Ferrari, Maserati brands find new home in PH

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05:57 AM December 26th, 2012

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By: Alvin Uy, December 26th, 2012 05:57 AM

Last March, Wellington Soong talked to Inquirer about one of the most interesting chapters of his automotive career as he inaugurated the new Autostrada Motore, the exclusive distributor of Ferrari and Maserati in the Philippines, at the Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

It wasn’t an easy road to become the country’s exclusive purveyor of Ferrari and Maserati. With only 58 Ferrari dealerships globally, his latest franchise puts the country right in the elite circle of being able to offer a true Ferrari ownership experience. Named after Italy’s famous motorway system, he calls Ferrari and Maserati’s new home as a “center for motoring passion” and here is what he has to say about his long-awaited baby project.

He intimated that one of the key core values of Ferrari is performance. It is the only manufacturer that has participated in Formula One racing since its creation in 1950. Other brand values are exclusivity, heritage, innovation and personalization. “Ferrari is a legendary brand, and it is always advised by the business model of Enzo Ferrari, he always produced one unit less than the market’s demand. And the last one is customer service, you look at Ferrari as a big global family to provide our customers that they can experience excellence in service,” said Soong.

Soong started with two English automotive and iconic brands—Land Rover and Jaguar over a decade ago with its first showroom in ENZO Building along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue in Makati City. The second showroom opened in Bonifacio Global City last year, right beside the Autostrada showroom. Aside from representing some of Europe’s finest automotive brands, Soong is also involved in distributing lifestyle electronic entertainment brand Bose for over four decades. More recently, his family also opened a U-Boat single brand watch boutique and has recently announced he will also carry the ultraluxury watch brand Richard Mille. With each piece retailing over a hundred thousand dollars, local watch collectors will have to rack up a lot of credit card points to acquire a Mille watch. However, Soong doesn’t want to be portrayed as a tycoon but rather as a serial entrepreneur.

“I think as a car model gets discontinued, automatically it becomes a collector’s item because of its very limited availability. At the same time, the new models will come out is a representation of the latest and most current technology so it is a toss up between a collector’s item and new technology. The Ferraristas (owners), as they would call it, are always faced with this complex choice. Do you get a collector’s item to keep but you are always tempted to buy a new one because of its technology,” he said. “What amazes me in F1 is the unrelenting efforts to manage these races at the highest level of competition without compromising safety. That’s why it’s amazing how they can achieve these fantastic speeds and yet be safe. I think it’s because of engineering, technology and driver skills.”

When asked how he felt when he became the official purveyor of these two highly sought-after car brands, he said: “I think personally, this is a huge milestone in my career, that I have been given the privilege, distinction and honor to be able to make available these two very exclusive motoring brands which is Ferrari and Maserati and that is an honor I treasure very much and I wish to extend that to all our friends who can buy it, and also to those who admire these two brands. Our showroom with Autostrada, which we call a center for motoring passion, will always be open to everyone.”

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