Exclusive: A chat with Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann
Our man Ashish Masih catches up with Lambo's CEO on the sidelines of the recent Aventador Roadster launch
TG: VW has recently taken over all Porsche operations over in India from its distributor. Can we expect the same with Lamborghini?
Stephan Winkelmann: Lamborghini in India never had a distributor. We have a dealer in Delhi and a dealer in Mumbai and these key markets are being catered to by the respective dealerships. We have established the National Sales company thus enabling us to work very closely to the market space.
TG: How do you look at India vis-a-vis China, which is a big Lamborghini market?
SW: India is a key market for us and will remain so. Since our first dealership opening in Delhi in 2006, I’ve seen amazing change and rapid growth which is what led us to our second dealership opening in Mumbai this past April. Every month there is a new segment of buyers for our cars and the market is only growing. There is more appreciation for the industry and customers are more keen and passionate about our cars. For those passionate about Lamborghini across the globe, whether in China or India, it’s not just a car, it’s a part of you, and people see that relationship.
TG: What do you think is the biggest challenge in the Indian market?
SW: The India market is vast and rapidly growing and we timed our dealership openings strategically. Our clientele in India knows that when buying a Lamborghini in India they are buying something exceptional, and the brand is very much weaved into that. However, if the import duty structure in India and infrastructure turned favorable, it could increase the scope of business drastically.
TG: Do you think driver training or track days will help build sales in India?
SW: Track days give our current and prospective buyers the opportunity to really experience our cars and understand the nuances; we look at track days as a time where customers get the opportunity to drive their car in a space where they can enjoy the experience in a safe environment. Track experiences have proved very useful for us in terms of sales conversions. Driver training is an important element that we give to our customers to ensure safety.
TG: Do you think VW's direct involvement in sales in India will be an asset?
SW: Lamborghini is directly present in India and this is a unique approach when compared to other super luxury brands. Operations are solely handled by the brand and this strategy, we believe, enables us to achieve great results as well as centralize the brand's efforts.
TG: What new cars can we expect from you in the next 12 months?
SW: For now we are excited about the launch of Aventador Roadster which will be launched globally early next year, any other development will be suitably communicated at an appropriate time.