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Ferrari revving up to go hybrid

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The new La Ferrari hybrid model car is displayed in a world premiere at the Geneva motor show on March 5, 2013. AFP

Ferrari revving up to go hybrid

Most of the cars made by Ferrari will be hybrid petrol-electric by 2022, the Italian sports car manufacturer said on Tuesday, including its first SUV.

“By 2022, nearly 60 per cent of the models we produce will be built around hybrid powertrains,” new CEO Louis Camilleri said at the company’s Maranello headquarters.

The company known for its low-slung aerodynamic sports cars will also launch its first SUV – Purosangue – after the end of the current business plan in 2022.

Gas-guzzling Ferraris are faced with more and more anti-emission regulations around the world, as well as increasingly environmentally-aware would-be owners.

The company will increasingly make hybrid cars “as the years unfold to meet specific regulatory requirements but also to satisfy customer desires for significantly improved emissions while retaining the driving emotions that render Ferraris simply unique,” he said.

Ferrari has been making the limited-edition hybrid LaFerrari for several years, which it has described as offering the most extreme performance ever achieved by one of its production cars.

Ferrari stock tumbled 8 percent in August as investors wondered if the company could stay on track for its profit targets after the death of historic boss Sergio Marchionne.

Ferrari announced an adjusted EBITDA – or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation – of €1.8-2 billion ($2.1-$2.3 billion) for 2022, down slightly from the 2 billion euros forecast by Marchionne.

“Even if it’s difficult, we are confident that it is doable, this is an ambitious plan but feasible,” Camillieri said.

The plan hopes to raise turnover from 3.4 billion euros in 2017 to 5 billion in 2022, notably through the introduction of new cars.

‘Worthy of Ferrari badge’

The single-seater Monza SP1 and twin-seater SP2 are the first limited-edition cars in the “Icona” segment for “dedicated clients and collectors,” the company said, based on classic designs from the 1940s and 1950s.

Announcing the SUV, former Philip Morris boss Camilleri said he initially abhorred the idea.

“It just does not sit well with our brand and all that it represents,” he admitted, but insisted that the new design will “redefine expectations”.

It will be “elegant, powerful, versatile, comfortable, spacious . . . in all respects worthy of the Ferrari badge,” he said.

Marchionne had announced a Sport Utility Vehicle in January, a four-wheel-drive urban luxury car for the end of 2019 or early 2020.

He insisted on calling the new vehicle a “Ferrari Utility Vehicle” or FUV.

Ferrari faces the challenge of increasing profits while not ramping up production, which could decrease the brand’s exclusive allure. The company will launch 15 new models by 2022, chief marketing officer Enrico Galliera announced, with a “significant” increase in the average price.

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