Volkswagen Group's Lamborghini reported record profits in 2020. Profits for the luxury car maker rose on the back of rising incomes for its wealthy clients, especially in China, and the emergence of a new generation of high-tech car buyers from among young investors who made money in the stock and cryptocurrency markets, CNBC reports citing CEO Stefan Winkelmann.
Despite the closure of auto factories for two months during the COVID-19 pandemic, the company delivered 7,430 vehicles in 2020. This is 9% below the record level of 2019. Auto sales for the year amounted to more than 1.6 billion euros, which is 11% less than in 2019. The company said that profit margins rose to their all-time highs as customers ordered more expensive cars.
As noted by CNBC, the wealth of wealthy buyers of Lamborghini products grows with the value of stocks in stock markets around the world, and the owners of fortunes made in the cryptocurrency market, exchange exits, special purpose companies (SPACs) and mergers and acquisitions have become a new generation of young luxury buyers.
Lamborghini CEO Stefan Winkelmann told CNBC that the company has a backlog of orders for nine months in 2021. “The shopper is in a good mood and can't wait to get out and enjoy life again,” Winkelmann said. The head of the company added that "it's a bit like the stock markets."
The company's total production has more than doubled since it started in 2018, and Winkelmann expects the company's second-largest market this year to displace Germany. The United States leads by a wide margin with 2224 vehicle deliveries in 2020.
The biggest challenge for Lamborghini, along with other sports car makers Ferrari, McLaren and Bugatti, is the tightening of global emission limits and the move to electric vehicles. Companies that have become famous for creating fast and loud engines are now forced to reconsider their attitude to electric vehicles, but they also need to not lose their customers who love the thrill of roaring engines. Lamborghini has yet to announce plans for an electric vehicle, but Winkelmann hinted that the announcements could come in April this year.
“At the end of the day, we have to look forward to what will happen in five to ten years and how it will change the way we look at these types of cars,” he said. “We must also anticipate changing opinions of our customers and enthusiasts. This is a very important moment for sports supercars, where you must really set the benchmarks for the future without scaring anyone by clearly recognizing that the future will be the limit in terms of conventional combustion engines, ”added Winkelmann.
For Lamborghini, electrification began with the launch of its first hybrid car, the Sian FKP 37. This $ 3.6 million supercar has a V-12 engine powered by a lithium-ion supercapacitor. The company quickly sold out all 63 Sian coupes and 19 open-top Sian roadsters planned for limited production.
Winkelmann said Volkswagen remains the ideal brand owner, given its capital and technology. He explained this by the freedom to "decide what is our top priority and where we invest our money."
"They also have a lot of experience and all the technologies of the future, which are three mega-trends - electrification, digitalization and, of course, autonomous driving," said the CEO of the company. He added that self-driving cars may not be the brand's goal, but electrification and digitalization are “constantly on our agenda.”