Hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic spectators lined the streets of Guangzhou in the south of China during the closing event of 11 months of celebrations for the 20thanniversary of Ferrari’s presence in China. The importance of the event was marked by the arrival of Ferrari’s Chairman, Luca di Montezemolo, who in the morning met the nation’s media during the first press day at the Guangzhou Auto Show.
During the packed press conference on the Ferrari stand, Montezemolo underlined the importance of the Chinese market for the company. “We consider our first 20 years’ presence in this nation as just a start. I am very pleased with the results we have attained so far and I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard and who share our dreams and our passion. With the warmth and affection we feel surrounding Ferrari in China I am sure we will continue to grow together.”
Greater China has recently become Ferrari’s second most important market along with Germany, with sales that have reached over 700 and with a 25-strong dealership network.
In the afternoon the streets of Guangzhou were the scene of celebrations, starting with a parade of over 130 Ferraris, the biggest ever seen in China. The enthusiasm of the crowds of spectators, clients and fans on the passage of the cars was amazing and one of the highlights of the parade was the appearance, for the first time in public, of a new version of the 458 Italia produced as a limited series for the Chinese market, with characteristic Chinese elements and finished in a special Rosso Marco Polo.
The cars paraded from the local Ferrari showroom as far as the Haixinsha stadium, which hosted the highly successful 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, where 18,000 people filled the venue to watch a display that concluded with an exhibition of the 2012 International GT Open championship-winning 458 GT2 driven by Gianmaria Bruni who took the Drivers’ title.
The celebrations continued with the illumination of the Canton Tower, the city’s main landmark, in red for the occasion, while 500 clients took part in the gala evening inside.
“It has been a marvellous day of celebrations,” commented Luca di Montezemolo, “with many enthusiasts, a lot of young people and the city full of Ferrari flags. This has been the best demonstration yet of what the Prancing Horse represents in China – not just from a commercial point of view, but above all else for the Chinese people’s passion for Ferrari.”