ferrari factory tour: assembly line
ferrari factory tour: assembly line ferrari factory tour: assembly line
aug 01, 2011

ferrari factory tour: assembly line


founded in 1929 as a racecar sponsor and manufacturer, ferrari has been producing hand-finished road vehicles since 1947. the ferrari factory was designed by french architect jean nouvel and modernized beginning in 1997 by company president luca di montezemolo. all ferraris in the world continue to be produced exclusively on the maranello campus, where every ferrari is produced custom to order, and all installations are performed by hand. as a result, the company produces approximately 10 to 12 cars a day.


designboom visited the ferrari factories and is excited to bring you a three-part behind-the-scenes look at the vehicle’s’ production. we start in this article near the end of the process, at the ‘new assembly line’ building, bringing you later this week a visual tour of the engine manufacturing facilities and a look at the ferrari design process.

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomlooking in on the ‘new assembly line’image © designboom



the most recent addition to the ferrari plant, the ‘new assembly line’ is the site of the last stages of a vehicle’s creation. the building occupies over 21,000 square meters of space, divided across two floors into assembly lines for 8 and 12 cylinder cars, as well as a test area, prototype development facility, and offices and meeting rooms. the space was designed by jean nouvel himself with a roof of reflective plates and bright skylights, offering openness and light despite the mechanical transport system and heavy technology housed within.


the bodywork and vehicle chassis of ferrari vehicles are constructed at the carrozzeria scaglietti in nearby modena before being painted and finished at a separate building on the maranello complex. the vehicle bodies, along with the fully tested engine and gearbox modules from the engine assembly facility next door, ultimately all arrive at the ‘new assembly line’ building. here, with each step completed by hand by ferrari technicians, the engines are installed into the body, the chosen top panel is bolted in, and the selected seating materials, dashboards, and any special inserts are installed, a journey that takes each vehicle approximately three working days from start to finish, the last steps of a manufacturing process that altogether takes about three weeks.


each car travels along the course with a specification sheet indicating everything about its design, for technicians’ reference.  v-8 and v-12 cylinder cars are produced along separate assembly lines, the former requiring an average of about one half hour of work at each station and the latter closer to an hour. the ferrari factory, organized under montezemolo’s ‘formula uomo‘ initiative for employee health and satisfaction, operates on only a single 8am to 5pm shift each day.


the carousel system in the ‘new assembly line’ makes use of pincer machines designed by italian robot manufacturers comau that permit easy access to all sides of the vehicle. the cars are placed at the best height for each worker, and can be rotated to permit work to be done on its underside.

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomview looking up at raised cars along the production lineimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomcloser view of a body being moved along the trackimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomcomau robots hoist, hold, and rotate the vehicles along the two-story production lineimages © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomthemachines permit technicians to control the height and rotation of thevehicle, permitting even the undersides to be worked on with easeright image © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomadditional work being completed to the side of the lineimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomcars in a range of stages of productionimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomwashers, screws, and other small hardwareimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomtechnicians at workimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomview at far end of the assembly line, looking towards the ceiling, at the transport system that moves cars between levelsimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomalthoughthe engine manufacturing process involves the use of robots forproduction, all testing, final assembly, and installation is done byhandimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designboomimage © designboom

ferrari factory visit assembly line designbooma separate building houses the fully automated painting and finishing centers, where the bodies are completed before arrival at the assembly centerimage courtesy ferrari ferrari factory visit assembly line designboom a finished vehicle at the entrance of the buildingimage © designboom



next in the series: designboom’s feature on ferrari’s mechanical workshop where engine parts are manufactured, followed by our tour of the ferrari design facilities.

  • The only obvious difference between Ferrari’s plant and, say, a Kia plant is Ferrari uses all that automation for one car every hour or so — the plant is empty. By this evidence, all cars are hand-assembled. And what’s up with that guy with one knee on a hard floor? Where’s the padding?

    Tom P says:
  • TomP, read much?!?! Ferrari now integrates automatic technology in a few steps of vehicle production, but all the assembly, installation, and finishing is still done by hand…. WAY unlike a Kia, GM, or almost any other car manufacturer. I assume maybe they do tours only in off-hours, and that’s why you don’t see many employees? as for the padding… well… let’s play a clean fight and just call it ‘cultural differences’… 🙂

    ItalianStallion says:
  • dear Tom P and other readers,
    this was the last building designboom visited during our tour
    of ferrari’s maranello compound, and thus we arrived around 5pm,
    the closing time of the factory under the ‘formula uomo’ initiative
    mentioned in the article. this is indeed the reason you see
    very few operators at work in the photos.

    the only automation on the ‘new assembly line’, however, is in the transport
    of the cars from station to station; all work on the vehicles themselves
    continues to be completed entirely by hand.

    designboom says:
  • @ designboom

    thumbs up for good forum moderation. Nicely done. (Additional explanation and hand-holding is always needed for passionate car geeks.)

    olivia.trivia says:
  • Excellent pics. Um, I’ve been in kitchens who’s floors aren’t this clean. Guess it’s why you don’t find loose parts and used paper cups inside the car when you get it home (like something from Detroit).

    TheDecorGirl says:
  • Amazing how stupid some people are. Ferrari has more character and automotive history in one wheelnut than Kia and GM addrd together

    TonyRSA says:
  • …just three words… Made in Italy!

    Dario says:

    ergodesign says:
  • OMG.. love this car..hehe..

    Satriyo Niti Atmojo says:
  • Let’s remember, Ferrari is one arm of FIAT’s (90% owned) many arms and looking at a pearl doesn’t make the other manufacturers mentioned, swines d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • Yes, (hand)Made in Italy….one of the few points that make me proud to be italian…..cheers… :-))

    GUS says:
  • Outstanding!!!

    UAE Cars says:
  • outstanding reportage !
    top class

    thank you

    GEZA says:
  • Yeah
    I like it . Cars engines are controlled by form and orientation control

    Amit Sharma says:
  • Just like in waynes world the movie, where not worthy, where not worthy, where not worthy, where scum where scum, such the perfect car. baaaaaaaaaaaaaad ass

    Kevin James Partridge says:
  • Well done….I like the idea of having green inside the factory.

    Ralph Augustus says:

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