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Ferrari reveals plans to build SUV

High time: Ferrari chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne has admitted that the iconic Italian brand will develop a crossover vehicle.

Australian Ferrari boss coy, but Marchionne confirms SUV plans

16 Oct 2017

FERRARI Australasia chief executive Herbert Appleroth has insisted that any new model line would be “uniquely Ferrari” and the best vehicle in its segment after the supercar marque confirmed earlier last week that it was planning to add an SUV to its stable.

Ferrari’s global chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne confirmed to reporters in the United States that the company was “beyond just considering an SUV” and now looking to enter the segment with what he referred to as an “FUV” (Ferrari utility vehicle).

He said it would take about 30 months to lock in a decision on production, which would be limited to ensure exclusivity.

Bloomberg reported that Mr Marchionne, who has previously rejected the notion of a Ferrari SUV, told reporters: “We’re dead serious about this.

“We need to learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then we’re going to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio.”

Speaking with journalists at a LaFerrari Aperta reveal at Motorclassica last week, Mr Appleroth deflected questions about his feelings on a Ferrari SUV.

“Our chairman is probably the best person to talk about that model not myself so I don’t like to speculate on future models, but he is the best person,” he said. “He has certainly given everyone some information of where he is thinking.”

When asked if, theoretically, he would see an SUV as a good fit for Ferrari’s Australian line-up, Mr Appleroth said any future Ferrari model would be welcomed by the Australian arm and its customers.

“Look, any new model that enters this market is highly popular, whatever that is,” he said.

“As Enzo always said, he was asked once, ‘What is your favourite Ferrari?’ And he famously quoted, ‘The next one.’ And I think that is the same for us.

“We are just so fortunate to be able to have such an amazing group of engineers and, of course, stakeholders that allow us to invest in those models, and each new Ferrari is the leader in the industry each time.

“So whatever comes we are so proud of, and you know will be uniquely Ferrari and you know will be the best in the industry. Whatever that is.”

Mr Appleroth said that with any new Ferrari model it was a challenge to maintain exclusivity while encouraging sales growth.

“Every new model from Ferrari, it is a fine balance between exclusivity and satisfying the need of our clients,” he said.

“And it all comes down to waiting lists so again it is a very fine balancing point, whether it is one year, two years, three years, our clients are very patient. But in return for that they get cars that are obviously very highly valued once on the secondary market.”

A future Ferrari SUV would likely go head-to-head with Lamborghini’s imminent Urus high-rider, as well as an expected Aston Martin SUV based on the DBX concept.

Timing for the future Ferrari SUV is unclear, but the Italian car-maker is expected to announce a new five-year plan in the first quarter of next year that lays out its intentions to 2022.

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