After several years of record growth, Lamborghini, like most automakers, is struggling in a tough economy. Sales are down 30% so far in 2009, and the Raging Bull even laid off factory workers for seven weeks in an effort to keep down inventories. Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann told Reuters that he expects the sales slump to continue through 2010, saying that the "crisis is very deep."
Winkelmann points out that sales are down over 40% in the US (Lamborghini's top market), and the company's waiting list has dropped from one year to six months. Lamborghini's struggles closely mirror problems with the economy at large; areas that have been hit by investment banking and real estate woes aren't in the market for Italian supercars.
Regardless of the dim forecast for the next 18 months, Winkelmann is still bullish when it comes to profits. The company cleared 60 million euros in 2008 ($84 million in US funds) and the Italian automaker expects to remain in the black even if sales take a 40% plunge. And the world renown luxury exotic automaker will have to stay solvent while vastly improving its carbon footprint. Lamborghini plans to reduce CO2 emissions coming from its vehicles by 35% in six years.