Lamborghini integrates the gradual abandonment of the heat engine
“Lamborghini just had the best semester of its entire existence”, says Stephan Winkelmann, President of the Italian super sports car manufacturer. The announcement of the record came during an interview with some European journalists before presenting its financial results: the Sant’Agata Bolognese manufacturer delivered 5,090 cars in the first half of 2022, increasing its volume by 4.9% compared to the first half of 2021. The Above all, the surprise comes from the turnover: At 1.332 billion euros, this improved by 33.6% in the same period. Even better, the half-year result (€425 million) is higher than the result achieved in twelve months of fiscal 2021, where profit had reached €393 million.
“Four factors explain this improvement in profitability”believes Stephan Winkelmann. “The product mix has evolved positively and customers have shifted to derivative models in every area, which we use to generate the highest margins.”. The Lamborghini range is currently divided into three families: the Urus SUV, launched in 2018, accounts for 60% of sales. Huracan (2014) and Aventador (2011) supercars, the production of which ended on July 27, are equipped with V10 and V12 engines. “Customers buy our models with very extensive customization options and wishes. Finally, we benefited from a favorable exchange rate between the euro and the dollar.”continues Stephan Winkelmann.
From Molsheim to Sant’Agata Bolognese
This strategy of increasing unit margins has already been implemented at Bugatti, where Stephan Winkelmann was at the helm from 2018 to 2021. Under his leadership, no Chiron left the Molsheim plant without an expensive individualization. The same strategy is reproduced identically in Sant’Agata Bolognese with Huracan derivatives (STO, Tecnica) boosted to 640 hp and sold up to 50% above the standard price.
In the first half of 2022, the Italian manufacturer achieved its best performance in the United States, its first market, followed by China, Germany and the United Kingdom. The Middle East is fifth. France is tenth. “We have a solid order book that corresponds to eighteen months of visibility”observes Stephan Winkelmann, who foresees “a firework of new products to come”. The range, which is actually more modest, remains narrow at the small Italian manufacturer. The Urus SUV will see some design changes in August. A new derivative of the Huracan is planned for the end of the year. The real novelties come later and concern the engines. “2022 will be our last year with 100% internal combustion engines. From 2023 and 2024 we will offer hybrid versions of our current models. A fourth model, coming in 2028, will be our first 100% electric car.”announces Stephan Winkelmann.
Mute the sound on the Lamborghini
Will Lamborghini, known for the impressive sound of the ten and twelve-cylinder engines in its super sports cars, be able to convince its customers? “We want to prove that a 100% electric super sports car can evoke emotions. There will be no problems for the body and design. For performance, longitudinal accelerations will not be the only criterion to consider. The lightness, maneuverability and responsiveness of an electric sports car are issues we are still working on. When it comes to sound, it’s a completely different matter.”recognizes Stephan Winkelmann.
“I am part of this generation (the leader was born in 1964, editor’s note) who will find it difficult to agree to the abandonment of heat engines. But we work for future generations. Our cars have to be durable and if we can make them work well they will live up to their expectations.”he hopes.
Like other automakers forced to end the production and sale of internal combustion engines in 2035, Lamborghini has a year’s rest due to a regulation passed by the European Parliament on June 8, 2022 through its status as a small manufacturer. The end of the Lamborghini hybrid is therefore scheduled for 2036. In order to finance the further development of the offer, Stephan Winkelmann is planning an investment of 1.8 billion euros “self-funding”. This rules out the possibility of this Volkswagen subsidiary going public.
“The Urus successor will be electric”, Stephan Winkelmann is already announcing. Nothing is stopping for future supercars, starting with the expected replacement for the Aventador. “We won’t rush anything. Synthetic fuels are still an option today. But we are already seeing megacities like Paris, London and Chinese cities wanting to set their own car engine roadmaps. We demand uniform rules and are waiting for more clarity. If everyone does what they want locally, it will be a disaster for us.”predicts Stephan Winkelmann.