Ferrari considering SUV model to help double profits

Bloomberg reports that Sergio Marchionne said that a Ferrari SUV would "probably happen" in a conference call Wednesday.

Under the plan, which is likely to be unveiled in early 2018 and could expose the carmaker to stricter environmental regulations, Ferrari will also build more hybrid models to improve its vehicles' efficiency and woo new wealthy buyers, the people said. "However, we are thinking of doing so as FCA, and if we will enter, with one of the brands from the group, we do not know which one it will be right now".

"There is a risk that an SUV could dilute the Ferrari brand", Richard Hilgert, an analyst at Morningstar Inc., said in an email.

Sources cited by the Bloomberg news agency have suggested that the "Ferrari Utility Vehicle" could form part of a new five-year-plan created to boost sales beyond Ferrari's current self-imposed limit of 10,000 cars per year. He stressed that someone will "have to shoot (him) first" if Ferrari's first SUV competes against the likes of Porsche, before making one very important final point: The automaker's board has yet to officially decide on whether it will be building any kind of sports utility vehicle as part of its new five-year plan.

Producing beyond 10,000 vehicles yearly might be OK though, given Ferrari's plans to make its SUV completely unlike others in the segment. Whatever the motivation, Ferrari is determined to disrupt the SUV market.

"There are more people that would buy non-extreme versions of Ferrari than those that will buy extreme versions", he said, adding this move did not mean compromising on price. "That space is too big and too inviting and we have a lot of our customers who will be more than willing to drive a Ferrari-branded vehicle that has that king of utilitarian objective". Instating this plan would breach the storied Italian supercar maker's self-imposed limit of delivering 10,000 cars yearly, an idea thought to potentially diminish the exclusivity and value of Ferrari vehicles. He intends to step down from Fiat in 2019 and Ferrari two years later.