Would you welcome a V6 entry-level sports car into the Ferrari family?
For years, Ferrari has been deliberating about whether to build a successor to the timeless mid-engined Dino sports car. When Ferrari appointed FCA boss Sergio Marchionne as CEO a couple of years ago, a new V6 model in the vein of the original Dino seemed all but certain to happen, but the automaker has been silent about the prospect of building a new entry-level sports car ever since. According to Automotive News, opinions about the viability of a modern-day Dino still seem to be divided at Ferrari.
Marchionne revealed that there are split views within Ferrari's management on whether to bring back the Dino, as not everyone is convinced it would be a good move. During a call with analysists discussing the automaker's second-quarter financial results, Marchionne said that the idea has been "kicked around," but fears it could damage the brand's image, arguing that launching a model cheaper than the current entry-level Ferrari California T would dilute the manufacturer's exclusivity. He also argued that Ferrari doesn't need to introduce a cheaper model to attract younger buyers because the company already enjoys a "phenomenally young" customer base in Asia.
We need to explore ways to attract customers to traditional values of the brand such as style, performance and engine sound before downgrading the entry level price for the brand," Marchionne said. Analysts were surprised that Marchionne appeared to dismiss reviving the Dino after resurrecting the idea when he was made Chairman in 2015. However, Ferrari insiders believe there is a market for a modern-day Dino positioned below the California T. Prices would start from around 150,000 Euros in Italy, which would be around 20 percent below Ferrari's current cheapest model, the California T.
A final decision about whether to revive the Dino will be made in the first quarter of 2018 during an investor day where the company will discuss its next-five year plan. It also seems likely that we'll learn more about Ferrari's "utility vehicle" rumored to arrive in 2021 to infiltrate the luxury SUV market in order to compete with the likes of the Lamborghini Urus and Rolls-Royce Cullinan. Marchionne recently said that a Ferrari SUV "will probably happen" - despite previous previously commenting that "he would rather be shot" than make an SUV. You can already imagine the backlash Ferrari will receive if it decides to priotizie the SUV over the new Dino.