Lamborghini CEO Stefano Domenicali says that Canada and Lamborghini are lined up for a beautiful future together.
“We are a growing brand, and Canada is growing,” he said during an Oct. 5 visit to Toronto to support a franchise expansion.
He said that the Canadian economy is on track to produce more young, affluent buyers, which is the key to that future.
“The new generation is getting stronger and more powerful, and this new generation has the right attitude for our brand.”
Domenicali said that Lamborghini attracts a younger demographic than its main competitor, Ferrari. He added that Lamborghini’s new Urus utility vehicle, due in showrooms in 2018, “will be perfect for this market.” With the Urus, he expects annual Canadian sales to hit “400 by the end of 2019.”
That’s double what the brand has been doing over the last three years, with the two-nameplate lineup of Aventador and Huracan, with base prices of $463,775 and $223,500, respectively, excluding shipping.
DEALER DOUBLES DOWN
Paul Cummings is the CEO of Grand Touring Automobiles (GTA), which sells Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Karma at Uptown Toronto — Grand Touring Automobiles.
When it opened the Uptown Toronto store in October in suburban Vaughn, it became first Lamborghini dealership point in North America to adopt a new image program that calls for additional showroom space for the Urus. Lamborghini’s new shield design is prominent, inside and out, and is now distinguished by a black background. The theme of modern, casual luxury is evoked by clean, sharp surfaces and angles and lighting that is diffused and colourful.
GTA also sells Land Rover, Jaguar, Rolls Royce, Bugatti and Bentley at its Toronto store, soon to be moved to a new building in the east end.
There is also more emphasis on heritage, with screens that tell the story of Lamborghini. There’s an emphasis on customization via a client lounge that displays samples of finishes and bespoke options.
“It was great to see Paul’s company invest in our brand,” Domenicali said. “We met last year, and I said, ‘If you do it, I will come back.’ We delivered together.”
DEALERS KNOW MARKETS
Domenicali said that Lamborghini is a small automaker, but one with customers spread all over the globe. As such, it needs the commitment and participation of local retailers.
“They know the needs of the customers in each region.” Cummings is well aware of the “new wealth” in Canada.
“Canada is a growth marketplace right now, a safe haven for a lot of wealth coming into the country, but also the customers who enjoy these cars have experienced good times over the last little while,” he said.
“The economy has been strong, the cost of money is decent, the stock market has done well, and they have equity in their homes. Canada is a wonderful place to do business, and these people are rewarding themselves with these fantastic products.”
Cummings said it’s critical to “invest in parallel” with the manufacturer, to “maximize the opportunity they are providing us.”
The Urus will require a new marketing effort that targets family members of a prospective customer, including the children. Cummings is also planning to host driving events to demonstrate that the Urus will meet lifestyle expectations.
“Our job will be to reach outside the dealership and educate [buyers] on what this vehicle will be able to do,” he said. “A brand like Lamborghini has to be experienced.”
While sales forecasts are bullish, Domenicali said that Lamborghini, which trades on exclusivity, has to be careful.
“We don’t want to push for volume. That would be the biggest mistake,” he said. “We want to make sure the growth is stable and consistent, with the pull we see from the market.”
Before Lamborghini’s planned fourth nameplate is introduced sometime around 2020, Domenicali wants the company to be running like a clock.
He said the Urus leads Lamborghini into uncharted daily-driver territory, so the company needs to evolve processes and dealership culture to match customer expectations, particularly for service turnaround.