Oh please, Dad, let's go to Ferrari-land!

FERRARI's impressive financial results for 2001 show record-breaking sales, an 18.5% leap in turnover and profits of $60m, up 35.9% over last year. And the company reckons that 2002 is going to be even better with the current figures available showing seven percent increase in profits in January and February compared to the same period last year. These figures are expected to improve as Maserati sells more cars and Ferrari's global merchandising plans begin to take a more concrete form.

The big question now is whether Luca di Montezemolo will get his way and Ferrari will be floated. Montezemolo says that the money raised would be used to fund further expansion which could include a Ferrari theme hotel in Las Vegas and the development of a series of Ferrari theme parks. Some of the money would also be used to fund a major sporting program for Maserati.

The concept of Ferrari theme parks is an interesting idea but it would not be the first time that a car manufacturer has gone done such a route. Let us not forget that the Suzuka racing circuit is part of a huge entertainment park which is owned by Honda and has had a variety of different names over the years - currently it is known as Suzuka Circuitland and it does very brisk business for the Honda Motor Company.

The audience to be targeted would no doubt be different for Ferrari-land but the aim would be the same: to promote the Ferrari brand around the world and to push merchandise sales and allow the company to expand in areas beyond its traditional core business.

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