some influential quality reports from independent parties. While Fiat Chrysler greatly increased North American margins in the initial quarter, it greatly trailed Ford Motor Co. in the carefully saw U.S. profit chase.

Write to Anne Steele at Anne.Steele@wsj.com