Ferrari’s 15,000 Red Miles Tour, an unprecedented adventure which has seen
two 612 Scaglietti travel all over China, is concluding in Shanghai, in
front of Fiat Group's Vice President John Elkann and numerous Ferrari lovers and
supporters. To mark the occasion, Shanghai's architectural symbol, the Oriental
Pearl Tower, an amazing 468 meter high building, is illuminated in red to
celebrate the end of the tour as well as the first year of Ferrari's presence in
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. Honored 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 organization 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 arousing 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 kilometers covered, 1,600 on very rough
roads, 5,231 meters in height reached in Tibet, 45 five days traveling, 420
hours driving, up to 900 kilometers per day, 37 towns crossed; all this achieved
with just two rims damaged due to the holes in the ground and two sets of snow
tires for the most impervious regions. No oil refills were 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.
Extremes of climate, and difficult 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
alongside the Great Wall to Lanzhou.
After having crossed Tibet up to Lhasa, the two Scaglietti turned west through
the Gobi desert and reached Kashi, the ancient town on the Silk Route described
by Marco Polo and the most continental site on earth. Driving further across the
desert, they reached Urumqi and then down through the tropical region to
Guangzhou, better known as Canton. Here the route turned to the most Western and
modern part of China with the conclusion today in Shanghai.
The expedition was welcomed enthusiastically in every single town, thus
confirming Ferrari's following throughout the country. A plaque of the Prancing
Horse, as a token of friendship, was offered to local authorities, while the
team brought presents and educational material to the schools.
Ferrari has benefited from the precious support of Chinese Authorities and has
availed itself of Fiat China's logistical assistance for the organization of
this journey, sponsored by some of its 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 aluminum
chassis supplier), Pirelli (special tires 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, tire 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 are directly trained by Italian Headquarters, in
order to provide customers the best assistance, up to Ferrari and Maserati
standards. The dealer network should be up and running by November in 10 major
Chinese cities (Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Panyu, Shenzen, Hangzhou, Qingdao,
Chengdu, Xiamen and Chongqing).
Looking at China's dynamic growth it is possible for Ferrari to foresee that
this market may strongly develop in the near 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.