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That isn't to say that I don't understand what's causing the fear. When profitability becomes a higher priority for a brand that's historically relied on exclusivity to keep its products in the highest echelons of desirability, there's a high potential for internal philosophical conflict.
And then there are concerns about the sorts of products that Ferrari might develop that aren't the high-performance sports cars that the brand is known for. But individuals with those apprehensions seem to forget that Ferrari has already lent its name to a multitude of things that are not LaFerraris, 488 GTBs, or F12 Berlinettas, including clothing, headphones, and even laptops. But let's assume for a moment that the core anxiety is about future vehicles – including the unspeakable notion that Ferrari might develop an SUV.
I think it's likely that Ferrari will put engineers to task creating some sort of crossover or high-rolling cruiser with room for the whole family at some point in the near future. And why wouldn't it, after seeing how incredibly successful that endeavor has been for Porsche? After all, the Cayenne accounted for more US sales in 2013 than the Boxster, Cayman, 911, and 918 combined, and it only gave up about a thousand units of sales last year to make room for the Macan crossover, the latter of which Porsche sold nearly as many of as it did Boxsters and Caymans. People want these vehicles, and they're willing to pay quite a bit of money for them.
Why wouldn't Ferrari build an SUV, especially after seeing how incredibly successful that endeavor has been for Porsche?
If we use Porsche's recent trajectory as a foreshadowing metric for what's in store for Ferrari, the future actually looks pretty good. After all, those SUV sales keep plenty of cash in Porsche's coffers for the low-volume projects that we enthusiasts love, like the 918 Spyder and the 911 GT3 RS.
But what of the alternative – a fiercely independent supercar company that creates highly exclusive, wholly bespoke vehicles? Those sorts of car companies don't really exist anymore because they simply don't make fiscal sense. Lamborghini borrows tooling from Audi – much to its benefit – while even Aston Martin has revived the Lagonda sedan and has forged a partnership with Mercedes-Benz to provide technical and mechanical bits that would be otherwise prohibitively expensive for Aston to develop on its own. McLaren might be one of the few remaining holdouts, but it's worth noting that it has essentially one platform (albeit a very good one) that it's been working from since the MP4-12C.
If Ferrari's IPO results in a company with a widened scope of products, I wholly welcome it. While brand rarity might have some sort of intangible value, I'd consider myself a pragmatist. And as such, if a publicly traded Ferrari will have the financial backing to develop more sports cars that continue to champion the things we love about the brand, I really can't see a legitimate downside. Bring on the Ferrari SUV.