Red Dot Award: Product Design

Ferrari Design on the Road to Success

Flavio Manzoni has been Senior Vice-President for Design at Ferrari since 2010 and is the first head of design to have succeeded in building a successful Ferrari Design Team. Previously, the design activities were organised in collaboration with external partners such as Pininfarina. “It was like working in a start-up.” That’s how Manzoni describes the unimaginable dynamism of the initial period in 2010.

The first model designed and built entirely in-house was the LaFerrari, which was developed by the Ferrari Design Team in close cooperation with the technical and development department. The model won a Red Dot in 2015. It was the result of a sporting competition with Pininfarina, where the Design Team ultimately emerged as a winner.

“Designing a new car requires sensitivity, imagination, abstract thought and the ability to combine elements that do not appear to belong together, at least not intuitively”, Flavio Manzoni explains. Ferrari endeavours to constantly redefine the limits of technology and design and to gradually push these boundaries towards the future without losing sight of the brand and its values.

“Every Ferrari stands for innovation, beauty and driving thrill,” says Manzoni, adding that “every model has to embody the essence of the brand. The Ferrari brand is based on three elements: innovation, driving thrill and beauty. These elements are key to understanding the brand. If one of the three is missing, then it’s not a Ferrari”, Manzoni explains.

By establishing a successful in-house design team and creating the new building Centro Stile in Maranello, Flavio Manzoni has succeeded in his pioneering work. Numerous new models have been created in the past years. In 2019 the Ferrari Design Team under the direction of Flavio Manzoni therefore has been honoured as “Red Dot: Design Team of the Year” in 2019.

He has created an open and trusting culture of communication, which is the basis for shared success. “In my view, design is a communicative and cultural process”, says Flavio Manzoni. And the further the team progresses together, the better the cars become. The models designed by Flavio Manzoni and the Ferrari Design Team won 17 awards in the Red Dot Design Award in the years 2015 to 2020 alone.

Ferrari is the first car manufacturer in the history of the competition to win the top distinction “Red Dot: Best of the Best” six times in a row – for the Ferrari models FXX-K, 488 GTB, J50, Portofino, Monza SP1 and SF90 Stradale.

The distinctions the design team has won at the Red Dot Design Award make it even more visible internally and to the outside world as a unit in the Ferrari universe. The success story of Ferrari demonstrates that awards, won in an international competition such as the Red Dot Design Award, can be used in a targeted way to communicate to both customers and the company itself the merit and quality of the work delivered by a design team. That also helps to emphasise the importance of design for the success of the company as a whole, for brand perception and internal and external communication.

Ferrari‘s strategy focuses on maintaining the leading position in the luxury performance sports car market, while enhancing and protecting the value and exclusivity of the brand.And Ferrari understands better than any other company how to make luxury sports cars objects of desire by consistently focusing on technological innovation and pursuing excellence in design and craftsmanship to fuel the passion of our customers and fans

Ferrari’s success is also reflected in a range of business figures and key ratios. The Italian car maker is the most profitable company in the automotive industry and has not only managed significantly to Improve its sales and turnover, but also its stock market value. Since the initial public offering in 2015, the company's stock market value has tripled.

In the Red Dot: Design Ranking 2020 of the most successful car brands, Ferrari clearly takes pole position. And based on the Interbrand method of measuring brand value, Ferrari was also able to increase its brand value from US$ 3.6 billion in 2010 to US$ 6.4 billion in 2020.