It would appear that CEO Sergio Marchionne is finally getting his wish to bulk up the production of Ferraris as the Italian sports carmaker plans to produce 9,000 vehicles next year.
Marchionne has long wanted to produce more vehicles to squeeze more profits out of the company. It led to a dispute with the former chief, Luca di Montezemolo, which led to his departure from Ferrari. Montezemolo was concerned that building too many vehicles would cut the exclusivity of the brand and lower its value.
Clearly, Marchionne disagreed but the new production numbers are a full year ahead of even his projections, according to Automotive News.
In addition to the ramp up in production, the company plans to introduce its first sport-utility vehicle, following in the footsteps most recently of Lamborghini, which took the wraps off its Urus model last week.
(Maserati set to launch second SUV in 2020. For the story, Click Here.)
A SUV for Ferrari has some concerned that it will be the straw that breaks the camel’s back. But luxury SUVs are hot sellers right now. In addition to Lambo, Jaguar, Bentley, Lexus and Porsche all have at least one ute in their line-up now.
Marchionne’s push for an SUV isn’t limited to Ferrari. With the success of the Maserati Levante – it’s the best-selling Maserati ever already – he’s looking for a second ute for the brand. The next ute would be a smaller model than the Levante.
(Click Here for more about Ferrari’s coming SUV.)
The decision to add an SUV – or what Marchionne Monday referred to as an “FUV” – would be a significant move for Ferrari. The brand has long stayed true to its exotic roots, and doesn’t even offer a four-door model, unlike such competitors as Porsche, where the coupe-like Panamera sedan is now one of its most popular offerings.
The closest Ferrari has so far come to straying is with the wagon-like GTC4 Lusso – originally known as the FF. Even there it only offers two doors for passengers, as well as a hatch.
(To see why Ferrari’s brand value is soaring, Click Here.)
If Marchionne wants to meet his goal of doubling Ferrari’s profits by 2022 to $2.35 billion, an SUV along with more vehicles in the other segments are going to be necessary. In order meet the production goals, the company is doubling shifts at its plants.