Here our CEO, Niki Hasler answers some questions on his history and passion for everything about Ferrari.
Well - I spent all my youth in the dealership. Every Saturday when I was still at school, I'd make sure I was in the showroom and finding jobs to do to get me close to the cars. I soon developed a bit of product knowledge and at the tender age of about 8 or 9 I sold my first car! Actually what happened was that a guy had an appointment with my Dad to come and buy a Mercedes Benz 500 SEL, but when my father and another client went out to lunch and were running a little late, I showed the car to the buyer myself and did the paperwork on the deal, thus indirectly selling my first car...I have sold a few since then! I learnt two lessons from this exercise, firstly, that I wanted to run my own dealership in the future and secondly, if my sales team are busy in a few years’ time and I want to go to lunch on a Saturday - I better make sure my son is in the building to see if he shares my enthusiasm for the business!
A few years later my passion for the brand was truly ignited when Dad took me to Fiorano during a factory visit and I saw a Ferrari 288 GTO Evo run....I mean come on - if that is not exciting to a 12 year old - you want to check whether that child have a pulse!
Ok the official answer is of course as soon as passed my driving test, but use your imagination...I was working in a Ferrari dealership from a young age?! I think you know the answer. In fact from the moment I had my licence I was on a train to Geneva to collect Ferraris for the dealership. I still vividly recall collecting a new Ferrari 456 in heavy snow. The car was equipped with summer tyres and the exquisite balance and traction of the model was demonstrated to me as I drove the car at various sideways angles to educate myself as to its handling characteristics. In better weather at the age of 18, I "generously" offered to attend a worldwide dealer meeting as the company representative. I decided to drive one of the Ferrari 512 TR's we had in stock and you can be assured that I was diligent in my duty to confirm it performed correctly and was thoroughly run-in for its next lucky owner...
Well that was a special moment for me, I remember it well and I still have the car. I was about 23 working for my Dad and he walks into the showroom and sees a Pozzi Blu/Cognac leather Ferrari 355 Spyder I had ordered from the factory for stock. "Niki - what is that - who's going to order that colour combination?!" he asked. I admit it was not a traditional retail colour combination but I thought it looked fantastic -understated whilst elegantly showcasing the exquisite design features of this model. My Dad was not impressed - but his antipathy to the specification strengthened my resolve, so I made the kind of impulsive decision from the heart you make at 23 years old - I bought it for myself! I had sold quite a few cars and had made some money and so arranged for the car to be removed from the showroom and to be prepared for handover the next day. When Dad came into the garage the next day and saw the car being prepared - he was pretty amazed. He was even more amazed when that I announced I was the buyer! It's fair to say he thought I was quite mad, but I still have the car and it was the beginning of my love affair of Ferraris finished in Pozzi Blu. My first Ferrari has given me a lot of pleasure and although I have owned many since - you always remember your first love!
Ok that’s an easy question to answer - there isn't one! We have a wide variety of customers, from those who do 100 kms a year in an older collector car, to those who drive their modern cars hard and do over 50,000 kms a year. We have customers who have bought their first Ferrari at 18 years old, to very experienced Ferrari racers who have amazing Ferrari collections. In fact, we have a well-respected customer in the Ferrari world, who is now a grandfather. Last year on one of our track days he reached 311 km/h on the track at Monza...Proof that whilst there may be snow on top - there is often still fire down below!
The reality is that our customer base is incredibly diverse featuring owners from all walks of life and experience levels. There is however a common thread - all our customers have identified and satisfied a need to own examples of the best engineered, prestigious sports cars in the world.
Well here in Switzerland we have speed limits - so exercising your Ferrari in an environment on track is a great way to discover the world class engineering and performance associated with these cars. At 18 years old I took my race licence at Hockenheim and we did our first company Niki Hasler track event for clients in 2002. These days we regularly take clients to tracks such as Fiorano, Imola and Mugello as well as arranging a number of social activities at world class events such as Goodwood and the Ferrari World finals. The social events are great chance to really get the most out of your Ferrari ownership and share experiences with other enthusiasts. We also have a race team run by Thomas Kemenater and we can provide Ferrari racecar hire on track days with expert instruction if required. You really MUST try a Ferrari on track at least once in your life and we have all the infrastructure to enable you to tick this box!
We are fortunate to enjoy a close relationship with the factory as one of the best performing dealerships in the world - in both sales and aftersales. That is no small part due to the quality of the team I have been lucky to assemble for the business. Servicing the customer with knowledge integrity and professionalism is an area we work really hard on and happily we seem to have good customer retention rates - but you never can rest on your laurels.