Luxury. Speed. Prestige. These are just some the words that come to mind when you think Ferrari. We recently received a behind the scenes glance at one of the premier Ferrari dealers, speaking with Dan Burris at Ferrari of Atlanta.
What is something about Ferrari that most people do not know?
Ferrari has never offered a two-seat car with all-wheel drive and has never had an SUV, which could change in the near future. Ferrari is the only manufacturer that has its own race track dedicated for testing called Fiorano (if you visit Maranello you can hear the cars on the track!). The shield on the side of a Ferrari is called a Scuderia Shield and represents the race team (the SF means Scuderia Ferrari). Ferrari started only as a race team, but needed money to keep the race team running so it began manufacturing streetcars to subsidize racing back in 1947.
Have you been out of the country with Ferrari?
I’ve been to the Ferrari Factory in Maranello Italy a number of times with customers. The most recent visit was to meet two different customers there to build/create 4 tailor-made cars. Each car will be in excess of a half million dollars. We want the experience for each client to be special and we want to be there to give guidance for their orders/specs.
What events do you sponsor?
The best event that we’ve had for 14 years is called Rides to Remember. It is the first Saturday of June each year and we raise money for kids with cancer and have raised in excess of $50,000 some years for a one-day event. Our customers will volunteer to take kids with this horrible disease around the track at Atlanta Motorsports Park and give them a once in a lifetime experience. There are as many as 100 kids that join us each year.
How do you compete with Lamborghini?
It’s funny, Lamborghini was created because the Mr. Lamborghini who owned a tractor company that made Lamborghini tractors owned many exotic cars, even a Ferrari. When he went to Enzo Ferrari to tell him of some of the car’s imperfections, Enzo wanted to hear nothing from a tractor mechanic. That’s when Mr Lamborghini decided to build his own cars and so the feud began back in the 60s. Today each car brand is successful in its own right…..Ferrari has been around nearly 20 years longer and has a successful Ferrari Formula 1 racing team. Best thing for a buyer to do is test-drive each model they are interested in…..this will give them an idea what suits them best.
Tell me about Ferrari’s marketing. How do you get customers to choose you over other high luxury brands?
I’m sure you’ve noticed that there are no commercials telling you to come buy Ferrari’s newest model, and that you can get 0% financing or a lease with no money down. Ferrari has notoriously kept its dollar value over other brands that are on the market, and has proven that since 1947. The Ferrari brand has been considered one of the world’s most “Powerful Brands” over Google, Coca Cola, Hermes, and other well-known brands. Ferrari’s brand success is in the quality of its vehicles fit and finish. All you need to do is come sit inside one of these beautiful handmade works of art…..even better….go take it around the block and make your decision if you want a Ferrari over other exotic brands. I let the cars speak for themselves.
Who inspired you to do what you’re doing?
The markets of 2007-2008 sent me in the direction of selling high-end exotic cars. I was living in the north Georgia mountains selling beautiful homes and second homes, when the markets crashed the desire for people to “move to the mountains” or “buy a second home” or “invest in property to rent” all went away and sales virtually went to zero! I had a friend that was a manager at Ferrari of Atlanta and the connection helped me get in the door. In my 53 years I’ve had to reinvent myself in the working world a hand full of times……always be prepared for change….its the only constant!
What % of sales go to each country?
The breakdown of % of Ferrari’s that are sold to different countries can change from year to year depending on how the markets are in each country. Typically Europe, Middle East, and Africa combined will get the most. Then comes the Americas followed by Asia-Pacific regions. The United Kingdom would be next along with other smaller countries.
How long does it take to tailor make a car, beginning to delivery?
This is really a loaded question…..I currently have a customer that ordered 3 different Ferrari’s in February 2018……these cars may not arrive here until February 2020! The process to Tailor Make a car can be a long one…..the customer will actually fly to Maranello Italy to the Ferrari Factory and work with an Atilier team to create the most unique Ferrari as they would like. It will literally be a 1 of 1 version of that model and you will never see another one like it. You can have blue jean material for the seats and create a one of a kind color that will be named after you (ex. Grigio Burris)….of course, that all comes at a substantial cost.
What is your daily routine as a salesmen?
The requirements of a Ferrari Salesman are vast…..you are a counselor, advisor, finance expert, you must know how to operate each Ferrari from an Enzo to a LaFerrari, from a manual to a 7-speed dual clutch. I start the day by checking my emails for anything important that must be taken care of immediately, then I work on my customer CRM tasks which include follow up with customers, service appointment alerts or simply wishing someone a happy birthday. The rest of the day I make and receive numerous phone calls, and emails and must take care of anyone that walks through the door. I must promote customers to take Corso Pilota classes (racing school), to attend Formula 1 races and Challenge races, and assist them with tickets and schedules. The job of a salesman never ends…..it is a 7 day a week job but one that can be very rewarding!
What are some big names you have dealt with since being with Ferrari?
Some of the people I’ve worked with range from the hip hop artists Migos, Ludacris, Lil Yachty, 21 Savage, Young Jeezy, Gucci Mane to athletes like Julio Jones, Roddy White, Cam Newton, Mathew Stafford to my favorite Josef Martinez of the Atlanta United.
Do you get any inside information about new Ferrari’s or Maserati’s?
We typically receive information on future Ferraris and Maseratis but keep in mind, they are speculating the market when “ideas” are released to see what the market will bear. Most will follow Ferrari on social media and will see what future vehicles will be available.
What payment options are available?
When purchasing a new or used Ferrari the majority of buyers will pay with either a cashiers check or simply wire the funds to our account. We do recommend using Ferrari Financial Services (FFS) if they would like to keep their money working for them in the markets. FFS will finance a Ferrari for up to 84 months and do not report to credit bureaus which many of our customers prefer. It is a simple interest loan so it can be paid off at any time with no penalty fees. Ferraris can also be leased, but that would not be our recommendation
Do price quotes include everything or will there be additional costs?
Buyers will come to the dealership, find the Ferrari that they want to purchase (most of them know exactly what they want) and will make an offer on the car. The offer can be accepted or countered but once agreed upon…..State sales tax (7%) in Georgia, tag and title fees along with a $687 documentation fee are added to the cost. I’ve seen sales tax amounts as much as $100,000 on one car!
What timeframe do you require for delivery?
When a new Ferrari has been announced we will begin taking deposits on that particular model. It could actually be up to a year before we take delivery of our first one of that model. Which means….you could give me a deposit today and depending on the number of deposits we have on that model you could wait 2 to 3 years to take delivery of your personally tailored Ferrari. The longest I’ve seen a customer wait was 5 years!
What are the payment arrangements?
Payments are either 100% at the time of delivery or if you choose to go with Ferrari Financial Services your first payment is 30 days after date of delivery and subsequently each month after that. FFS typically requires a minimum of 20% down payment at the time of purchase and you must have good credit and a record of having financed an exotic car in the past (dollar amount). You must have an income that substantiates the cost of the vehicle as it is more of a want over a need.
What is it like buying a Ferrari?
Experience of a lifetime. Many of us remember watching Magnum PI back in the day and his iconic Ferrari 308……for our customers that planted a seed of desire until finally they come and either buy one off of the showroom floor or order it to their own specs.