An interesting arrangement

Ferrari and Volkswagen have agreed a technical cooperation between their Maserati and Audi subsidiaries. The deal was announced at the Frankfurt Motor Show and, according to Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo, Maserati and Audi will use the same distribution networks in some countries.

The agreement is based around the fact that the companies are producing similar cars in the Maserati Quattroporte and the Audi A8 but there is no intention for the alliance to go any further. Volkswagen was once tipped as a potential buyer of Ferrari. Bernd Pischetsrieder said earlier this year that he would buy Ferrari "just to stop people asking me when I am going to enter F1 racing."

The deal will benefit both companies both technically and commercially as Maserati will have access to some of Audi's technologies, including its four-wheel drive systems and excellent diesel engines, while VW will gain from new customers for its financing unit and will benefit from some of the technology developed by Ferrari in F1.

Antonello Perricone, the chief executive of Maserati has confirmed that the Ferrari flotation has been delayed because of the problems at Fiat and the uncertain markets at the moment.

More significantly, the deal underlines the fact that Ferrari does not have access to unlimited amounts of cash.

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