After confirming its plans for an SUV model last week, Ferrari Australasia's chief executive, Herbert Appleroth, has reaffirmed that any new Prancing Horse would be “uniquely Ferrari” and best-in-class.
Ferrari global chairman and CEO Sergio Marchionne revealed to journalists in the United States that the Italian carmaker was “beyond just considering an SUV” and currently aiming to face its rivals with what he dubbed an “FUV” (Ferrari utility vehicle).
Mr Marchionne added it would be around two-and-a-half years before the final decision on production is locked in, with the SUV's potential run to be restricted in order to guarantee exclusivity.
Bloomberg reported that Mr Marchionne, who recently denied a Ferrari SUV was planned, told journalists: “We’re dead serious about this.
“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.”
Speaking with journalists following the LaFerrari Aperta reveal at Motorclassica in Melbourne last week, Mr Appleroth avoided questions about his views on a possible Ferrari SUV.
“Our chairman is probably the best person to talk about that model, not myself, so I don’t like to speculate on future models, but he is the best person,” he said. “He has certainly given everyone some information on where he is thinking.”
When questioned if an SUV model would be an appropriate addition to Ferrari's Australian range, Mr Appleroth said any future product would be embraced by the local arm and its customers.
“Look, any new model that enters this market is highly popular, whatever that is,” he said.
“As Enzo always said, he was asked once, ‘What is your favourite Ferrari?’ And he famously quoted, ‘The next one.’ And I think that is the same for us.
“We are just so fortunate to be able to have such an amazing group of engineers and, of course, stakeholders that allow us to invest in those models, and each new Ferrari is the leader in the industry each time.
“So whatever comes we are so proud of, and you know will be uniquely Ferrari and you know will be the best in the industry. Whatever that is.”
Mr Appleroth added that all new Ferrari models were faced with the challenge of balancing exclusivity with sales growth.
“Every new model from Ferrari, it is a fine balance between exclusivity and satisfying the need of our clients,” he said.
“And it all comes down to waiting lists, so again it is a very fine balancing point. Whether it is one year, two years, three years, our clients are very patient. But in return for that they get cars that are obviously very highly valued once on the secondary market.”
The proposed Ferrari SUV would likely go toe-to-toe with the Bentley Bentayga and incoming Lamborghini Urus, as well as the anticipated Aston Martin crossover, which is expected to be based on the DBX concept.
Timing for the prospective Ferrari high-rider is up in the air, but the supercar marque is said to roll out a new five-year plan during the first quarter of next year, with details on its game plan for 2018 to 2022 included.