Full success for Ferrari's 15,000 Red Miles Tour - Shanghai glowing red to welcome Ferrari
Shanghai, October 29th - Ferrari's 15,000 Red Miles Tour, an unprecedented adventure which has seen two 612 Scaglietti travel all over China, is concluding today in Shanghai, in front of Fiat Group's Vice President John Elkann and a numerous group of Ferrari's lovers and supporters. On such an occasion, Shanghai's architectural symbol, the Oriental Pearl Tower, a 468 metre high amazing building, lights up in red to celebrate the end of the tour as well as the first year of Ferrari's presence in China.
Last year Ferrari received an important award: for the first time an Italian brand was given the title of "Renowned Brand" by the Chinese Office for Trade Marks. Honoured by this important tribute, President Luca di Montezemolo has declared: "I dreamt of Ferrari being in China since 1993 even though the restrictions on imports were enormous. Today the situation has changed and Ferrari now has its own trading organisation with complete customer support, and may as well aspire to turn China into one of the six leading world markets. Shanghai's tribute to Ferrari, after New York's Empire State Building was lit up in red last year, confirms once again Ferrari's capability of arising passion all over the world".
The 15,000 Red Miles Tour is a formidable challenge, never before undertaken by any automotive company: 51 Chinese and international journalists alternating at the steering wheel, more than 24,000 kilometres done, of which 1,600 on very rough roads, 5,231 metres of height reached in Tibet, 45 five days travelling, 420 hours driving, up to 900 kilometres per day, 37 towns crossed; all this gone through with just two rims damaged due to the holes in the ground and two set of snow tyres for the most impervious regions. Neither a motor oil refill was needed. Notwithstanding the low quality of fuel in some areas, the often critical conditions of the roads and the astonishing heights reached, all this was realized by the two Scaglietti.
Difficulties and strongly different settings, with an amount of extreme situations for climate, roads and environmental obstacles characterized this tour: starting in Shanghai, the expedition first headed north, then east towards Manchuria, and finally south-west to Beijing to drive on along the Great Wall to Lanzhou.
After having crossed Tibet up till Lhasa, the two Scaglietti turned west through the Gobi desert and reached Kashi, the ancient town on the Silk Way described by Marco Polo and the most continental site on earth. Driving further across the desert, they reached Urumqi and then down to the tropical region to Guangzhou, better known as Canton. Here the route turned to the most western and modern part of China till the conclusion today in Shanghai.
The expedition was welcomed enthusiastically in every single town, thus confirming Ferrari's notoriety throughout the country. A plate of the Prancing Horse, as a token of friendship, was offered to local authorities, while the team brought presents and educational material in the schools.
Ferrari has benefited by the precious support of Chinese Authorities and has availed herself of Fiat China's logistical assistance for the organisation of this journey, sponsored by some of her most faithful partners, such as Shell (fuel and lubricants, with specific assistance in the most difficult areas), Puma (for the team's clothing), Alcoa (technical partner and 612's aluminium chassis supplier), Pirelli (special tyres for the different stages of the tour) and Saima Avandero (cars' and spare parts' shipping). A Chinese partner as well took part in the enterprise, Xin Yu Watch & Clock, Swiss watches' main distributor in China. Two PowerDaily Iveco as a support and one Iveco 4x4 VM40.10 for technical assistance, tyres' and spare parts' transport and two Fiat Palio Weekend for video and photo shooting.
Ferrari in China
Ferrari has been present in China since 1993: initially with an importer in Hong Kong and, since last year, with a joint venture. Ferrari Maserati Cars International Trading, in which Ferrari and Maserati are the main shareholders, was set up in October 2004.
Ferrari Maserati Cars International Trading is the exclusive importer of Ferrari and Maserati cars in China, and is responsible for the marketing activities, sales to the dealer network, spare parts, accessories and technical support for both brands. Local personnel is directly trained by Italian Headquarters, in order to grant clients the best assistance, up to Ferrari and Maserati standards. The dealer network should be up and running by November in ten major Chinese cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Panyu, Shenzen, Hangzhou, Qingdao, Chengdu, Xiamen and Chongqing).
Looking at China's dynamic growth is possible for Ferrari to foresee that this market may strongly develop in the next future; the current allocation of 90 Ferrari cars for 2005 may quickly rise in the next two or three years to make China one of the leading six markets for the Prancing Horse.