No slowdown in Lamborghini sales

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 15 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 October, 2011, 12:00am


While many of us worry about a slowdown, nothing could be further from the minds of the 60-plus well-heeled Hongkongers waiting to take delivery of Automobili Lamborghini's new 700-horsepower supercar.

Orders for the newly launched 12-cylinder Aventador, which has a top speed of 350 km/h and retails for an eye-watering HK$6.31 million, will help boost the Italian sports-car maker's Hong Kong sales to a record this year, according to Lamborghini's Southeast Asia and Pacific sales manager, Andrea Baldi.

Concerns over plunging stock markets and the prospect of a potential recession in Hong Kong appear to have been left behind in the dust. With the first local deliveries of the new model set to begin this month, prospective buyers now face an 18-month waiting list.

'The rich are getting richer, and actually the number of orders for the Aventador are increasing every day,' Baldi said yesterday. 'We haven't really seen any slowdown.'

Lamborghini, whose local dealer for the past two decades has been Kingsway Cars, is on target to deliver 57 cars in Hong Kong this year, beating the previous record of 45.

That includes 17 Aventadors, which have replaced the 10-year-old Murcielago as the brand's flagship model in the 12-cylinder engine size sector. The new car has a carbon-fibre shell, burns 27.3 litres of petrol per 100 kilometres of city driving and accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in a blistering 2.9 seconds.

The Italian carmaker, part of Volkswagen's luxury Audi unit, will also deliver about 40 of its only other production car, the Gallardo, a 10-cylinder model, which starting at HK$3.2 million is a comparative bargain.

As with rival super car brands like Ferrari and Aston Martin, Hong Kong has long been one of Lamborghini's richest markets on a per capita basis. Singapore, too, is experiencing a sales boom . The Lion City is on target for a record year, with Lamborghini projecting 60 deliveries.

But the marque has seen its fastest growth on the mainland, which may overtake the United States this year as Lamborghini's biggest market globally. The company sold 138 cars on the mainland in the first six months of the year, up 60 per cent from a year ago.

Lamborghini is in the process of doubling its mainland dealerships from nine showrooms and service centres at the end of last year to a targeted 20 by the end of this year, including new stores in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, and Shenyang in Liaoning province.

In July, the company opened its first dealership in Macau, where it expects to sell around 10 cars this year. Lamborghini is also talking with some Macau casino hotels which are interested in rounding-out the typical fleet of Rolls-Royce, Bentley or Mercedes-Benz chauffeur cars.

'They are interested in having our cars as something special for their guests,' Baldi said.

He could not name another place where hotel car fleets include Lamborghinis. 'I think only Macau can be so extreme,' he said.