Sergio Marchionne is no doubt often reminded that when asked last year whether Ferrari would build an SUV or crossover, he said: "You have to shoot me first."
So what about all those reports of late that Maranello plans a four-seat crossover, or at least a "Ferrari Utility Vehicle," to boost profits? The Ferrari (and Fiat Chrysler) CEO did not have much to say about that until last week. Now he says an expansion of Ferrari's lineup into utility vehicles would not compromise the brand's exclusive status or its luxury profit margins.
The claim to fame of such a vehicle would not be "being able to climb rocks," Marchionne told analysts on a conference call, adding that the board had yet to decide whether to go down that road.
"Whatever it is, it will be of the same caliber as anything else we've done."
Ferrari also has been trying to broaden its appeal beyond drivers attracted by the technological prowess of its eight-cylinder and 12-cylinder models. Marchionne said the company needed to go after customers drawn to the brand's style rather than engine power.
"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.
Marchionne said that early next year, Ferrari would unveil a new strategy to 2022 and that it would give an indication on how it would expand the luxury brand beyond cars.