A Rare Look Inside Ferrari

The Maranello Ferrari Factory Tour

The Maranello Ferrari Factory Tour

In Northern Italy, just south of Modena, lies the town of Maranello. The area, known for its parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and star gazing witch’s tower, is home to Ferrari. Although the town has managed to keep its old-world charm, the factory and nearby museum have certainly played influence. Ferrari understands their role as a corporate citizen. Their involvement and development of the local community is realized through their outreach in educational programs at both the high school and university levels with a focus on “new technologies and innovated solutions for pioneering performance”. The factory grounds are often referred to as the citadel. This highly guarded enclosed kingdom holds wonders beyond that of its automobiles. This is a story about my visit to Ferrari in Maranello .

Months earlier, I had traveled to California and met up with Christopher Pagani and Donald Osborne. Both had convinced me to make the trip to Italy for the Concorso D'Eleganza at Lake Como and also to visit Ferrari, Pagani and Lamborghini. A few months later I was on a plane headed to Italy.

I traveled from Plantation (just north of Miami) to Milan.

Here I rented a Fiat 500 and eventually made my way to Maranello.

Maranello lies just south of Modena, this area is also home to Lamborghini and Pagani

Here is a closeup of Maranello with a general idea and size of the major Ferrari facilities: factory grounds, test track, Scuderia Ferrari, museum, Ferrari store.

During my visit, I parked at the Ferrari museum and walked over to the historical factory entrance.

I entered the office and advised of my appointment. The reception was very welcoming, offering an assortment of refreshments while waiting.

My private tour was 2.5 hours long and consisted of two guides, a bus, and a driver. The bus was provided for both safety and efficiency as the factory grounds are massive. Video taping and photography were not permitted; thus, all photos have been provided by Ferrari unless otherwise noted.

The mystery this all alluded to soon came to fruition as we passed many of the structures on the way to our destination. We started from the historical entrance and made our way down the main street, passing many buildings along the way including: vehicle assembly, engine assembly, design center, paint shop, product development center, and wind tunnel.

Vehicle Assembly Building

photo: http://www.jeannouvel.com/projets/usine-ferrari/

photo: http://www.jeannouvel.com/projets/usine-ferrari/

The vehicle assembly building was designed by Jean Nouvel. "The intention was to bring an innovative character but respectful of the old construction. When the project interferes with existing buildings, this is indicated by a coating of red panels acting as a visual border. The space between this belt and the new buildings is occupied by a garden forming a continuous green filter between the new building and the old." For more photos and information on the architect and this building click here

Company Restaurant "IL Podio"

The company restaurant building was designed by Marco Visconti. "The basics of its arrangement consist in the juxtaposing of two volumes linked to concepts of aerodynamics, as represented by the great hanging wing-shaped pavilion, placed in a flight position, supported by another staggered-axis wing positioned vertically on the ground."

For more photos and information on the architect and this building click here

Paint Shop

The Ferrari paint shop was designed by Marco Visconti. “The painting of the Ferrari and Maserati bodies is a container of great volumetric impact, located in the center of the industrial area.” For more photos and information on the architect and this building click here

Here is where Ferrari vehicles get their colors. These colors don't run

Product Development Center

The product development center was designed by Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas.

“The project comes from the desire of bringing the natural environment into this high-technology complex, so to create a comfortable working place."

For more photos and information on the architect and this building click here

The Wind Tunnel

The wind tunnel was designed by Renzo Piano who also designed the Shard in London.

"The Ferrari Wind Tunnel, a space to test drag on racing cars, is more like an enormous machine than a building in the way that all the mechanisms and apparatus are on show instead of being hidden from view. The tunnel is 80 metres long by 70 metres wide." For more photos and information on the architect and this building click here

Mechanical Workshop

photo: http://www.mvarchitects.it/

photo: http://www.mvarchitects.it/

The mechanical workshop building was designed by Marco Visconti.

"The principal inspirations for the work are dictated by maximum attention to quality and environmental comfort in an area rich in imagery and coherence between new construction, existing buildings and surrounding landscape."

photo: http://www.mvarchitects.it/

photo: http://www.mvarchitects.it/

For more photos and information on the architect and this building click here

Inside The Mechanical Workshop

It is here, where the tour began. I stepped off the bus and revered the architecture. My first impressions were reminiscent of the Kennedy Space Center at Port Canaveral. There was tremendous thought, pride, and functionality in the designs. When we entered the building, I was surprised at what I found.

The interior appeared to be more like a biosphere than a mass production facility. The organization and communication layouts were magnificent. There were designated places to drive and walk. Each worker had a large amount of space, sectioned off from each other. There were timers which allowed these experts to keep a cadence on their efforts. There were trees and gardens which intermingled the work areas. How enjoyable! The perfect environment for low stress levels.

The guides explained that Ferrari created an adaptive work environment that would be relaxing to the workers yet keep them sharp and focused. An environment that would be optimal to their mental and physical health.

As I turned the corner I was mesmerized by what I saw next. Robots were assembling in an enclosed space moving at tremendous speeds. I stopped in my tracks. The guides advised that there were some instances in the assembly line in which conditions are toxic or dangerous, these processes have been assigned to automation to prevent injuries.

Inside Engine Assembly

There was no shortage of light or foliage inside the engine assembly building

Each station had a worker focused on process and getting things completed in a timely manner.

If there was a time and place for taking a break or chatting with a coworker, it wasn't seen at the workstations during our tour.

The buildings were spotless and shined. Everything from the paint to signage looked brand-new.

The newly assembled engines appeared menacing.

Inside Vehicle Assembly

Inside the vehicle assembly building we were greeted with more green, as the theme continued throughout the campus.

Here we saw more of a traditional assembly line.

Vehicles flew overhead on a track as cars moved on queue.

Notice the timer between station 38 and 39 in the photo above

It was a sight to see; a line of new vehicles being assembled in a building which seemed to have no end.

Inside Scuderia Ferrari

We hopped on the bus to leave the citadel and headed over to Scuderia Ferrari. Here we took a quick tour of the office buildings and viewed the various planning stages for formula 1. Next we ventured over to the garage.

Here we saw rows upon rows of formula cars from various years.

In a nearby garage we peeked in on cars from other Ferrari racing series

Test Track

Not far from the Scuderia Ferrari was the test track

The Ferrari Store

We took a quick stop at the Ferrari store to check out the latest and greatest of memorabilia before heading over to the museum. Check out some of their newest gear here

Ferrari Museum Coming Soon

Stay tuned for photos and video from inside the Ferrari museum. Subscribe here

A Big Thank You

A big thank you to everyone at Ferrari including Ferrari North America and those who spent their day welcoming us to the family in Maranello! Best to the team in the oncoming season!


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