The wait is over, here is the core part of my interview to Stephan Winkelmann, CEO and President of the luxurious super car brand Lamborghini. I had the pleasure to go to St. Agata Bolognese and visit their headquarters, meet the staff and marketing team and interview Mr Winkelmann about the markets, the new and very awaited SUV, the strategy of Lamboghini and its take on strategy.

Lamborghini has experienced an incredible growth in the past couple of years, despite the crisis, the luxury car brand keeps achieving outstanding results, being feared in popular culture and rap songs, as a simple of “making it to the top”.

Stephan Winkelmann shared with CHICoverdose in collaboration with Bilan magazine for this interview his secrets to success and dream selling. But not only extreme luxury and raging bulls, Stephan also shared with me his plans in terms of CO2 emissions and sustainability.

He said he doesn’t look at competition, what rally matters to him is design and performance for their own customers.

We wish him and Lamborghini very good luck to continue selling uncompromising , extreme, Italian and extraordinary dreams.

lamborghini st agata bolognese lamborghini stephan winkelmann

Here is the text version of interview:

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– Today we are here, in St. Agata Bolognese, the building of Lamborghini and the headquarters, where Ferruccio Lamborghini founded this luxuries and very successful car brand. And we are here, interviewing we have the honor to Stephan Winkelmann. Thank you for a receiving us, it’s a honor to be here.

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– Its my pleasure.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– Lamborghini is a massive success internationally. From 2011 to 2012 you guess experience of 30% growth globally and you sold around 2080 cars. How do you explain us this success?

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– There are 2 main drivers for the success. The first one is, of sure, Aventador. It’s a new car we launched in 2011 and we had full capacity running in 2012 and it was the biggest success that we had ever expected. And the second one is that we are regionally equally distributed on the 3 major regions: America, Europe and Asia Pacific. And, by the way, we are selling more than 70% of our cars outside the European markets. So this means that even if Europe is down we have still the opportunity to offset these in the other market. And this is happening in 2012. And so we get enough.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– We would like to know about Asia more. How do you strategies to sell in Asia in the future. Is it a market that is growing for you or is it more stable?

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– But Asia is a huge market for us, China is the second most important market after the USA, Japan is very strategic for us, Hong Kong, Singapore – a big market, important market for us, in time being it is stable because the Chinese market is going down, at least for the super sport cars less important than in last years. I think this is going to change again, and the others in the region are balancing this weakness of China. So, in time being we are not planning to increase our production but to stay stable. And this is for the year 2013.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– Yes, despite the strong sells in 2012, you guys, have experience some problems during the crisis in the previous years too. How do you meet again this risk in the extreme luxury sector?

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– For sure we have to look at the long term and to have to continue to invest even if the time set up and its clear that we always said that even the luxury sector is not a new to crisis. And in 2008-2009 the market went down by more than 40% the luxury market, and this was a deep cut also for Lamborghini. But we continue to invest and this was good, because if you buy a Lamborghini, you want to purchase a dream car, something which is not mend to drive from A to B on the daily base. So if you fail to continue to build dreams, in other words, if you stop investing, even if the market is coming back, you will not get back on it. We did it and this why also we negotiate today.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– This is risk taking and dream selling, but you guys also take a look at sustainability, you have declared you’re looking in the next years to cuts emissions. Do you think that hybrid cars could actually put in risk your masculinity of the brand and testosterone of the region bowl?

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– We have two targets. The first one is to reduce the emissions in the cars and we are doing it step by step and year by year, and we are on a good track.
The second one is by 2015 we want to have a zero balance in terms of emissions in our plant in St. Agata Bolognese. And if we speaking about hybrids, it’s clear that today we are still working with naturally aspirated engine, because this are the ones we still believe are the best for a brand like ours. The future can be to effective that we are also looking for a hybrid or for a third model as an SUV, the hybrid could be a solution if we step at the SUV market.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– Exactly the SUV market. I’ve made a question on social in Facebook asking “If you were to interview the CEO of Lamborghini, what would be a question that arises?” Everybody is asking about the SUV. We want to know when it will come in the market.

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– The reason why we are stepping in to the SUV market is a multiple one. The first one is that is an equal distribution in the market of SUV’s, globally it’s a rising segment, it’s a most emotional segment. And Lamborghini has a history in not only building super sport cars like Countach and Aventador and Gallardo, but also in different cars like GT-cars and we are also the first in time being and the only one to have a luxury SUV what is called LMOO2.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– Amazing! So it’s a way to meet again the risk but by remaining in the luxury sector?

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– But you know, we were always do the super sport cars in the segment. So, even if we do an SUV it would be a super sport car in the segment. And this is clear that it is an opportunity for the brand. And this is the reason why we are looking forward.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– And this is a strategy that you use against your competitor?

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– When we think about a future, we don’t think about the competitors, we think about ourselves. We always want to be recognized and there are 2 main drivers for a super sport car brand, which is design and performance. So, for example, we have 3 main drivers for the design. The design has always to be revolutionary, the design has always to be in terms of form full of function and it has also to be recognizable as a Lamborghini. So these are all things, which are not easy to achieve for designers, but it’s a key. For performance it was a lot about top speed, top speed and top speed in the past. Now it’s much more about handling. So you have to be in the right position to change and to be ahead of all the others and this is a key. So we are not looking at our competitors, we are looking at what we are think is the right solution for our customers.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– I wish you good luck to sell extraordinary dreams.

 

Stephan Winkelmann:
– Thank you.

 

Xenia Tchoumitcheva:
– Thank you very much.

 

luxury lamborghini xenia tchoumitcheva

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CHICoverdose
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