Lamborghini hints at foray into Indian SUV space

Lamborghini hints at foray into Indian SUV space

Italian super-luxury sports car manufacturer Automobili Lamborghini on Tuesday said that going ahead, it will prefer focussing on the burgeoning sports utility vehicle (SUV) segment in the Indian market.

Reflecting on the company’s plans for India at a dealership launch here, Automobili Lamborghini President and Chief Executive Officer Stephan Winkelmann hinted that the company wants to focus on foraying into the SUV segment here, adding, “I cannot say for certain... But, say in the next four years, by 2018 or so, we ‘might’ have an SUV here.”

Concept SUV
The company, which retails the Aventador Roadster LP 700-4, Aventador Coupe LP 700-4 and the recently launched Huracan LP 610-4 in India, does not have an SUV currently in its stable, though it did unveil a concept SUV, called the Urus, in April 2012 at the Beijing Auto Show.  

Lamborghini has been in India for a few years now, and has managed to sell around 94 cars nation-wide. In 2013, the company sold around 22 cars, but expects to sell a lesser number of cars this year, owing to a high import duty regime.

Luxury car manufacturers, including Lamborghini, are concerned about the levy of high import taxes. Currently, the taxes for importing a super-luxury car total a whopping 170 per cent on its original price, making it difficult for carmakers to develop the market here.
Winkelmann said that the import duty, if capped at 2011 levels, when it was 60 per cent, would be comfortable for the company and the market, at large.

“There are mainly two challenges for us. Firstly, import taxes must be reduced, and secondly, we must increase awareness of our brand, make people understand our cars and also (safely) drive them,” Winkelmann said, adding that the condition of roads in India and other infrastructure is improving. “There is enough space to drive a sports car in India,” he quipped, adding that another issue for a luxury carmaker is the reduction of CO2 emissions.    

Earlier in the day, the company officially unveiled its third dealership in India, at Bengaluru, after showrooms in Delhi and Mumbai.

“The (4,350 sq ft) Bengaluru dealership will act as a hub for South India, and will strengthen the brand’s presence and sales in the region,” Winkelmann said.
Automobili Lamborghini invests around 20 per cent of its turnover in research and development activities.

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