Ferrari makes some rather nice cars indeed. Its particular style of form, function and face rumbling pace regularly causes grown men to go all wibbly at the knees.
The reason for this, as well as the usually Ferrari look and speed, is the cars' enormous price. Not everyone can afford a chunk of Maranello's finest. This keeps the brand exclusive enough to ensure that a shiny 458 Italia is all it takes to make a street fall still with envy. Despite its exclusivity, Ferrari still sold enough cars to make its board very happy indeed.
Ferrari has released its financial results for all to see, here are some highlights.
In 2011 Ferrari's revenues reached 2.251bn euros – up 17.3% on the previous year. That probably occurred because 7,195 cars were delivered to salivating customers over the year. 1,958 of them found homes in the USA while 500 are in Chinese garages and 574 landed on British soil.
Each one of those 7,195 cars has a bespoke option on it. There's no such thing as an 'off the peg' Ferrari any more.
Over the year 279m euros was spent on research and development. Presumably on a new V12 GT that may possibly replace the 599 to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show (see below quote for justification).
The Ferrari Museum in Maranello saw 240,000 people wander through its doors, 60% of whom were from far flung lands. Like Bognor.
Ferrari chairman and all-round lovely chap Luca di Montezemolo is understandably pleased with the results: "They were achieved against an economic backdrop that remains challenging, particularly in Europe. They are the fruit of heavy investment and a culture of innovation that covers all areas of the business.
"Our international expansion continues and Ferrari today has a network covering 58 nations. We now have a complete range of models which will be joined in a few days time at the Geneva show by a new 12-cylinder. A revolutionary new car that delivers extreme performance and unprecedented power output."
Ferrari, then, makes lots of money. And will continue to for some time yet.