Marchionne Confirms Ferrari SUV, Denies Jeep Sale

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
marchionne confirms ferrari suv denies jeep sale

Despite months of denial, Sergio Marchionne confirmed that Ferrari will put a sport utility vehicle into production on Monday. “We’re dead serious about this,” Marchionne said at the New York Stock Exchange earlier this week. “We need to learn how to master this whole new relationship between exclusivity and scarcity of product, then we’re going to balance this desire to grow with a widening of the product portfolio.”

The working title for Ferrari’s SUV is “FUV” and its confirmation undoes months of Marchionne’s claims that it would “never be built.” In February of 2016, the CEO even said he would have to be shot and killed before Ferrari made an SUV. For his sake, we hope that is no longer a provisional aspect of the build.

While this news doesn’t give us a distinct timeline or specification, it’s the closest anyone has heard of a candid confirmation of a Ferrari-badged SUV. But we know the Italian brand wants to expand volume and what better way than to follow Porsche’s example of introducing a family-friendly vehicle at a less-extravagant price. Granted, it’ll still cost loads more than a Cayenne but it’ll be significantly less than a GTC4Lusso and twice as practical.

Reported by Bloomberg, Marchionne didn’t elaborate as to why Ferrari had a change of heart, but we’d bet Lamborghini’s upcoming Urus has something to do with it. Besides a production surge, Ferrari wants to double its profits by 2022 — and an SUV might be just the thing.

Of course, there is a chance the CEO’s headline-stealing Ferrari news could simply be a clever way to divert attention away from the sale of Fiat Chrysler. On Monday, Marchionne was also discussing the future of FCA. As a man serious about selling the company, he still wants it to be on his terms.

The automaker is focused on raising its profitability and spinning off some cumbersome elements of the business, but Marchionne says Jeep will stay with FCA. The growing demand for crossovers and Jeep’s increased global footprint has turned the brand into the belle of the ball. But the CEO rejected the notion of handing it over to the Chinese-owned Great Wall Motor Co., which recently expressed interest in purchasing Jeep from FCA.

Marchionne maintained that FCA would be, more or less, a package deal. But he also affirmed there doesn’t need to be a buyout for the company to persist. “It’s incorrect to assume that FCA’s future hinges on doing a deal,” he said.

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  • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Oct 11, 2017

    I'm looking forward for the platform they choose to use. I can't see them develop their own, no time for that. The Lambo Urus is based on the company Q7/Cayenne/Touareg, so the Ferrari will be based on... the Cherokee Trackhawk?

    • Arach Arach on Oct 11, 2017

      Except that Ferrari is not part of FCA.... sooooo..... thats about as likely as being put on a Jaguar SUV platform?

  • NeilM NeilM on Oct 11, 2017

    Talking of unlikely SUV's, I spotted a Bentley Bentayga the other day while in the UK. Seemed kind of Escalade-ish in size, which made it positively massive in European terms. I was about to get into my tiny-by-comparison rental Vauxhall Astra hatchback in a hotel parking lot as it slowly drove by, probably searching for the pair of contiguous spaces it was going to need.

  • MaintenanceCosts We hear endlessly from the usual suspects about the scenarios where EVs don't work as well as gas cars. We never hear the opposite side of the coin. From an EV owner (since 2019) who has a second EV reserved, here are a few points the "I road trip 1000 miles every day" crowd won't tell you about:[list][*]When you have a convenient charging situation, EV fueling is more convenient than a gas car. There is no stopping at gas stations and you start every day with a full tank.[/*][*]Where there are no-idling rules (school pickup/dropoff, lines for ferries or services, city loading, whatever else) you can keep warm or cool to your heart's content in your EV.[/*][*]In the cold, EVs will give you heat from the second you turn them on.[/*][*]EVs don't care one bit if you use them for tons of very short trips. Their mechanicals don't need to boil off condensation. (Just tonight, I used my EV to drive six blocks, because it was 31 degrees and raining, and walking would have been unpleasant.)[/*][*]EVs don't stink and don't make you breathe carcinogens on cold start.[/*][*]EV maintenance is much less frequent and much cheaper, eliminating almost all items having to do with engine, transmission, or brakes in a gas car. In most EVs the maintenance schedule consists of battery coolant changes and tire maintenance.[/*][*]You can accelerate fast in EVs without noisily attracting the attention of the cops and every passerby on the street.[/*][/list]
  • MaintenanceCosts Still can't get a RAV4 Prime for love or money. Availability of normal hybrid RAV4s and Highlanders is only slightly better. At least around here I think Toyota could sell twice the number of vehicles that they are actually bringing in at the moment.
  • Tree Trunk Been in the market for a new Highlander Hybrid, it is sold out with order time of 6 months plus. Probably would have bit the bullet if it was not for the dealers the refuse to take an order but instead want to sell from allotment whether it fits or not and at thousands over MRSP.
  • AKHusky The expense argument is nonsense. My mach e was $42k after tax credit. Basically the same as similarly equipped edge. And it completely ignores that the best selling vehicles are Rams, F150s, and Silverados, all more expensive that a bolt, MAch e or ID4. As an owner, I'd say they are still in second car territory for most places in the country.
  • Johnster I live in a red state and I see quite a few EVs being purchased by conservative, upper-class Republicans (many of them Trump-supporters). I suspect that it is a way for them to flaunt their wealth and that, over time, the preference for EVs will trickle down to less well-off Republicans.
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