Lamborghini reported record profits in 2020 as its wealthy clients — especially in China — rode the global bull market in fashion.
Despite a mandatory factory shutdown of over two months throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the”raging bull” of the auto world delivered 7,430 cars in 2020down only 9% from the record high in 2019. Earnings topped 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion at the current exchange rate), down 11% from 2019, but the company said earnings increased to a record high as customers purchased more pricey, highly personalized cars.
The prognosis for 2021 looks even brighter as soaring stocks and asset values around the world boost the fortunes of wealthy car buyers. Wealth creation from cryptocurrencies, special purpose acquisition companies, IPOs and company takeovers has also produced a new generation of younger super car buyers.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann told CNBC the business already has nine months of orders booked for 2021.
“It’s a bit like with the stock markets,” Winklemann stated. “The buyer’s spirits are up, they can not wait to the moment to get out again and to enjoy life.”
Lamborghini, which is owned by Volkswagen Group, is also benefitting from the success of its $220,000 SUV, the Urus. The business’s total production has more than doubled since it began delivering the Urus in 2018.
Winkelmann said China is expected to become the company’s second-largest market this season, replacing Germany, for the first time. The U.S. is still far and away Lamborghini’s market, with delivery of 2,224 cars in 2020.
The largest challenge for Lamborghini, along with other sports-car companies like Ferrari, McLaren and Bugatti, is that the tightening of emissions regulations around the world and the change to electric vehicles. With Teslas now about to rocket from 0-60 mph in less than two seconds, sports automobile companies that rose to fame by building ever-faster, louder motors and dramatic designs now need to redefine themselves in an electric world.
At the exact same time, they also need to keep on pleasing their customers — wealthy car-collectors that love the emotion and sense of roaring V-8 and V-12 engines.
Lamborghini has not announced plans for an EV, but Winkelmann hinted that announcements could be coming in April.
“At the end of the day, we have to look forward to what will happen in five to ten years from now and how this can change our way of looking at these sort of cars,” he said. “We have to expect also a change of mind of our clients and the enthusiasts as well. This is a very crucial moment for sports cars, where you have to really set the marks for the future without scaring anybody by recognizing clearly what is going to be the limit to the future in terms of normal combustion engines.”
Lamborghini has started dipping its toes into electrification with the launch of its first-ever hybrid, the Sian FKP 37. The super car, which retails for over $2.6 million and means”lightening bolt” in Bolognese dialect, has a V-12 engine promoted by a lithium-ion super capacitor. The business quickly sold out of all 63 Sian coupes and 19 open-topped Sian roadsters intended because of its limited production.
Winkelmann declined to comment on speculation that VW could spin-off Lamborghini or take it public. However he said VW remains an perfect owner of the brand, given it’s technology and capital.
“Volkswagen Group is the perfect match for Lamborghini since we have the freedom to determine what is top priority for us, so where we put our money,” he said. “They also have a lot of expertise and all of the upcoming technologies, which are the 3 mega trends — electrification, digitalization and for certain, autonomous driving.”
He said self-driving may not be”the huge job” for the new,”at least not for the time being, but the two others for sure are things which are constantly on our agenda.”