Maserati has its Levante. Lamborghini is coming up with the Urus. Rolls-Royce is hard at work developing the Cullinan. And who can ignore the Bentley Bentayga? These are the high-end SUVs that Italian supercar maker Ferrari swore it would never go up against. Or will it?
According to a report by Bloomberg, Ferrari is considering developing a larger model (larger than its usual supercars) that would cater to families. While no details or confirmation have been made, the move is said to be part of the marque’s plan to double production by the year 2022.
It’s all part of a strategy under the leadership of Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is set to retire in 2021. At present, Ferrari has already begun expanding its sales volume from 7,000 units annually to a self-imposed cap of 10,000 Ferraris a year. The said plan intends to double this figure.
While this could dilute the brand and remove its “exclusivity” status, the move is said to help increase profit, which is naturally what any business model hopes to achieve. In Ferrari’s case, it plans to do this with the new model plus a slew of hybrid offerings.
The new “utility vehicle”, as people close to Ferrari call it, will reportedly be a four-seat sporty model that is targeted at families, particularly in the Asian region. Aimed primarily at wealthy Chinese customers (who alone could account for 2,000 units per year), the challenge for Ferrari engineers and designers is to come up with a model that will still keep the sporty and racy Ferrari DNA while providing extra space. Ferrari made it clear, though, that if it will come out with such a model, it will create its own vehicle niche and not merely compete with the likes of the Bentayga or Urus.
In related news, Ferrari did confirm that it will be coming out with more hybrid models beginning in 2019. The said models, which will utilize an electric motor to supplement its gasoline mills to boost power and aid in efficiency, are aimed at meeting stringent environmental regulations. Moreover, the new vehicles are targeted at wealthy buyers who want to be politically correct in the sense that they “care for Mother Earth” even while driving a high-performance supercar.
Will all these plans come to fruition? Will Ferrari finally give in to the allure of the profitable utility vehicle? Stay tuned to find out.