The 2016 Geneva Motor Show previewed many anticipated concepts and production models. During the show, we caught up with Stephan Winkelmann, CEO Lamborghini. Here are the top five highlights from the interview.
The Centenario was unveiled at the motor show. The one-off model was built as a tribute to the late founder, Ferruccio Lamborghini's hundredth birthday. Lamborghini has made 40 units, 20 of each type (roadster and coupe) and all have been sold already. Powered by a V12 motor, the Lamborghini Centenario makes 770PS. It can do 0 to 100kmph in a mere 2.8 seconds, claims Lamborghini.
"A one-off is always something very positive for Lamborghini because it increases the value of the brand. It gives the designers and the engineers a freedom to do things that they usually can't do," said Stephan.
When asked about the company's first SUV the Urus, Stephan said that the project is one of the most important milestones in his 11 years at Lamborghini. The company plans to double its volumes with an average sale of 5,000 to 6,000 cars in a year. The brand is confident that the larger segment offering will not dilute its premium status. Stephan also maintained that in order to keep making high investment and low volume cars like the Aventador and the Huracan, it is important for Lamborghini to have a presence in a larger segment.
Autonomous driving technology
Stephan praised the benefits of autonomous driving. He said that the technology will help save time and increase safety of passengers. But, the same will not be seen in Lamborghinis. He further elaborated, Lamborghinis are not meant for commuting between point A and point B. Instead, the entire focus of the brand is to make sure the driver enjoys the journey. He even added that autonomous driving will make many aspire for Lamborghinis.
"We are interested in everything that is in front of us. Assisted driving is something for safety and is important for us as a company. But autonomous driving is nothing for a Lamborghini supercar. On the contrary, such regulations will aspire more people to have cars like ours," said the CEO.
Challenges for Lamborghini in India
The supercar brand has still not got the right foothold in the Indian market, accepted Stephan. He pointed out two major reasons for it. First is the high import duty that makes all the Lamborghini cars almost three times more expensive than their actual price. Second is the lack of infrastructure. He also mentioned that the market has the money and the willingness. Also, the brand enjoys a strong social connect. He believes that the new Urus SUV will act as the right 'kick-starter' for the company in India.
Experience so far and his new role in quattro GmbH
Stephan said that he felt honoured to be a part of Lamborghini for 11 years. When asked whether he had the freedom to do things in his own way, he answered that if one has absolute freedom, it gets too easy. The real challenge is about the rules, innovations, platforms, safety and traditions. The brand has a clear strategy of being a unique player in the supersport segment. On his future role as the CEO in quattro GmbH, he commented that the brand has a huge potential.
Read the detailed interview with Stephan Winkelmann, CEO Lamborghini here.