Carmaker's sales growth in low gear

PUBLISHED : Monday, 02 July, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 02 July, 2012, 12:00am


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Lamborghini says sales growth on the mainland should meet its target of 20-30 per cent this year, although it is expected to fall at the lower end of the range amid a slowing economy.

The arrival of the US$1 million model Aventador LP 700-4 late last year failed to boost sales for the Italian sports car maker in its fastest-growing market during this year's first quarter.

But James Page, the firm's head of marketing, said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that improving sales during April and May would translate into growth of 5-10 per cent in the first five months.

'With the gross domestic product falling below 8 per cent for the first time in 13 years, it will have this mental effect on people. But we will still see growth [on the mainland this year], although 20 per cent is more likely,' Page said.

This projected growth rate is not only less than one-third of what Lamborghini achieved last year - when sales jumped 70 per cent to 340 cars - it is also lower than the growth it forecasts in Hong Kong this year.

Andrea Baldi, Lamborghini's sales manager for Hong Kong, Macau and Southeast Asia, said the carmaker would deliver 70 cars in Hong Kong this year - a year-on-year increase of more than 27 per cent.

Its sole distributor in Hong Kong, Kingsway Cars, said most of the increase would come from deliveries of the LP 700-4 to customers who placed orders when it was unveiled nearly two years ago, plus a special edition of Lamborghini's other best-seller, the Gallardo, launched last Friday to celebrate Kingsway's 20th year of partnership with the carmaker.

Six more dealerships will be opened on the mainland before the end of this year in a bid to boost sales.

However, the new concept car, the Urus SUV - which is expected to be Lamborghini's next engine for growth, doubling its global sales to 5,000 cars a year - was still awaiting approval from its owner, Audi, and other brands within the group.

While the euro-zone debt crisis has hit consumer sentiment in European Union countries, including Spain, Greece and Portugal, Page said Lamborghini had no plan to move some of Aventador's sales quota from Europe to China.

'We want to maintain a healthy distribution of the market. Whenever you rely on one region too heavily and that region goes into crisis, you have a problem,' Page said.

Lamborghini's Asia-Pacific general manager Christian Mastro said earlier it would make between 900 and 1,000 Aventadors globally this year and that all the 80 allocated to China were already sold out.