Will Lamborghini Fans Accept a SUV?
Maker of handcrafted sports cars is shifting gears to build ultimate soccer mom’s car
This article, written by William Boston, appears on The Wall Street Journal.
SANT’AGATA BOLOGNESE, Italy—Italian super-sports car maker Lamborghini is about to test the allegiance of drivers and fans with radical changes to its product line and production methods.
Automobili Lamborghini, which since 1998 has been owned by the Audi unit of Volkswagen AG , currently makes just two sports cars: the Aventador, starting at $404,195, and the Huracan, at $241,945. With its next model, the iconic brand is attempting the delicate maneuver of broadening its market while maintaining a cachet and price tag few others in the industry can match.
Its new model will be a superluxury sport-utility vehicle. Code-named “Urus” and slated for sale in 2018, it could potentially double the company’s annual output to more than 5,000 vehicles.
Lamborghini, which is famous for making limited-edition versions that customers compete to own, recently broke ground on a factory for the Urus and is preparing to hire 500 employees to build the new SUV. But artisanal car-making is expensive in Italy, so for the economics to work, management is tapping the Volkswagen group for much of the vehicle’s basic structure. That means it will be the first Lamborghini that is substantially not Lamborghini.
“This will radically change Lamborghini,” Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann said in an interview at the auto maker’s headquarters. Read more on The Wall Street Journal.
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