Giuseppe Risi, an Italian national, is founder and Team Principal of Risi Competizione and the President and CEO of Ferrari Maserati of Houston and Ferrari of Austin.
He received his secondary education in England and, after completion, traveled extensively, spending time in Africa, Germany, France, Spain and the UK before coming to Houston in 1979. Fluent in Italian, English, Spanish and French, Risi came to the United States at the suggestion of Enzo Ferrari specifically to open a Ferrari dealership with complete sales and service facilities, and also to organize sales and service of Ferrari products in the country of Mexico.
Risi founded his first dealership, Ferrari of Houston, in 1980 as part of a new distribution network in the U.S., created as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ferrari S.p.A. He subsequently acquired the Ferrari dealership in Dallas in 1994 (this dealership was sold in 2004) and established the marque in Dallas for those years, and in 2011 opened a new dealership in Austin, Texas. Both Houston (Ferrari and Maserati) and Austin (Ferrari only) are factory authorized sales, service, and parts facilities.Houston also has one of five factory-authorized collision centers specializing in the repair of aluminum automobiles.
Risi was elected the inaugural President of the Ferrari Dealer Council for North America, the first organization of its type within the worldwide Ferrari network.
Risi was elected the inaugural President of the Ferrari Dealer Council for North America, the first organization of its type within the worldwide Ferrari network. This organization was created to improve the working relationship between American dealers, the Ferrari distribution network in North America, and Ferrari S.p.A., while at the same time improving customer satisfaction for Ferrari owners. That position was held until January 2004; Giuseppe Risi still serves as an advisor to Ferrari of North America and Maserati of North America.
One of the most passionate Ferrari dealers in the world, Giuseppe Risi has participated in the growth of Ferrari both on and off the track. A racing driver and race team organizer early in his career, Risi was an early advocate of motor racing in Spain, where he organized and managed that country’s first F1 team.
A racing driver and race team organizer early in his career, Risi was an early advocate of motor racing in Spain, where he organized and managed that country’s first F1 team.
He was one of the dealers who organized the customer-oriented Ferrari Challenge Race Series in the United States, winning three championships. Through Risi Competizione, his race team has competed at Le Mans, winning the LMP1 class in 1998 in a Ferrari 333SP. The team also won the 1998 World Sports Car championship and the 2003 IMSA Cup for the best Private team in ALMS. Risi Competizione has twice placed second overall twice at the 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2005, Ferrari Maserati of Houston was selected by Maserati Reparto Corse S.p.A.(the racing division of Maserati) to operate the works Maserati MC12 racing program in North America in conjunction with the factory.
Ferrari of Houston today is the only dealership in the U.S. authorized for Ferrari’s F1 Cliente maintenance, support and service program; this program enables clients to obtain and run Ferrari Formula 1 cars. Giuseppe Risi was also pivotal in re-introducing the Vespa marque in Texas through a Vespa Boutique located inside the Houston Ferrari dealership and another one in Dallas. Throughout his career in Texas, Giuseppe Risi has been both a consistent innovator in business and a supporter of the communities in which his dealerships are located. Risi is an active supporter of Italian cultural and business activities in the city, as well as a supporter of local charities such as the Make-a-Wish fund, for whom he sits on the board, and Texas Children’s Hospital. His generosity to local charities over the years has been exceptional and unwavering.
Giuseppe Risi was in 2009 honored by the French American Chamber of Commerce (Houston) for his continuous involvement and contribution to the French-American community and his team’s results at Le Mans in 2008.