Maranello's sending mixed-signals about its high-rider.
Just last week we ran a story about how top-brass at Ferrari had let out “a collective groan” at the question of an SUV from the marque, who are clearly tired of having to field the query at every opportunity the press have to quiz them about it. The idea of a Ferrari SUV is divisive to say the least, with more nays than yays on the subject, though the marketability of such a product is undeniable.
Ferrari, like many esteemed marques on this end of the scale, have to carefully balance the brands’ exclusivity and hallowed history with market trends, perhaps more so than other firms. Maserati, an FCA company, was more than happy to bite the SUV bullet early with the Levante, and while cars like the Bentley Bentayga and Porsche Cayenne uphold and adhere to brand values faultlessly, the Levante’s very un-Maserati presentation means that the Trident’s value has been diluted somewhat (despite the very healthy sales figures).
And while the mere suggestion of a four-door high-riding Ferrari would make enthusiasts blood vessels pop, the profit-focused CEO of the company is very keen on the idea, saying once again that it’s very likely that such a product would eventually hit showroom floors, or that’s what he suggested in a Bloomberg report. During an earnings call at the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, Marchionne said that such a model would “probably happen,” in direct contradiction to what Ferrari’s CTO said last month.
“We’re dead serious about this [a Ferrari SUV]. We need to learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then we’re gong to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio.” — Sergio Marchionne, CEO, Ferrari NV
Marchionne, who is also the CEO of the Fiat-Chrysler conglomerate, has spoken more than a few times about the likelihood of a Ferrari SUV, keeping that flame lit for a long, long while now. In the CarShowroom office, we’ve discussed the matter at length, and we posit that they’ll wait to see how well the Lamborghini Urus does before plotting their course, given that this ultra high-performance SUV niche is just in its infancy.
At this point in time however, we can only wait and see. You can read our report earlier that covered Ferrari’s CTO sayang that “there is no program” for such a model, and join us in the collective head-scratching.