Sergio Marchionne Flip-Flops On Ferrari SUV

After 18 months of saying Ferrari would never build an SUV for fear of diluting the Italian sports car brand's image, CEO Sergio Marchionne now says expanding into the crossover marketplace "would not compromise (its) exclusive status nor its profit margins."

That's the pronouncement the Reuters news agency is reporting following a press conference in Milan. It comes as a surprise given Marchionne's past opinions about attaching the prancing horse logo to an SUV or crossover model in an effort to widen the appeal of Ferrari vehicles and boost profits.

In a February 2016 phone call with stock market analysts, he said, "You have to shoot me first." A year later, in a similar call, he announced that he "(struggles) with trying to picture a car ... sold by Ferrari that does not have the driving dynamics of one of its passenger cars."

Ironically, Marchionne's shift in tone follows record earnings in the wake of Ferrari's separation from its former parent company, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, at the beginning of 2016.

However, the outspoken CEO insists that if Ferrari does decide to make an SUV, it will be in "Ferrari style ... for the selected few," and not positioned to compete with established luxury crossover models like the 2017 Porsche Cayenne. He added a Ferrari utility vehicle would not be built "to climb rocks ... but whatever it is, it will be of the same calibre as anything else we've done."

The closest thing to a crossover in Ferrari's current lineup is the GTC4 Lusso, an AWD, four-seat shooting brake.

Yes, no, maybe so 8/2/2017 8:25:28 PM