Times change and only those who anticipate it and adapt are set to become key players in the future. This is very evident in the car industry, which despite keeping its original basis intact for more than a century, it is now facing big challenges. New mobility concepts, more energy sources and even the ownership idea are all set to change in the coming 10 years. This could be the very first real revolution in the automotive industry.
Yet all current car makers are ready to face these challenging times, not all of them are keen to do so. The electric powertrain for instance is a must for a prestigious company like Porsche, but it’s certainly not part of its list wish and definitely not part of its combustion-engine core business. It is hard to see a full electric sporty Porsche producing no sound in the roads. But it is happening now and nothing will stop this trend.
Ferrari faces the same dilemma, but unlike Porsche it has another issue to resolve. It was originally a matter of life or death as Marchionne said in early 2016 “I rather be shot than produce a Ferrari crossover”. There was no room for anything different than sporty cars in Ferrari’s offering. But times change, and now the FUV, Ferrari Utility Vehicle is closer to reality than a mere idea. It seemed that was indeed shot as he’s now “dead serious” about making a SUV in Ferrari’s own way. The final decision hasn’t been taken yet, but it is inevitable.
Why so much debate about a Ferrari SUV? the company is the world’s most famous car maker, its stock price has more than doubled since it started to be traded, and its cars waiting lists can last more than one year. Ferrari earned almost €69.000/shipment in Q3 2017, up by 21% comparing to the same period of last year. It has the privilege to improve its product mix, and revenue/shipment has grown by 8% during the first three quarters of this year. Il Cavallino earns more money than any other car maker selling SUVs. So why should it need to consider this kind of car?
The right question should be: “why shouldn’t?”. Any car using Ferrari’s logo will not only respect the brand’s tradition and soul, but it will also sell well. If there’s one trend driving the change and generating profits is the SUVs. They are responsible for the recovery of the European market, and the double-digit growth in China. USA adores them and they have also become the right car for the tough driving conditions in the developing countries. They are not a matter of mainstream brands only, as the three German premiums, Porsche, Volvo, Jaguar, Alfa Romeo, and even Maserati and Bentley have joined this party too. The first SUV of Lamborghini is due to be presented in the next 8 months.
A Ferrari SUV is the best way to increase volumes, revenue and of course profits. If millionaires around the world get crazy for a two-seats Ferrari, why wouldn’t they drive a sexy SUV? At the end, SUV stands for “SPORT-Utility-Vehicle”, so the sporty soul would remain. The issue here would be the second word, “Utility”, which is certainly far from what Ferrari has built during its 70 years of glorious history. Any decision must take into account the possible effects a SUV could have on the company’s image, because that’s its main asset. How to conciliate that with growth? a FUV? it is not clear how, but it is inevitable to see a Ferrari SUV in the coming years.