Published on August 28th, 2016 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Lamborghini prepares its SUV
Lamborghini expects to at least double production to 7,000 vehicles a year by 2019 once it rolls out its new SUV, but it will not lose its focus on making sports cars, CEO Stefano Domenicali said. Domenicali said the company plans to cap yearly production of its supercars at 3,500. He also expects SUV production will be at least as high but could be higher depending on demand.
Lamborghini is owned by Volkswagen Group through its Audi unit. The new vehicle will be produced in Sant’Agata Bolognese and will herald additional growth and significant opportunities across the marque with the expansion of the product range. It will also determine a substantial increase in the production capacity of the factory. Over the lifecycle of the new vehicle the company will invest hundreds of millions of Euros.
The project will be realized due to the joint commitment of several parties involved, including Volkswagen Group with AUDI AG as Lamborghini shareholder, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Invitalia (Italian national agency for inward investments and economic development), Emilia Romagna Region, the Union Representatives and the entire Automobili Lamborghini team.
Automobili Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann declares: “This is a proud moment for everybody in Lamborghini. The introduction of a third model line endorses the stable and sustainable growth of the company and signifies for us the beginning of a new era.”
He adds: “The new SUV will be made in Sant’Agata Bolognese, demonstrating our commitment to safeguarding the values of ‘Made in Italy’ worldwide.”
Lamborghini plans to boost its worldwide dealer network to 160 from 132 now.
About 30 percent of its dealers and sales are in the U.S., its largest market. Lamborghini sold a record 3,245 vehicles worldwide in 2015, including just over 1,000 in the U.S. “We will not, clearly, give up on our DNA, which is to produce super sports cars,” he said.
Lamborghini is adding 500 employees and doubling the size of its Sant’Agata Bolognese plant as part of an investment worth hundreds of millions of euros announced in 2015.
Lamborghini is joining several luxury carmakers that have entered the profitable SUV market, including VW’s Porsche and Bentley units.
Production of the new Lamborghini SUV in Sant’Agata Bolognese will see significant development of the factory site, increasing from the current 80,000 square meters to an area covering ca. 150,000 square meters. The project will include the construction of new facilities, such as a new production line, warehousing and enlargement of the R&D department. The addition of a third model line will also provide important opportunities for the supplier network in Italy and internationally, and have a strong impact on human resources: Lamborghini intends to hire 500 new employees.
Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management Audi AG states: “Lamborghini, Italdesign Giugiaro and Ducati have developed very successfully under Audi parentage, and kept their Italian identity. With the decision to produce the Lamborghini SUV in Sant’ Agata Bolognese we have proven once more our commitment to Italy as an important automotive industrial nation.”
Luca de Meo, Board Member for Sales and Marketing Audi AG underlines: “Lamborghini is today one of the world’s most exclusive brands. We at Audi are very proud of all our Italian subsidiaries. I am delighted at this outcome for both Lamborghini and Italy, and thank the Italian government for their collaboration in helping to make this possible.”
Lamborghini plans a plug-in hybrid electric version of the SUV by 2020, and could add an electric version. Under the bonnet of the Lamborghini Urus will probably be a 584 hp turbocharged 5.2 Liter V-10 engine by Audi that contains motor unit together with plug-in functionality. The actual engine consists of the power with supplying up to 600 HP along with 700 pounds-feet of torque. The real engine of Lamborghini Urus 2017 will probably be a lot lighter in weight compared to new SUVs.
A luxury SUV sees Lamborghini challenging an unexploited, fast-growing and fascinating car segment, and expanding its clientele significantly. These will include Lamborghini super sports car customers who to date have driven SUV models from other brands, as well as families and customers new to the Lamborghini marque. Distribution of volumes will be well balanced among the three major sales regions: EMEA, the Americas and Asia Pacific. Target markets will be primarily the USA, China, the Middle East, United Kingdom, Germany and Russia. The annual volumes will be around 3,000 vehicles and will double the company’s current sales performance.