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Ferrari will expand its range of road cars, but not too much

FILE PHOTO: FCA Chairman John Elkann seen before an event at Bocconi University in Milan, Italy on May 27, 2019. REUTERS / Alessandro Garofalo

PEBBLE BEACH, California (Reuters) ̵

1; Italian premium car manufacturer Ferrari NV ( RACE.MI ) will increase sales of easier driving of large cars, but will not try to chase rival Porsche's annual sales volume, Ferrari chairman John Elkann told an audience of classic car enthusiasts gathered at this large golf course on the Pacific Coast.

Elkann also reiterated that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV ( FCHA.MI ), of which he is chairman, is still open to opportunities to combine with other car manufacturers, but is positioned to remain independent. In May, Fiat Chrysler proposed a merger with French carmaker Renault SA, but the deal collapsed after the French government intervened and Elkann withdrew the proposed merger.

Fiat Chrysler Managing Director Mike Manley sent the same message to Renault and other partners that would be earlier this month.

Elkann visited Pebble Beach during the annual Concours d’Elegance, where wealthy collectors provide some of the world's rare vintage cars to be admired – and sold – and premium manufacturers showcase exotic new models.

Ferrari is best known for flashy, high performance sports cars. Among fans of vintage Ferraris, more discreet GT, or grand tournaments, cars from the 1960s, some with space for four people, are among the most popular models on auction blocks and at enthusiast events. GT cars were designed to be comfortable for longer road trips.

Elkann suggested that Ferrari will unveil a new GT type car in November. Ferrari has previously said that about 40% of its total sales could come from GT cars in 2022, up from 32% now.

Ferrari has planned to increase revenue to € 5 billion ($ 5.54 billion) in 2022 from € 3.4 billion in 2017. The company has said it plans to add a model called Purosangue to compete with a growing stalls of sports cars wearing premium car brands, such as the Lamborghini Urus.

Rival Porsche AG [PSCH.UL] a unit of Volkswagen AG ( VOWG_p.DE ), has increased its sales to more than 250,000 sports cars and sports vehicles annually. Elkann said Ferrari is not aiming for Porsche's sales level.

($ 1 = 0.9018 euros)

Reporting by Joe White; editing by Diane Craft

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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