Ferrari reported to plot 'utility vehicle' to double profit

Ferrari reported to plot 'utility vehicle' to double profit

Sergio Marchionne, who runs the FCA group, spoke about the possibility of a Ferrari SUV.

But, of course, there's a caveat - it won't be an SUV, says Marchionne. He stressed that someone will "have to shoot (him) first" if Ferrari's first SUV competes against the likes of Porsche, before making one very important final point: The automaker's board has yet to officially decide on whether it will be building any kind of sports utility vehicle as part of its new five-year plan.

The Ferrari CEO's argument is that the SUV market is simply too big to ignore. It's not clear if it would have two or four doors, but it would apparently be a four-seat vehicle that offers more space than the GTC4Lusso.

"There are more people that would buy non-extreme versions of Ferrari than those that will buy extreme versions", he said, adding this move did not mean compromising on price. In the meantime, we're sure Ferrari will be keeping a close eye on the market performance and consumer reaction to arch rival Lamborghini's Urus crossover, which is set for a debut sometime later this year before going on sale in early 2018. But the fact that he's talking about it in the open-especially during a conference call for investors, who would presumably be quite interested in the jump in profits such a vehicle would be likely to bring- suggests the carmaker might well have already made a decision.

"There is a risk that an SUV could dilute the Ferrari brand", Richard Hilgert, an analyst at Morningstar Inc., said in an email.

The business plan poses a risk, as raising annual deliveries to more than 10,000 cars a year would push Ferrari beyond its "small vehicle manufacturer" status, which protects it from some United States and European fuel-use and emissions rules. The plans are expected to include more hybrid models to help the company meet ever-tightening emissions regulations. "Whatever it is, it will be of the same caliber as anything else we have done", he said.

Meanwhile, boosting output could prompt Ferrari to add a second shift to its factory in Maranello, Italy, its only manufacturing site, the people said.