Lamborghini has released its pre-tax profits for 2008, and the supercar manufacturer netted a total of 60 million euros ($79.6 million) last year for a 27% increase over 2007. Overall sales were up a scant 2.5%, eclipsing the previous year's sales record (2,406 vehicles) with 2,430 cars sold worldwide. The increase in sales is attributed to growth in China and the Middle East, while sales in the U.S. fell by over 20% to just 741 vehicles (down from 930 in 2007). Obviously, the additional profits didn't come from a massive sales increase. Instead, Lamborghini placed 300 of its 1,000 employees on shorter work days from February through May, netting an additional savings.
Naturally, the automaker isn't bullish (rimshot) for 2009, with CEO Stephan Winkelmann admitting that the economic downturn is likely to affect Lamborghini's sales. However, it remains committed to bringing a new model to market each year, so expect more hotness from Sant'Agata in 2009 and beyond. Hit the jump for Lamborghini's press release.
Automobili Lamborghini achieves 2008 Targets
- Total turnover increased in challenging economic conditions to Euro 478,8 Mio. (+2,5%)
- Profits rise to Euro 60 Mio. (+27,4%)
- Sales up: 2430 units sold worldwide (+1%)
- Strong growth in Middle Eastern and major Asian markets, strongest growth in China
- Maintenance of long-term strategy and investments
Turnover increased from Euro 467,1 Mio. to Euro 478,8 Mio in 2008 (+2,5%). Pretax profits rose from Euro 47,1 Mio. to Euro 60,0 Mio, marking an exponential increase of 27,4%. The profit margin increased from 10,1% to 12,5%. The brand with the raging bull logo improved sales from 2406 to 2430 units.
Commenting on the results, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann, said: "With this new record in deliveries and profits we have marked the most successful fiscal year in the history of our company. The worldwide economic climate, especially regarding luxury markets, has changed dramatically. However, Lamborghini's stronghold in global presence and brand appeal will enable us to steer Lamborghini through challenging times."
On the sales side, weaknesses in major traditional regions were offset by growth in other areas as well as in new and emerging markets. The US market saw a decrease of 20,3% with 741 units sold compared to the 930 sold the year before. The US share of world-wide sales decreased from 38,7% to 30,5%.
In Europe, sales remained stable. While traditional markets such as Germany and the UK showed relatively small single digit decreases, sales in the Italian brand's homeland increased from 209 to 230 units (+10%). This sales growth pushed Italy into the position of second largest world market.
Strong growth rates were achieved in the Middle East and Far East Asian core markets. The Middle Eastern region – particularly the United Arab Emirates – achieved a sales increase of 66% from 100 to 166 units sold. In the Far East, China more than doubled its sales from 28 to 72 units sold. The Middle East and Far East regions grew their contribution to Lamborghini's total worldwide sales from 15% to 21,8%.
The 2008 success in deliveries and profits was due to the consistent expansion of brand presence and dealerships worldwide. More than that, the marque has the most attractive model line-up ever, augmented by the launch of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupé. Increasing brand and product awareness as well as the innate and rising brand value are also key factors in the company's success.
The company´s development marks one of the most respected company turn-around programmes in the automotive and luxury industries.
"In the light of world-wide economic uncertainties, this new record year above all proves the sustainability of our business strategy. We know that there are tough times ahead now, but we have increased the value and appeal of our luxury brand and we are ready to take on the challenges the future might bring us. We are confident we will come out of this challenge stronger than we went into it," said Lamborghini President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann.
Outlook for 2009
Even as a low volume luxury car manufacturer, Automobili Lamborghini is not unaffected by the present economic downturn in the wake of the global financial crisis.The goal is to lead the company through the difficult phase safely by applying the strictest discipline to managing investments and current costs, systematically adjusting production to reflect market developments.
Before approaching 2009, the company took decisive steps to be well prepared for volatility in demand.
Production flexibility is made possible by working within contractual agreements and with the full support of the trade unions. The company has also enhanced and improved its professional training and qualifying courses
The company has announced short-time work for 300 of its 1000 employees in some weeks from February to May and does not rule out making further use of this tool.
Lamborghini remains with its long-term strategy. Investment into R&D will continue. The company sticks to its commitment of announcing at least one new product each year. The latest examples of this confidence are the launch of the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 Spyder and the Murciélago LP 670-4 Superveloce. The new Spyder is the convertible version of the record-selling Gallardo LP 560-4 Coupé and is now being launched in all markets. The Murciélago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce, recently presented at the last Geneva motorshow, has already commanded a promising order bank and will first reach markets in the next weeks.
In the current 2009 year, Automobili Lamborghini is not in a position to make a full year forecast, but the overall target for the 2009 financial year is to attain an overall profit.