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How Ferrari softens the blow of a long waiting list

Ferrari offers an ignition key in their welcome pack for customers on a waiting list.

Waiting for a new car is never easy. It could be a week or it could be a year — even longer — but a delivery hold-up still means delayed satisfaction.

But if you splash more than $350,000 on a new Ferrari you at least get a tasty model car to remind you of the full-sized one that's on the way.

"The cars are handmade to match (owners') specification. It's a 100 per cent replica of the car of their choice," says Ferrari Australia boss Herb Appleroth.

"They are BBR models from Italy. Exact replicas, right down to the chassis number."

But that's not all.

"It's about welcoming (buyers) into the Ferrari family. We encourage them to go to the factory. We have a Ferrari magazine, invitations to driving days and driving schools ..."

There is also a "welcome pack". When celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay bragged about his LaFerrari Spider, the kit even included an ignition key.

The Ferrari gear is all intended to soften the blow of a waiting list that's currently more than a year for a Ferrari California and up to two years for a 488 Spider.

Some dealers want a $10,000 premium for a higher place in the queue for a Ford Focus RS.

But what about other brands with similar waiting lists?

The delay for a Ford Mustang is 18 months, the BMW M2 is sold out until at least the middle of next year and there is talk that some dealers want a $10,000 premium for a higher place in the queue for a Ford Focus RS.

A friend with a big M2 deposit can't even get a build date for his car. A Mustang man can't get any help on the likely delivery date. And there's a Focus fan still seeking a straight answer on his car.

Perhaps the makers need to look to Ferrari for a better way to treat potential owners.

How would you like manufacturers to sweeten the long haul of a waiting list? Tell us in the comments below.