Lamborghini Wants to Grow Lineup, Clear “Illicit” Stereotypes

Lamborghini’s Urus, due in 2017, is central to the brand’s plan for sales growth.

Lamborghini wants to grow its supercar lineup to at least three models in the coming years to better compete with Ferrari, and the brand won’t be stopping with SUVs. Former COO Michael Lock told Car and Driver that a three-model lineup is essential for Lamborghini to build standalone dealerships in the U.S. Lock, who spoke with us before he left the company in December, said that its West Palm Beach dealership is the only one of its 29 U.S. dealers that doesn’t share the floor with other luxury brands.

This doesn’t mean Lamborghini wants to tread in shallower waters, like Maserati is doing with its downmarket, high-volume Ghibli sedan. Price points will stay high, Lock said, similar to how McLaren now has three, semi-distinct models. There won’t be any brand-new Lambos with $100,000 window stickers for the foreseeable future.

In 2017, Lamborghini plans to introduce the Urus SUV after Bentley, one of its many corporate siblings under the Volkswagen Group, releases its own SUV on the same platform. The Estoque sedan, however, is still off. But even with more potential models, Lock admits Lamborghini has an image problem.

“If I bring home a Lamborghini, what will my wife say? Am I cheating?” he said. “Lamborghinis are associated with socially illicit behavior.”

Lock, referring to company research, said that “91 percent of people don’t buy my cars” in the U.S. because of perceptions that Lamborghinis are unreliable and difficult to drive—a perception that we’re pretty certain could be reversed by a C/D long-term test of an Aventador. While Lamborghini ranks right up there with Ferrari when potential customers are in the initial shopping phases, Ferrari claims about 25 percent of all exotic-car sales in the U.S., he said. Ferrari, with four models, more than tripled Lamborghini’s 2013 global sales of 2121 even as Maranello cut production to keep exclusivity high.

Photos and Info: 2014 Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4
First Drive: 2013 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4 Roadster
Instrumented Test: 2012 Lamborghini Aventador LP700-4

Still, it’s not like Lamborghini is some lemonade stand in Sant’Agata. Lock said Gallardo sales, even now that the 10-year-old car is officially discontinued, have gone up in part to $2000-per-month leases, which in some zip codes qualifies as a deal. And who can discount the Veneno, Sesto Elemento, and other ultra-rare Lambos that continue to sell for millions apiece? That’s a business model to make anyone, especially salesmen on commission, sleep very soundly.

About Clifford Atiyeh