Ferrari S.p.A. is an italian sports car manufacturer, founded by Enzo Ferrari, who has been producing luxury vehicles and racing cars; and also manages one of the most prized sports team involved in car competitions, the Ferrari Scuderia.
The production plant is located at Maranello, near Modena, and since 1991 it has been directed by Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, the ex president of Confindustria and of Fiat Group. The official symbol, the prancing horse, is credited to Francesco Baracca (1888-1918) an ace of the italian air force in WWI, who used to paint it on his airplanes. His mother suggested he use the symbol as a good luck charm in 1923, and has ever since been the symbol of the Ferrari. In 2013 and 2014 the Ferrari brand is acknowledged as the most influential worldwide and the 35th most valuable brand worth 4 billion dollars. The birth of Ferrari coincidences with the founding of the ScuderiaFerrari, in 1929 in Modena, the scuderia did not manufacture its own cars, it was just responsible for the Alfa Romeos, in which they raced in many competitions with. The manufacturing facility was officiated on September 13 1939 in Modena, with the founder in part from Enzo Ferrari of the auto Avio Contructions, The first commissions were building components for vehicles, and only in 1947 the manufacturing of full vehicles became the main activity of the plant. The first car built, was the Auto Avio Costruzioni 815, only two were built in 1940. While the second one, Ferrari 125 S, also only two were built, due to WWII was created in 1947 and it was driven by Franco Cortese, the first pilot and testdriver for Ferrari. This car was the first to bear the Ferrari name, not for Enzo's credit but because of contract clauses tied to Alfa Romeo brand, where he previously was the director of Alfa Racing sector. The clause prevented until 1942 to utilize the name on the cars he built. In 1957 the Auto Avio Constructions changed its name to Auto Constructions Ferrari to become SEFAC (Società Esercizio Fabbriche Automobili e Corse) SpA on May 26 1960 and then Ferrari SpA in 1965. In 1969 the Ferrari SpA joined the FIAT group. In 1988, the year when Enzo Ferrari passed, 90% the shares went to FIAT and the remainder to Piero Lardi Ferrari who remained with the company as vice president. During this period the brand Ferrari and Scuderia Ferrari began being used for merchandise such as clothing, watches, glasses, perfumes etc. In 2006 5% of the share were bought by a financial society in the United Arab Emirates, the Mubadala, the same company which helped build the Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi. Ferrari then returned to own this 5% in 2010. In May 2012 in Shanghai, China the prancing horse inaugurated the first Ferrari museum outside of Italy. At the ribbon cutting ceremony at the Shanghai Italian Centre, were present the italian and cinese foundations.