Last year was Lamborghini’s most successful year on record but even it cannot escape the effects of the world economic crisis. Lamborghini sales are down more than 30% for the first five months of the year and the company is expecting things to stay this way until at least 2011.

While the news may sound grim, the outcome is somewhat beneficial for Lamborghini’s customers. Thanks to the recession, those who can still afford a Lamborghini will not have to wait as long for delivery compared to just a few months ago. Speaking with the Financial Times, Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said the company will be cutting its delivery time in half. In essence, buyers who once had to wait up to a year to receive their new cars will now only have to wait six months.

"We always have to sell less than demand," Winkelmann told reporters. However, he admitted that the recession was hitting the luxury sector hard, particularly in its key U.S. market where realtors and private bankers have become "a lost slice".

In a previous interview, Winkelmann revealed that Lamborghini does not see a market recovery until 2011 although he expects the company to remain profitable and investments to continue as scheduled. Importantly, Lamborghini intends to stick to its commitment of announcing at least one new product each year, an approach already seen in the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder and the Murcielago LP 670-4 Superveloce in recent times.

Closest rival Ferrari, which is experiencing a 10% decline sales, intends to maintain its one year waiting list.