Covid, war, cost spikes, rising interest rates, logistics nightmares… so why is Lamborghini still smashing sales records? | CAR Magazine

Covid, war, cost spikes, rising interest rates, logistics nightmares… so why is Lamborghini still smashing sales records?

Published: 24 January 2024 Updated: 24 January 2024

► Lamborghini sets sales record in 2023
► Urus is bestseller, followed by Huracan
► CEO tells CAR how Lambo beat global volatility

You’d think that the wealthiest clientele might row back on ostentation as the world wobbled in the wake of the pandemic, wars in Europe and the Middle East, volatile supply chains, rising interest rates and soaring prices. But no. Lamborghini, like Rolls-Royce before it, set a sales record in 2023, delivering 10,112 cars to customers.

To help explain the performance, CAR magazine caught up with CEO and chairman Stephan Winkelmann to find out how the Italian supercar brand bucked economic headwinds in its 60th anniversary year.

‘It has been difficult,’ he admitted. ‘There was so much wealth accumulated throughout Covid, but we’ve also encountered logistics issues, raw material price increases and more. We have faced a lot of pressure. This keeps me awake during sleeping hours sometimes.’

Lamborghini sales in 2023: which are the bestselling Lambos

In line with other luxury brands, Lamborghini’s growth in recent years has been fuelled by its move in to the globally popular SUV segment. The Urus, which launched in 2017, sold 6087 units last year, followed by the Huracan junior supercar, which shifted 3962 coupes and roadsters (an impressive record for a car in its run-out year). 

Lamborghini sales break through 10,000 for the first time

The balance of sales were V12 supercars: the last dozen Aventadors and 51 ‘few-offs’, Sant’Agata’s terminology for its bespoke range based around the visceral 6.5-litre V12. The biggest markets for Lamborghinis in 2023 were:

  • USA 3000
  • Germany 961
  • China, Hong Kong and Macau 845
  • UK 801
  • Japan 660
  • Middle East 496
  • South Korea 434
  • Italy 409
  • Canada 357
  • Australia 263
  • France and Monaco 255
  • Switzerland 211
  • Taiwan 131
  • India 103

How did Lamborghini manage to set a sales record in such tough trading conditions?

Winkelmann said the key to selling super-sports cars was forensic balancing of supply and demand in multiple territories. ‘It’s the first time we have delivered 10,000 cars,’ he said. ‘It’s not because we wanted to reach a new peak, but it’s a natural consequence of our solid order bank that lasts all the way to the end of 2025.’

The CEO revealed that the new hybrid Lamborghini Revuelto range-topper had an even longer waiting list, stretching out to 2026, and said that the company was prepared to cut production of any model line if demand collapsed. ‘We are doing our utmost to keep it under control,’ he added. ‘We are ready to block and switch off production if this is needed at any time. The last thing we need is to jeopardise the brand.

‘We are better prepared now than in the last decade, because of the order bank. It is more solid. We can rely on different regions. Order cancellations can happen from day to day – but it’s not happening, we are constantly monitoring this and it’s under control. We must not hit the iceberg.’

Seems like the world’s wealthiest car buyers are still flocking to Lamborghini’s 184 dealerships in 54 markets around the world. That’s one tactic to hedge the risk: even if Europe might slump, the strategists hope that other parts of the world would boom. Spreading the risk globally, growing the range with a fourth model line (trailed by the all-electric Lamborghini Lanzador) and creating an ever-evolving range of spin-offs, from off-road Sterrato models to modish one-offs, are all ways to keep the plates spinning.

By Tim Pollard

Group digital editorial director, car news magnet, crafter of words