Big Interview: Lamborghini bets big in India
Interview: Matteo Ortenzi, CEO Asia Pacific, Automobili Lamborghini

Italian super sports carmaker Automobili Lamborghini expects India to break into its top ten global markets in the next five years with its new SUV model Urus. The company is betting big on the brand to help it drive up volumes in the world’s fifth and Asia’s third biggest car market. The company, which sold 26 units in India last year, expects to double the number by the end of this year. Lamborghini is bullish on the Indian market, with its products, coupled with economic growth and rapidly improving infrastructure gives it an opportunity to grow exponentially over the next 3-4 years. Significantly, the brand has clients who are buying cars not only in metro cities but also in tier II and tier III cities. Automobili Lamborghini CEO Asia Pacific Matteo Ortenzi in an interview with Michael Gonsalves talks about company’s roadmap ahead

The luxury car market in India clocked a whopping 18 per cent growth last calendar year 2017. How is the super sports car market in India growing and shaping up?

The super luxury car market is still evolving in India as the overall segment of Exclusive Sports Cars (ESS) has not grown to its potential. In the past, the segment has been hit by sharp increase in import duty and this has hampered the growth. Despite all the factors, Lamborghini is bullish on the Indian market, with its products, coupled with India’s economic growth and rapidly improving infrastructure gives us the opportunity to grow exponentially in 3-4 years. We have customers that are buying cars not only in metro cities but also in tier II and III cities. This showcases the huge potential India as a market provides. Currently, the top metros are the major contributors but we see other markets opening up as well.Led by a strong responseto Urus, Lamborghini will double the volumes in India by the end of 2019.

You sell the Lamborghini Huracan, Lamborghini Aventador and Lamborghini Urus super sports car models in India. What is your upcoming line-up of cars to boost sales in India?

We are the future shapers! At Lamborghini, we launch products that create new benchmarks in the industry right from Miura to Countach to Aventador to Huracan and now the Urus. Recently, we also unveiled the Aventador SVJ which has set a new lap record in the Nurburgring circuit. We also have exciting things coming up and you will see those soon.

Will Lamborghini Urus help in achieving double-digit volume growth this year in India?

Lamborghini has decided to invest in producing a Super SUV, because we see a clear demand in the luxury segment worldwide for this type of car and we also see that this demand has not been adequately addressed. Urus is opening up a completely new segment for us. We are witnessing people coming from luxury SUV, luxury sedans or premium SUV or sedans moving towards a first time Lamborghini experience. The Urus is perfect for people who always wanted to have a Lamborghini in India but were apprehensive of buying a sports car. With Urus, while as a company we are looking at doubling our volumes, In India, given the preference for SUV we expect to grow more than double in the next two years.

What is your big plan for the growth of the Indian market?

We are extremely optimistic about our scope in India. We are market leaders in the super sports car segment with a 40 per cent share. Our aim is to continue to lead the ESS segment in India. And Urus is opening up a completely new segment for us! Moreover, we have a team based in India who understands and looks into the customer’s needs thus, helping us grow further and deeper.We strongly believe that with this approach we will continue to strengthen our leadership in the segment

What are some of the challenges, hurdles facing the super sports cars market facing in India and what are the growth opportunities?

 The Indian super sport cars market has witnessed inconsistent tax policy with high taxes on super luxury cars. These frequent changes hamper market sentiments and create road blocks with business plans. A consistent Tax policy helps companies make long term plan and chart out our strategies.

Every car manufacturer is working on bringing electric cars into the Indian market.

We have to look at refining the performance, the durability of the performance, the balance of the car. We will never compromise on the performance, design and emotions of a Lamborghini. The technology and bar we’ve set for all our models is not currently able to be met using electric engines. Electric engines are really fast, but only for a short period, so we will step into that market in India when the technology will be ready and we will then give to our customers a car that meets the standard they are accustomed to with Lamborghini.

What do you expect from the Indian government to promote super sports car market in India?

 The government has always extended their support to brands and business that provide the best of experience to consumers in India. Lamborghini has been one of the most aspirational brands in the super sports car segment in India and we hope to receive continued support to promote the market in India through consistency in tax policies and improved infrastructure to help with push in growth of business

Where does Indian rank in terms of super sports cars in Asia Pacific?

Asia represents almost 1/3 of Lamborghini sales worldwide. India is a very strategic market for the brand within Asia and we foresee steady growth in sales in this market with the launch of Urus. While the present volumes are small in India, with Urus we anticipate faster growth and contribute to higher share in overall volumes of APAC. We see India as a potential market to break-into top 15 markets for us in next 5 years.

How important is the Indian market for your parent company?

 India is one of the strategic markets for Lamborghini in terms of future growth in volumes. This is one of the key reasons why in 2012 the brand decided to make an investment in India. A structure and a team in India was put in place to take care of the Indian market. We have a dedicated after sales team, who takes care of all the needs and requirements of our customers and ensure that we are at par with international standards giving the same yet unique experience of Lamborghini to every customer. This year in Jan we launched the World first SUV, Urus in India. I am proud to say that India was one of the first few markets in the world to launch Urus and this also highlights the commitment and importance of the Indian market in the Lamborghini system.

Is your business profitable in India? What was your sales turnover last calendar year?

 Lamborghini is the market leader in the super sports car segment in the market with almost 40% share in the segment. We are way ahead of any of our competition. We are expecting a higher growth with the coming in of the Urus which is a game changer. The response for Urus in India has been fantastic and it will support in making the growth even stronger. We are targeting to more than double our volumes in India in next two years and improve profitability.

Michael Gonsalves