The launch of the Lamborghini Urus super-SUV has opened a new chapter for the Italian sportscar maker, and will attract a new set of customers buying into the iconic brand for the first time. With the addition of the Urus to its portfolio, Lamborghini is set to scale new heights in terms of sales, which have already touched a record 3,815 cars in 2017 – a 10 percent increase over 2016. With the arrival of the Urus, Lamborghini expects to double sales to 7,500 cars in two years. And to cater to this huge jump in demand, the production facilities and assembly line at the Lamborghini factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese have been expanded.
“The brand is growing all around the world and getting younger and younger. Lamborghini is an incredibly cool brand for the young generation and we are now heading into a new segment with the Urus – another car in our portfolio with the same Lamborghni DNA. The response has been fantastic and we have a great opportunity to be in a new market where it was not possible to be with our normal supercars,” says Stefano Domenicali , chairman and chief executive officer of Automobili Lamborghini.
The carmaker says that 65 percent of the Urus order bank consists of first-time Lamborghini buyers, and the percentage in India could be even higher. The all-weather and all-road capability of the Urus is what is largely driving the new demand. According to Lamborghini, this is especially true in countries like Russia with its long winters, and India where road conditions are poor, which greatly limit usage for Huracán and Aventador owners. “There are three major things that affect our demand. One is the infrastructure situation, second is seasonality, and then, of course, social acceptance of these models in the society,” Domenicali adds .
It is for these reasons that Domenicali is particularly excited about the Urus. “India is one market where there is great potential for our brand to grow. With our super-sportscar we have limitations of the road infrastructure, but with this car you don’t have to worry,” he says.
Lamborghini sold a modest 26 cars in India in 2017, which is an insignificant 0.7 percent of global sales. But, with the Urus, that number is set to grow exponentially.
“With the Urus we will double our numbers even with deliveries starting later in the year in Q4. The full effect will be in 2019 and I’m expecting, honestly, that doubling the sales figures is a conservative estimate. I would push for three times, because the feedback in India points to even higher sales. I’m pretty sure about it,” says an optimistic Domenicali .
He doesn’t think that the eye-watering peak customs duty of over 211 percent in India is the biggest deterrent to demand. “Taxation all around the world is something that we need to take care of. But if you do the right product, believe me, people will buy. For example with the Urus, without even knowing the price, customers have put in orders.”
However, with such a huge jump in volumes Domenicali admits that it could impact the exclusivity of the Lamborghini brand. “There is a trade-off between exclusivity and growth; that is the part that we need to manage, because if we lose that exclusivity value, there will be a problem. So our strategy is to grow with new models and new markets and keep the same level of exclusivity.”
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