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Sergio Marchionne to take over Ferrari chairman duties

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Ferrari chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemelo will step down after 23 years at the helm of the most prestigious Italian automaker. He will be replaced by Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne effective October 13th.

Automotive News reports that escalating clashes between the two executives over strategy and the role of Ferrari within the Fiat group accelerated Montezemelo's departure.

While Marchionne plans to use Ferrari to expand in luxury cars and better compete with Volkswagen, which owns Lamborghini, Montezemolo wanted to limit sales to about 7,000 units a year to preserve the brand’s exclusive allure. The recent disappointing performance of Ferrari's F1 team didn't help his cause.

In addition to his 23-year stay as Ferrari chairman, Montezemelo was the Fiat Group chairman from 2004-2010, yet he wasn’t appointed to the board of the newly merged entity, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.

"Ferrari is now American. This is the end of an era," Montezemolo told close associates last weekend.

Italian newspapers including Il Messaggero reported that he might be chosen to head Italian airline Alitalia.

Source: Automotive News