Lamborghini Expects Supercar Slowdown In China

Lamborghini China Sales Jumped Nearly 70 Percent In 2011

Lamborghini has already sold all 80 Aventadors it allocated to China

Lamborghini has already sold all 80 Aventadors it allocated to China

After several years of massive growth that saw China become a critical new market for ultra-luxury automakers like Bentley, Aston Martin, Bugatti and Ferrari, this week Lamborghini warned that slowing growth in the broader Chinese economy may crimp demand for luxury supercars in 2012. Coming off a year in which Lamborghini sales in China surged nearly 70 percent, Christian Mastro, Lamborghini’s Asia Pacific general manager, said in a recent interview, “If you look at the economy right now, there may be some uncertainty to make people wait a little.”

Added Mastro, “The number of people able to spend this kind of money is limited, it’s not unlimited.”

As Bloomberg notes this week:

Lamborghini joins Bayerische Motoren Werke AG (BMW)’s Rolls-Royce in forecasting more muted demand for ultra-luxury cars in China, which has grown to become the largest market for automakers from Audi to General Motors Co. (GM)

Rolls-Royce Chief Executive Officer Torsten Mueller-Oetvoes predicted last month that China’s growth will be less “explosive” this year. Total auto sales slowed last year after the end of stimulus measures and the economic expansion showed signs of easing.

Lamborghini aims to boost deliveries in China by 20 percent to 30 percent, less than half the pace of last year, as the sportscar maker can’t produce enough Aventadors to meet the 18- month waiting list, Mastro said.

Makers of supercars have come to a consensus that the segment will grow about 25 percent in China to about 2,000 cars this year, versus a doubling in 2011, Mastro said.

While a supercar slowdown is perhaps inevitable, it doesn’t mean Chinese demand has cooled for the ultra-expensive auto segment. All 80 of the Aventadors that Lamborghini allocated to the China market have already sold out, and the automaker will soon debut a new SUV — a highly popular luxury class in China — at the Beijing Auto Show.

Regardless of slowing growth (which, well into the double-digits, is still far stronger than other global markets), Lamborghini plans to increase its China marketing budget by 20 percent this year and hold more events, including track drives, to spur sales. Additionally, Lamborghini plans to open six additional dealerships in China in second-tier cities like Xi’an, Nanjing, Changsha and Shenyang this year, boosting its China dealership network to 20 locations.


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