The global luxury car market is unlikely to return to the peak sales it witnessed in 2007 for at least another two years, despite strong growth in the Middle East, the president of Italian car maker Lamborghini said in an interview.
According to Lamborghini’s research, 35,000 luxury sports cars were sold during the peak year of 2007.
By 2011, the global economic downturn had seen sales fall to around 20,000. While it has rebounded to 26,000, Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of the performance car maker, does not foresee a recovery anytime soon.
“It is up but still far away from where it used to be in 2007. From 35,000 against 26,000 is a huge difference and we have more competitors in the market,” he said on an interview while on a visit to Doha, Qatar.
“Without the euro crisis, I would have said by 2013 we would have been back at the level of 2007. Now, I don’t see if before 2014… It depends on how alarming the eurozone is affected,” he added.
However, the Middle East is one of Lamborghini’s strongest markets and at the end of 2011 ranked sixth, in terms of size, after the US, China, the UK, Germany and Italy.
“In comparison to the rest of the world, there is a higher penetration rate than average, so when you have a new product like a V12 you have an exploding market and this is the reason why the Middle East had growth from 2010 to 2011 of more than 80 percent.”
Looking towards 2012 he is expecting equally frantic growth: “We will grow at least another 50 percent this year. We could do much more… We have already increased our production rate twice since starting production in summer last year, so this is a good sign for us.
“For sure we want to sell more than last year as we have the full Aventador, which was in the ramp up phase last year. The Galliano is also doing very well, because in 2011 it sold more. The crisis shows we had a good year, but we are not disclosing numbers as we are very conservative.”