'Our strategy is to continue with hybrid vehicles for as long as possible': Stephan Winkelmann
Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini, wants the right portfolio to cater to all parts of the world and hence hybrid becomes a critical lever for its future success.
As premium and sports car makers around the world are accelerating their shift towards meeting net zero goals, sportscar maker Lamborghini sees plug-in hybrid vehicles remaining its core pillar in the coming decade to transition to a zero-emission era.
With a pace of electrification likely to differ from a developed to a developing world, given the small scale of manufacturing, Lamborghini wants to ensure that it has the right portfolio to cater to all parts of the world and hence hybrid becomes a critical lever for future success.
Stephan Winkelmann, the global CEO of Lamborghini says his strategy is to continue with hybrid vehicles for as long as possible, even as the Italian brand gets ready with its first all EV offering by 2028.
"Our strategy is to continue with the hybrid strategy for as long as possible, for the consumer's sports cars on Revuelto and Huracan. As for
the new four-door car, our fourth model, for daily driving needs, we are going to be fully electric by the end of this decade. The emission regulations will make the internal combustion engine more expensive, but we hope to get a clear understanding about the future regulation," said Winkelmann.
When queried if the hybrid powertrain takes away the performance element of Lamborghini sports cars, the CEO clarified that the hybrid engine will be the same if not better. "We have to act globally; therefore, we need a clear direction of the rules and the best we can expect is that the rules are harmonised. Electrification adoption is going to vary, hence there is a need for a harmonised approach worldwide. What we are promising our customers, whatever is going to happen, the car is going to be high performance even with hybrids," he added.
India can sell 100 Lamborghinis in a year
The demand for Italian sports cars in India has been very strong, for almost half of the year in 2022, the cars were sold out for the year. The strong momentum has continued in 2023 too. The company posted a growth of 33 percent in 2022, selling over 90 cars and Winkelmann says that selling 100 cars in India will not be an issue.
Winkelmann stated that their aim was to achieve steady growth in the market. “This is not our aim, to tick a box, but achieve steady and sustainable growth in the market, and India is a huge market. It has huge potential, I don’t see a problem in selling 100 cars,” he said.
Lamborghini is globally likely to cross the 10,000 units
With models like the Huracan and Aventador, Lamborghini was catering to a narrow set of customers, however it took a strategic call to come with Urus Super Sports Utility Vehicle which helped the brand to expand its customers, with the addition of fourth model by 2028, it aims to further reach a newer set of buyers.
"There are more and more people in the world, who have money at a much younger age, hence we feel there is a need to add a fourth model. Having said that, we will never flood the market. We will never do something which is growing beyond our expectations, Urus was the right move to protect the investments of the company in the future. There has to be a balance between value of the brand and visibility of the growth and we will always take care of this,” explained WInklemann.
In the Indian market too, the super sports car market priced above Rs 2.5 crore, took off with the introduction of SUVs like Urus. For the Indian operations, Urus accounts for more than 50 percent of the company's total sales and brought in a lot of first-time buyers for the brand, which otherwise would have moved to brands like Rolls-Royce and Bentley.
This feature was first published in Autocar Professional's August 15, 2023 issue.
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