Ferrari considering SUV model to help double profits

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Ferrari considering SUV model to help double profits

Ferrari CEO Sergio Marchionne after the presentation of the new LaFerrari hybrid vehicle on the Ferrari stand during the first media day of the 83rd Geneva auto Show at the Palexpo Arena in Geneva March 5, 2013.

So we must assume the clever chaps designing flaws out of embryos have been practicing on Ferrari's DNA first, because it seems Sergio has had a change of heart.

The last time the words Ferrari and SUV were put together, it was met with rejection from the Italian automaker. Details of the new strategy will be unveiled next year.

A number of sources close to the matter told Automotive News the controversial vehicle is being referred to internally as the "Ferrari Utility Vehicle". Whatever the motivation, Ferrari is determined to disrupt the SUV market.

The project, described as a four-seat family vehicle offering more cabin room than the GTC4Lusso - categorically, Ferrari's largest model - is apparently being evaluated.

The big Ferrari would be targeted at Asian customers, particularly in China, and may alone contribute 2,000 vehicles to annual deliveries, the people said.

"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. Part of the plan includes taking the company beyond their self-imposed 10,000 vehicles per year limit, which allowed Ferrari to operate with less strict fuel-economy rules.

"It has not been done to compete with Porsche", Marchionne said. But the fact that he's talking about it in the open-especially during a conference call for investors, who would presumably be quite interested in the jump in profits such a vehicle would be likely to bring- suggests the carmaker might well have already made a decision. Given that more stringent environmental regulations would occur under the new plan, Ferrari also plans to add more hybrid models in their lineups. He intends to step down from Fiat in 2019 and Ferrari two years later.

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