Despite months of denial, Sergio Marchionne confirmed that Ferrari will put a sport utility vehicle into production on Monday.Â â€œWeâ€™re dead serious about this,â€� Marchionne said at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week. â€œWe need to learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then weâ€™re going to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio.â€�
The working title for Ferrari’s SUV is “FUV” and its confirmationÂ undoes months ofÂ Marchionne’s claimsÂ that it would “never be built.” In February of 2016, the CEO even said he would have to be shot and killed before FerrariÂ made anÂ SUV. For his sake, we hope that is no longer a provisional aspect of the build.Â
While this news doesn’t give us a distinct timeline or specification, it’s the closest anyone has heard of a candid confirmation of a Ferrari-badged SUV. But we know the Italian brand wants to expand volume and what better way than to follow Porsche’s example of introducing a family-friendly vehicle at aÂ less-extravagantÂ price. Granted, it’ll still cost loads more than a Cayenne but it’ll be significantly less than a GTC4Lusso and twice as practical.
Reported by Bloomberg,Â Marchionne didn’t elaborate as to why Ferrari had a change of heart, but we’d bet Lamborghini’s upcoming Urus has something to do with it. Besides a production surge, Ferrari wants to double its profits by 2022 â€” and an SUV might be just the thing.
Of course, there is a chance the CEO’s headline-stealing Ferrari news could simply be a clever way to divert attention away from the sale of Fiat Chrysler. On Monday,Â Marchionne was also discussing the future of FCA. As a man serious about selling the company, he still wants it to be on his terms.
The automaker is focused on raising its profitability and spinning off some cumbersome elements of the business, butÂ Marchionne says Jeep will stay with FCA. The growing demand for crossovers and Jeep’s increased global footprint has turned the brandÂ into the belle of the ball. But the CEO rejected the notion of handing it over to the Chinese-owned Great Wall Motor Co., which recently expressed interest in purchasing Jeep from FCA.
Marchionne maintained that FCA would be, more or less, a package deal. But he also affirmed there doesn’t need to be a buyout for the company to persist.Â â€œItâ€™s incorrect to assume that FCAâ€™s future hinges on doing a deal,â€� he said.