How Lamborghini navigated crisis with masks


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NEW DELHI: How was it for Italian super-luxury car brand Lamborghini to switch from manufacturing some of the world’s fastest sports cars to making masks, visors and parts for ventilators? Stefano Domenicali, global chairman & CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, said that the transition was “sudden and unprecedented”, but had to be made as Italy battled the coronavirus and was one of the worst-hit countries globally from the pandemic.Business is resuming, though it’s still a long haul from normalcy. Domenicali said, while production resumed and started to scale up, the market conditions will still remain challenging.“There will surely be a decrease (in volumes) this year. The customer may not be in the right mood to buy in the short-term… This is not really an emotional environment where you want to show off your car,” he told TOI in an interview from the company’s headquarters in Bologna, Italy. 76416460Domenicali said the company has now started production of cars, and the output is almost hitting full capacity. Its portfolio boasts of cars such as Aventador, Huracan and Urus SUV, which are priced upwards of Rs 3 crore, but India remains a small market.The Lamborghini chairman, however, says he expects the super-luxury segment to recover faster than other categories globally. “We’ve not received any cancellation of orders. So, our customers really want to keep the cars and want to have them. There will be decline this year for sure, but then there will be a startup phase, once again faster than other sectors.”The company had sold a total of 8,205 cars globally last year. In India, it sold just over 50 units, a large part of these being the Urus SUVs. “We may have the impact on the delivery of cars in India as well because the mood (of the buyer) needs to be back to enjoy these kinds of cars. Therefore, I expect the volume in India will be lower this year than what we achieved last year.”The company’s operations were severely crippled as the coronavirus wave spread across the globe, particularly creating havoc in Italy.Domenicali said the virus was something “that came out of the blue for everyone”, and it was clear that companies had to collaborate to counter it. “We very quickly adapted parts of our factory in mid-March in order to produce surgical masks and protective shields… Work on this solidarity initiative was carried out entirely by our personnel of the saddlery that produce the interiors and specialty customisation for Lamborghini cars.”

Read more: economictimes.indiatimes.com

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