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Learning English - Words in the News
19 December, 2008 - Published 12:56 GMT
Ferrari's best ever profits
Ferrari's chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo
Ferrari's chairman Luca Cordero di Montezemolo

The Italian car maker, Ferrari, says it's made its best ever profits and sales in 2008, in contrast to the difficulties being faced by other carmakers. The company's chairman has said, there will always be someone crazy enough to buy a Ferrari. Duncan Kennedy reports:

Listen to the story

With the cheapest Ferrari starting at $250,000, you might think even the rich would hesitate before buying one in these difficult economic times. But no: Ferrari say 2008 has been its best ever year for sales and profits.

The company will give detailed figures in January, but Ferrari's chairman, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, was clearly delighted at his annual news conference. He said, "Crisis, or no crisis... we can still find 6,000 people crazy enough to buy our annual output". He predicted the company would also have a good 2009, even though many economies would be in recession.

Mr Montezemolo is chairman of Fiat as well, a company experiencing a very different outlook. This week it closed down 14 of its Italian factories for a month, giving around 50,000 workers an extended holiday as demand for its cars plummets.

Fiat is typical of other motor manufacturers. Japan's Honda this week reported another profits warning, and big American companies like General Motors and Chrysler are waiting for a bail-out from the US government.

As Ferrari increasingly views the rest of the motoring world through its rear view mirror, other carmakers and their workers can only dream of its turbocharged performance.

Duncan Kennedy, BBC News, Rome

Listen to the words

annual output
cars produced in a year

said (that something would happen)

experiencing a very different outlook
here, expected to do much worse

demand for its cars plummets
a lot fewer people are buying its cars

typical of
a company whose experiences and performance are similar to

motor manufacturers

reported another profits warning
said again that its profits would become smaller

a bail-out
financial help (to get out of their difficulties)

increasingly views the rest of the motoring world through its rear view mirror
here, has outperformed/overtaken other carmakers, and this is becoming more and more obvious

here, extremely good (literally, a turbocharger is a powerful turbine driven by the exhaust gases of an engine)

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