Weekly Recap: Lamborghini fires on all cylinders
Plus: Notes On GMC's Wrangler Fighter, Danica's Super Bowl Ad And The Stig
The additional workers helped Lamborghini increase its sales 19 percent last year to 2,530 supercars, and further expansion is planned for this year. Lambo has added more than 500 people in the last four years, bringing its headcount to 1,175.
"Lamborghini is undergoing a strong phase of growth in both sales and in terms of recruitment," CEO Stephan Winkelmann said in a statement. "We invest significantly in our people ... in 2015 we plan to hire further."
The supercar maker's solid performance last year came during a time of transition. Lambo sold off the final 265 Gallardos, which were the brand's best-selling models ever. Its 10-cylinder successor, the Huracan, immediately filled the void. It garnered 3,300 orders, and 1,137 of them were delivered in 2014. The other Lamborghini, the 12-cylinder Aventador, saw its sales increase 13 percent to 1,128 copies.
The sales leap comes as Volkswagen drives sales expansion across its portfolio of brands. The German carmaker sold 10 million vehicles around the world for the first time last year. Though Lambo will never make supercars in great numbers, it is expected to contribute to VW's bottom line through its image and profitable sales.
Look for further growth this year, and a Super Veloce version (shown above) of the Aventador has already been spotted during testing. Lamborghini has been working on a sport utility vehicle for years, though the company has never publicly approved the project. It also showed a hybrid, the Asterion, at last year's Paris Motor show, suggesting the automaker is considering an electric future.
Other News and Notes
GMC ponders Jeep Wrangler fighter
GMC is considering adding a competitor to the Jeep Wrangler and has discussed the idea with its dealers, according to the Wall Street Journal. Details of the vehicle are unclear, but the report suggested the vehicle could have cues from General Motors' old Hummer brand. The move would broaden GMC's lineup of trucks and SUVs and attract new customers. GMC sold 501,853 vehicles in 2014, making it GM's second-best selling brand. GMC had more volume than Cadillac and Buick combined, though it's still well behind Chevrolet's tally of more than two million vehicles.
The notion of a "Wrangler fighter" could be a moving target. Rumors have swirled since the fall that the iconic Jeep could switch from steel to aluminum body panels, similar to the Ford F-150. The Wrangler was also rumored to be shifting to unibody underpinnings, which would likely require production to relocate from its longtime home in Toledo, OH. It now appears likely to keep its body-on-frame setup and stay in Ohio.
GoDaddy pulls Super Bowl ad amid controversy
Domain registration company GoDaddy pulled its planned Super Bowl commercial this week after the ad spurred controversy from animal rights proponents. The spot shows a puppy named Buddy making his way home after falling out of the back of a pickup truck. Once he gets there, he learns he's been sold by his owners, who used GoDaddy to set up up a website.
Racecar driver Danica Patrick, the star of previous GoDaddy commercials, makes a cameo appearance at the end to take Buddy away. The ad generated outrage after it was previewed and spawned a Change.org petition that earned more than 42,000 supporters. GoDaddy altered its plans amid the firestorm and will still use its time slot during the game. Buddy, meanwhile, has been given the title of chief companion officer at GoDaddy and lives with a company employee.
The Stig goes to Warsaw
The Stig is on the move. The 30-foot-tall fiberglass replica of the Top Gear mascot moved from the show's studio at a British airfield to a prominent location outside the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw, Poland. It made a three-day journey that passed through Amsterdam and Berlin. The BBC is putting on the stunt to promote its new network, BBC Brit. The supersized Stig took three sculptors two months to design, build and paint. As a BBC executive put it: "He's impossible to miss." We agree.
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