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Urus to start Lamborghini sales stampede
Women, families and a doubling of sales predicted as Lamborghini readies Urus
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18 Apr 2018
By NEIL DOWLING
LAMBORGHINI says it will overtake the sales of arch-rival Ferrari in Australia following the launch of its Urus SUV, with the raging bull brand actively targeting more women buyers and a doubling of profits with its latest offering.
The Urus, the Italian’s supercar-maker’s second SUV (the first was the LM002 of 1986-1993) and the first to have a boot and a turbocharged engine, is expected to double brand sales in its first full year of 2019, which means Australian deliveries of more than 100 vehicles. The order book for 2018 is already full.
Combined with the sales of the existing sportscars – the Huracan and Aventador – Lamborghini area manager for Oceania Andrea Ruggiero said that the company would, for the first time, exceed the sales of Ferrari in Australia.
Lamborghini sold 122 cars in 2017 in Australia compared with Ferrari’s 210. The addition of the $390,000 (excluding on-road costs) Urus and its expected sales are likely to push it past Ferrari.
But Mr Ruggiero said the comparison was not equal as Ferrari did not yet offer a higher-volume SUV model, although Ferrari boss Sergio Marchionne confirmed last year that such a model was in development.
Mr Ruggiero said he believed that the undercurrent of competition between Lamborghini and Ferrari, brewing since their respective owners bantered in the 1960s, was good for the product and good for Italy.
He said there was a signal of pride in Italian car-making, spurred more recently by the Alfa Romeo Giulia and that company’s decision to remain Italian made, and then followed by the new models from Ferrari and now the country’s first sports-luxury SUV, the Lamborghini Urus.
The expected sales boost provided by Urus was not expected to lead to an increase in national dealers, although some may have to expand their floorspace.
Mr Ruggiero said the average Lamborghini customer spent up to 20 per cent more of the value of the vehicle on options, one of the highest in the industry.
This figure is based on the current products.
Lamborghini, fully owned by Volkswagen Group’s Audi, had estimated revenue in 2017 of more than $A1 billion and profit of about $A20 million, paling in comparison to Ferrari’s $A5.4 billion revenue and $A850 million net profit in 2017.
Mr Ruggiero would not comment on the higher profit margins expected from Urus but he indicated it was a model that would be less complex to manufacture.
Lamborghini, which had a record output in 2017 of 3815 cars, makes an estimated $A5000 profit on each Huracan or Aventador car sold. (Porsche makes a profit of about $25,000 per car).
Mr Ruggiero said that there were already indications that the Urus, with components sourced from Germany (it shares most of the drivetrain with the Porsche Cayenne Turbo and Porsche Panamera Turbo and has a platform from the Audi Q7 and Cayenne) could increase the profitability per vehicle above the current level.
He said sales for Australia were very strong with the brand holding more than 10 per cent of the segment – regarded by Mr Ruggiero as the premium luxury-sports category occupied by Ferrari, McLaren and others – in which it competes.
Orders for the Urus now exceed the quota for 2018. Mr Ruggiero indicated that this was 40-50 cars. He said 2019 could bring 100 sales – though he is expecting more – with up to 75 per cent of buyers being new to the brand.
“There are signs that people who own a Lamborghini are trading in their sportscars for the Urus,” he said.
“We have noticed, globally, that much more women are buyers. I do not have the figures but it is significantly better than the less than five per cent of women who now own a sportscar model.
“Urus has become a car for the family, so that’s one of the reasons it is being considered by women.
“For this reason, Lamborghini is actively involved in activities with women inviting them to share in events so they can experience the brand. It has become an increasing focus for us.”
To cope with expected demand for Urus, the factory near Modena in Italy’s north is being doubled in size to 150,000 square metres and staff numbers have almost doubled in the past five years to 1600 employees.
The Italian government has partially financially supported Lamborghini’s expansion stating it was beneficial to the country, employed more people and sent a positive message of the nation’s ability to produce leading-edge products.
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