– Words by Lauren Kramer Photographs by Lia Crowe
Nothing says Italian craftsmanship just like a Ferrari. Known for their combination of speed, sleek design, and high price tags, these spectacular vehicles always draw attention. Admired and sought after by car enthusiasts around the world, the Ferrari brand is like a great red wine: it just keeps getting better.
Ferrari opened its 35,000-square-foot dealership in Vancouver 11 years ago, one of only four dealerships in Canada. Enter the four-story showroom and view new and used vehicles. (Even though the used ones are in such pristine condition, you’ll need to check the odometer to know they’ve ever been on the road.)
“We have a wide range of drivers from young entrepreneurs to distinguished business people,” said Roger Helou, general manager of the Vancouver dealership. “Ferrari makes a car that can meet everyone’s needs, whether you’re driving around town on the weekend, using it as a daytime driver, or want to do a few laps on the track.”
Roger was drawn to Ferrari of Vancouver by the brand’s reputation and state-of-the-art showroom on Burrard Street. In this room, prospective Ferrari owners can build their dream car for two or four people in the configurator room, where paintwork and leather samples with steering wheel, seats, brake calipers and hubcap options vie for attention. After that, they can buy Ferrari merchandise, including cufflinks, watches, umbrellas, mugs and key chains.
A new order can take 12 to 18 months to complete, and the Vancouver showroom can accommodate up to 75 vehicles per year. Since every Ferrari is made to customer specifications, you rarely see identical models.
What is the difference between Ferraris and other vehicles? The racing technology that defines Ferrari’s speed is one factor. Another is the fact that this brand doesn’t follow the trends of the competition, said Roger. “We’re usually referred to as trendsetters, think outside the box, and lately have been focusing on unpredictability.”
Buying a Ferrari is about more than just getting away with a sleek new vehicle, noted Soraya Hirani, the dealership’s marketing director.
“We want our customers to know that they are part of an exclusive community, and we hold upscale events like customer dinners, charity galas, new car presentations and test drives to immerse them in the brand.”
The Vancouver dealership organizes track days and wine tour rallies in the Okanagan for Ferrari owners who are also invited to attend global Ferrari events in Italy and other far-flung destinations.
“These are opportunities for Ferrari owners to use their vehicles, show them off and meet other owners,” she thought. “That’s why we have so many loyal customers and repeat buyers who enjoy being part of this exclusive community. The Ferrari brand is all about a lifestyle, and that’s what sets us apart. “
The pandemic forced the dealership to rethink its events and car starts became more private and intimate, focused on a more personal experience. For the Chinese New Year, Ferrari from Vancouver organized a “Shop and Test Drive” event in collaboration with shoe designer Christian Louboutin.
“The guests could pick up the spring shoes and test a new Ferrari,” said Soraya. “This is just one example of the unique experiences we offer to engage our community.”
Roger added that the Ferrari dealer is focused on building strong, long-term relationships with its customers with monthly Cars & Coffee events and two-day track events.
“In 2020, Vancouver-based Ferrari won the Cavallino Award, the only dealership in Canada to win it,” he said. “We strive for excellence and want to make sure that our customers and fans are part of it.”
For potential Ferrari buyers who are put off by the maintenance costs, Roger explained that all Ferraris come with a maintenance program that covers all required maintenance for seven years. A standard three-year warranty can also be extended up to 15 years to ensure buyers do not face any unforeseen costs.
“A lot of people believe that a new Ferrari cannot be obtained without jumping through hoops and that’s wrong,” said Roger. “Production models are open to every customer who wants to become part of this exclusive family.”
The price tags for Ferraris range from $ 300,000 to $ 1.5 million. Before the pandemic, customers designing their new Ferrari could travel to New York or even Italy to browse the available colors, textures and materials, or to add a dedication plate with their initials or a personalized message.
For Ferrari admirers who don’t have that much cash on hand, Soraya said everyone is welcome.
“We’re all about friendly customer service and building our community in Vancouver. Come by for an espresso, explore our vehicles, get to know the brand and take a look at our goods. “
Courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a publication by Black Press Media Media
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