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MILAN — The coronavirus pandemic has delayed the start of production of Ferrari’s first plug-in hybrid, the 986-hp SF90 Stradale. The SF90, which is also Ferrari’s most powerful road car to date, was due to be delivered to customers in the first half of 2020 but will not be shipped until later this year.
U.S. shipments are expected to follow roughly two months after deliveries begin in Europe.
The delay has affected Ferrari’s earnings outlook for the year. CEO Louis Camilleri said during the supercar maker’s earnings call this week that it was “the predominant reason for the adjustment to the midpoint of our earnings guidance for the full year.”
“We are confident that deliveries to our clients will begin early in the fourth quarter, but the ramp-up in production will inevitably be delayed,” Camilleri said.
Ferrari trimmed its sales forecasts for this year after reporting decreased core earnings in the second quarter due to the pandemic; it also revised the guidance on adjusted earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) to between 1.075 billion euros and 1.125 billion euros ($1.26 billion and $1.32 billion) this year, from a May adjusted EBITDA guidance of 1.05 billion euros to 1.2 billion euros.
Ferrari CFO Antonio Picca Piccon said during the call that a softer product mix, reflecting the SF90 Stradale delay, accounted for a lower profit margin. The supercar will sell for 430,000 euros ($509,000) in Italy, nearly 100,000 euros more than Ferrari’s current most expensive series car, the 336,000 euro 812 GTS 12-cylinder roadster.
The SF90 Stradale is powered by a turbocharged eight-cylinder gasoline engine that delivers 769 hp, while the remaining 217 hp is supplied by three electric motors, one at the rear and two on the front axle.
The SF90 “is a very complex beast,” said Camilleri, and some components have been delayed in the supply chain. “We have very strict tolerance levels in terms of the industrialization phase, and therefore conformity in high volumes is not easy to achieve,” he said.
Camilleri said that given the SF90’s complexity it would be a “very tall order” to overcome the supply chain issues and then to ramp up output.
The production ramp-up has been also delayed by the fact that while Ferrari restarted production on May 3 after the COVID-19 lockdown, meanwhile, some of its suppliers reopened later, a Ferrari spokeswoman said.
As a result of the delay, the waiting time to get a SF90 Stradale is now “significantly” longer than the 18 months Ferrari had mentioned in a previous call. “Clearly we need to ramp up production to bring that down,” Camilleri said, “because it has reached a level that in our eyes is too high.”
Picca Piccon said in the analyst call that the SF90 Stradale will be on the market in the start of the fourth quarter and be immediately followed by the Roma front-engine coupe. He also confirmed that two new models will be unveiled in the second half of 2020.
At the Capital Markets Day in September 2018, Ferrari said its supercars would include a full hybrid range by 2021.