Lamborghini tackles tough supercar market with new roadster

Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:47am EST
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By John O'Callaghan

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Lamborghini unveiled the open-top variant of its Aventador roadster on Monday, hoping to continue growing sales in a supercar market it expects to be flat next year.

Speaking in Singapore, home to the world's highest concentration of millionaires, chief executive Stephan Winkelmann said it had been a better year for loss-making Lamborghini in a tough environment after global sales of 1,602 cars in 2011 and 1,302 in 2010.

"Sales are up in comparison to last year at least 10 percent, even more," he told Reuters in an interview. "We already have exceeded the sales of the total year 2011, so this is a good sign."

But he said recovery had been slow for the entire supercar industry after the global financial crisis knocked sales down from a peak of about 36,000 units in 2007.

"This year we are around 25,000 and even next year it will not be more than this," he said. "We have a slowdown in Europe, we have an increase in the U.S., Southeast Asia is going well, the Middle East is running well. China, we don't know."

Automobili Lamborghini SpA, owned by Germany's Volkswagen AG, is still confident about China, its second-biggest market after the United States with nearly 350 cars sold last year and 20 dealerships set to be running by this year.

"They might stop for a while to buy cars like ours but for sure the market (in China) is so huge that it would soon come back," he said.

Luxury cars are also fixtures of conspicuous wealth in places like Singapore and Hong Kong.   Continued...

Journalists inspect the new Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4 Roadster during its unveiling in Singapore November 12, 2012. REUTERS/Edgar Su