Marchionne Confirms Ferrari SUV, Denies Jeep Sale

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

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.

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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3 of 28 comments
  • 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.

  • Pig_Iron 💝
  • Geozinger Put in the veggie garden (Western Michigan, we still can get frost this late in the year) finished the remainder of the landscaping updates and hand washed both my beater Pontiac and the Town and Country! Going to the beach today...
  • Rochester I wouldn't obsess over the rate of change, it's happening whether we want it or not.
  • EBFlex At the summer property putting boats in the water, leveling boat lifts, cleaning the lots for summer, etc. Typical cabin stuff in the most beautiful place on the planet
  • Lou_BC I've I spent the past few days in what we refer to as "the lower mainland". I see Tesla's everywhere and virtually every other brand of EV. I was in downtown Vancouver along side a Rivian R1T. A Rivian R1S came off as side street and was following it. I saw one other R1S. 18% of new vehicles in BC are EV'S. It tends to match what I saw out my windshield. I only saw 2 fullsized pickups. One was a cool '91 3/4 ton regular cab. I ran across 2 Tacoma's. Not many Jeeps. There were plenty of Porches, Mercedes, and BMW's. I saw 2 Aston Martin DBX707's. It's been fun car watching other than the stress of driving in big city urban traffic. I'd rather dodge 146,000 pound 9 axle logging trucks on one lane roads.