Lambo’s U.S. CEO on the Urus SUV as a “Real Lamborghini”
Five questions on Lambo’s SUV, its dealerships, and how good help is hard to find.
We spoke with Alessandro Farmeschi, Lamborghini's Americas Region CEO, at the grand opening of the Lamborghini of Rancho Mirage dealership this month.
Automobile Magazine: Some people say the Urus isn't a real Lamborghini. Do you worry about that or just say goodbye and welcome new customers?
Alessandro Farmeschi: We cannot satisfy everyone. We believe that the launching of the Urus was the best option because it is the way to satisfy a large number of customers who are looking for something new, something unique—that is a super-SUV. And it is a real Lamborghini because, if you drive it, you have exactly the same feeling and emotion and "wow" effect of driving a Huracán or an Aventador. Yeah, you are in an SUV, so it is a different dimension. But it is the Lamborghini way of doing things.
AM: How many Urus buyers will ask for the high-performance Pirelli P Zero tires versus the Scorpion ones, which are more off-road-focused?
AF: I believe it will be 70 to 30 percent considering the fact that of course this is a car that is mainly used on a daily basis. Not that you cannot drive with the Scorpions daily. If you specify the model of tire that is specifically developed for off-road, I see more people like that commuting, then having fun on the weekend, maybe going to ski or to the beach.
AM: How many dealerships does this make in America now? What's the maximum?
AF: Officially, there are 34, plus five in Canada. Our strategy is to be in the places where we need to be considering our clientele. We are already well-positioned in the key markets. We need to further expand by just a few locations, not so many, because in the end the Urus is bringing new opportunities in those areas where before there was maybe less demand for a super sports car. With the SUV and the supersports cars together we are now able to satisfy those markets that before were a bit different. So in terms of profitability in general our dealers will be happier now with the third model.
AM: Is there room for the model range to grow any further, or will this be it for the foreseeable future?
AF: At the moment we are quite concentrated on the launch of the Urus that just started. So I believe that our first task today is to secure all the things—the processes, the customer satisfaction—all those things that are where they have to be. What to do next? We are a company that always looks for the unexpected and exceptional. So never say never.
AM: Mechanics are in short supply, especially those who know how to work on models such as Lamborghinis. When a new sales point opens, do you help the dealer to find technicians to work in the shop?
AF: We generally leave our dealers the opportunity to look for specific resources and knowledge in the market that they own. What we do is we support them in training, of course, giving them all the tools—online training platforms, in-person training—so that a person in the Lamborghini world knows exactly how to move the hands and feet around the car if it has to be fixed. In Italy, what we also do, and this is at a different level, is have collaboration with universities. We support the foundation in engineering courses for supersports cars because of course living in the area of Sant'Agata Bolognese, Emilia-Romagna, we are developing in the area around us those who could be the future engineers of Lamborghini. And also we support the training of the workers for the production line starting from school. It would be nice maybe to do something like this in other global markets, but [considering] the dimension of the company today, I believe our first goal is to give them tools and the knowledge to fix a Lamborghini.