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Soon, you'll be able to own a piece of Ferrari

Soon, you'll be able to own a piece of Ferrari

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Dan Kitwood

And you don't need several hundred thousand dollars to do it.

Fiat Chrysler announced this morning that it'll be spinning off Ferrari, the storied Italian sports car maker responsible for some of the most outrageous vehicles ever made. Fellow Italian car company Fiat — which took full control of Chrysler earlier this year — first bought an interest in Ferrari some 45 years ago, an interest it has owned ever since. (Piero Ferrari, son of founder Enzo, still owns a minority stake.) The new company will offer its own publicly traded shares — 90 percent of them will go to existing Fiat Chrysler shareholders, while another 10 percent will go to market.

Ferrari's ownership has been less fraught over the years than arch rival Lamborghini, which changed hands several times through the 1970s, ’80s, and ’90s before settling in with Volkswagen Group. Though Ferrari's had a wildly successful few years, exotic carmakers tend to be more sensitive to major global economic downturns than full-range automakers because their products are purely discretionary purchases; an independent Ferrari could fare very well, but it could also require stewardship from another corporate giant eventually.

Unfortunately, buying a share of the new Ferrari probably won't entitle you to a ride in one.