Lambo’s war on the SUV
Lamborghini lovers would scream for blood if the Italians weakened, writesMARKHINCHLIFFE
THE SUV is dead, long live the fourwheel-drive — that’s Lamborghini’s take on the global trend. Automobili Lamborghini president and CEO Stephan Winklemann dismisses the moves of competitors such as Porsche with its Cayenne and now Aston Martin, which will rebirth the Lagonda name as an SUV.
Winklemann says the future for super sports companies such as the Italian firebrand is with four-wheel-drive sports cars, not four-wheeldrive Toorak tractors.
‘‘SUV has no future any more,’’ he says. ‘‘We would be killed by the public if we did an SUV.
‘‘It might work in Russia, but not anywhere else. For us, four-wheel-drive sports cars are important as a unique selling point.’’
However, the company is embracing the trend among super luxury sports car companies to add two more doors.
Porsche this year will launch the Panamera, Aston Martin plans to release a four-door Rapide and Lamborghini has launched its Estoque (pronounced ‘‘Ess-tock’’) concept.
But Winklemann is cautious about adding to the two-door Gallardo and Murcielago coupes and convertibles.
Even though he admits product diversification is a key element of Lamborghini’s business strategy, he says the time is not right to launch the Estoque.
‘‘We have the youngest and widest product range for years and want to keep it that way with at least one new product every year,’ Winklemann says at the launch in the Canary Islands of the Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder convertible.
‘‘The Spyder is the most important car in terms of volume for years to come,’’ he says.
‘‘For the moment we will stick with our two-car strategy. There is little doubt that it (the Estoque) would double the sales volume for Lamborghini. However, in this economic situation, going to three models would be something that would double our efforts and not necessarily double our profits.
This year, Lamborghini will also launch a limited edition of the 50 Murcielago LP 670-4 Super Veloces.