The world may be feeling the pinch of a weak U.S. economy, the automobile industry perhaps keenest of all, but Lamborghini has found a niche that appears to be almost impervious to the pain. The Italian supercar company has returned record results for both sales and profits for the past 12 months.
Lamborghini sales in the U.S. fell during 2008, but the brand still had a record year worldwide thanks to growing demand in the Middle East, China and Southeast Asia. Lamborghini sold 741 cars in the U.S. last year, down 20.3 percent compared with 2007. Over the same period the company sold a total of 2,430 cars, compared with 2,406 in 2007.
Even as a low volume luxury car manufacturer, Lamborghini is not unaffected by the present downturn in economic activities in the wake of the global financial crisis. However, the company is in a favourable strategic position due to its identity as a luxury brand of longstanding tradition. One of its core brand values is exclusivity, which is maintained through tight management of volumes and a strict policy of maintaining a strong forward order bank.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann was reserved despite the strong performance, saying "there is no brand that is immune to financial crisis, but we always produce less than demand. We are conservative in our forecast."
Winkelmann declined to predict sales for 2009, but told Automotive News that Lamborghini will face sales reductions all over the world. The company will also stick to its strategy of coming out with at least one new product a year and is planning no lay-offs, he said.