The company that sells SUVs together stays together.
So it goes, or is likely to go, with Lamborghini. Keep in mind that the Volkswagen Group supercar manufacturer has already seen massive sales growth. During the half-decade before Stephan Winkelmann took over as boss at Lamborghini in 2005, the brand was selling only 800 cars on an annual basis. But by the time Winkelmann was done a decade later, Lamborghini was averaging 2,300 annual sales. In 2016, Lamborghini sold 3,457 vehicles around the world, including more than 1,000 in the United States.
Those figures will soon seem paltry because the unfortunately named Urus SUV will double the brand’s volume. But what does such a massive change do to Lamborghini’s operations?
From the perspective of a U.S. dealer, the alterations won’t be minor.
By the time the Urus arrives in the second half of next year, Automotive News reports, Lamborghini should have nearly three dozen North American dealers. At each of those dealers, “Our salespeople have to talk to these customers in different parameters, because it’s not just about performance and the adrenalin effect,” Lamborghini America chief Alessandro Farmeschi says.
Think less magnetorheological dampers; more Lower Anchors And Tether for Children. Less independent shifting rods; more rear legroom.
Rare is the Lamborghini sales consultant who’s ever sold a Lamborghini with a rear seat â€” the Espada and LM002 aren’t exactly current. Moreover, Lamborghinis have not historically been sold as daily drivers, but that’s exactly what the Urus is intended to be. The consequences of selling daily drivers are far-reaching. Lamborghini’s service departments, for instance, aren’t accustomed to rushing vehicles back to customers.
In the case of the Urus, however, “The reaction of our network has to be much faster,” Farmeschi says.
Given the degree toÂ which the demographic makeup of Urus customers will change theÂ Lamborghini’s brand’s overall clientele, dealers are tasked with realigning the entire layout of their stores. More areas designated for customization, more space for customers to wait around, and more space for dealers to host events are all necessary. The huge investment that Lamborghini requires of all of its dealers, Lamborghini’s Federico Foschini believes, will be more than paid back.
“We are growing in terms of volume very rapidly,” says Foschini.Â “This means that every dealer has more opportunity to make business.”
Lamborghini will unveil the production Urus on December 4th, seven years after the Urus Concept was revealed in Beijing. Expect a V8 engine with 650 horsepower and a base price of less than $200,000.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.