Although reports from elsewhere that Ferrari sales are OK, Lamborghini doesn\’t seem to be as lucky in weathering the current economic downturn. 2008 was actually a record year for the Bologna based super-car builder, but only three short months into 09, and things aren\’t looking so good.
At the Geneva Motor Show this past Wednesday, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann confirmed that his company has started to receive a significant number of order cancellations.
This is not surprising, but it also runs counter to a thesis that Ferrari, and others, have concerning the market for a limited number of sometimes very highly priced goods. To wit, \’there will always be four or five thousand very rich people out there that will be interested in purchasing XXX from a company like ours.\’ This could be limited edition crystal sculptures, runway fashions, or, in the gearhead\’s case, things like new Lamborghinis.
Stephan Winkelmann disagrees. “I always said there is no immunity for luxury brands. It was only a matter of time.” the Lamborghini CEO said. We only have sales figures through February, but in the first two months of 2009 the luxury market were down 40%. “We\’re not there, but close,” Winkelmann said referencing that latest market data.
And that is pretty damn sobering. 40% is a HUGE drop, especially in only 60 days. Imagine what you would be thinking if your pay was cut by that amount. That\’s what people like Stephan Winkelmann and other boardroom dwellers and dealing with this month.
Winkelmann also said that the company\’s main concern is to stay profitable, but not at the expense of who they are. Rather than introduce cheaper models to boost sales numbers Winkelmann said that at Lamborghini \”it\’s about keeping the brand pure, not having it diluted.\”
Lamborghini has already received 100 orders for the new $450,000 Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce revealed at the Geneva Motor Show, which is limited to a production run of only 350 units, so that\’s not bad, but it\’s also pretty easy to predict that the 250 remaining might not fly off the shelves, so to speak.