Al-Zayani Trading Company, the official Ferrari importer to Kuwait for the last two decades, is in the midst of an outstanding year on the roads. We spoke to Mohammed Dawleh, General Manager for Ferrari, Kuwait, to get the inside scoop on what’s new and exciting at everyone’s favourite Italian luxury sports car company in 2018.
“If you can dream it, you can do it.”
Enzo Ferrari (1898-1988)
Top: Ferrari 812 Superfast Below: Ferrari Portofino
The first half of the year has been all about the Ferrari 812 Superfast, the new model that made its debut at 2017’s Geneva Motor Show. With 800 cv and performance figures of 0 – 100 km/h in 2.9 seconds, it is the fastest and most powerful road-going Ferrari ever. The 812 was Ferrari’s big news last year, so much so that all the units of the car have already been presold in Kuwait.
Another new model to watch out for this year is the Ferrari Portofino, which will be replacing Ferrari’s much-loved California and California T models. Scheduled to arrive in Kuwait for July, the Portofino promises to surprise and delight its customers. This new V8 GT is all set to dominate its segment thanks to a perfect combination of outright performance and versatility, making it both a luxury drive and an everyday utility car, one that might just make its driver the owner of the “Most Impressive Car on the Road” award. Capable of unleashing a massive 600 cv and sprinting from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.5 seconds, the Portofino is the most powerful convertible to combine the advantages of a retractable hard top, a roomy boot and generous cockpit space complete with two rear seats, suitable for short trips.
However, Ferrari’s big surprise so far this year is the 488 Pista – the model takes its name from the Italian word for ‘track’. Powered by the most powerful V8 engine in the Maranello marque’s history, it is designed specifically to testify Ferrari’s unparalleled heritage in motor sports. This car is specifically allocated to only the most loyal of Ferrari’s customers. As much as Al-Zayani understands that it deals with a very special kind of customer that appreciates the luxury and cutting edge technology that owning a Ferrari can add to your driving experience, they also understand the need to attract new customers. Considering Ferrari is a highly aspirational machine it makes good business sense to be able to offer a slightly affordable price range to appeal to an alternate customer base in the market – this is where Ferrari Approved Vehicles fill the gap.
Ferrari’s Approved Vehicles are pre-owned cars, sold through Al-Zayani Trading Company. Each car in this category goes through a rigorous 190-point check, ensuring they have retained their original status both in terms of performance and appearance. This system of selling approved vehicles works in the favour of both new and old customers. “A few years ago, we started encouraging our customers to trade in their old cars for new ones. The trade-in gives them an opportunity to upgrade, helping us source used Ferraris that could be sold at a slightly more affordable range. Most of our new customers start with pre-owned cars and graduate to new ones,” said Mohammad Dawleh. All approved vehicles are sold with warranty and buying it directly from Al-Zayani means peace of mind is a part of the deal.
Over the last few years, the approved car segment for Al-Zayani has become a very important part of their business. What initially started out as an initiative to bring in the used Ferrari cars and keep the customer within their network has turned into a community of Ferrari enthusiasts, where many of the buyers are collectors looking for specific older models. For every 10 new cars sold by Al-Zayani they sell six preowned cars. A ratio they plan to bring to 1:1 within the next 2-3 years.
A total Ferrari fanatic, it is clear from the way Mohammad talks about the cars that this is more than just a day job for him. Having worked in the automotive industry in Kuwait since 1985 and with Ferrari since 2009, Mohammad possesses a unique understanding of the Ferrari customer. However, ask him to pick his favourite and he’ll look at you as if you’ve have asked him to do the impossible.
“If I were in a mood for adventure, I would zoom around in the 488 Pista, if I wanted to show clients around the city the Portofino would be my best bet, if I was looking for some real muscle but also needed down time, the 812 is ideal. It’s not possible to pick one, I want them all!” said Mohammad with the conviction of someone who truly believes that what he is selling is not just a car but a cherished dream.