|Fate||Acquired by Audi AG (September 1998)|
|Headquarters||Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy|
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Italian: [lamborˈɡiːni] ( )) is an Italian brand and manufacturer of luxury sports cars and, formerly, SUVs, which is owned by the Volkswagen Group through its subsidiary brand division Audi. Lamborghini's production facility and headquarters are located in Sant'Agata Bolognese Italy. In 2011, Lamborghini's 831 employees produced 1,711 vehicles.
Manufacturing magnate Italian Ferruccio Lamborghini founded Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A. in 1963 to compete with established marques, including Ferrari. The company gained wide acclaim in 1966 for the Miura sports coupé, which established rear mid-engine, rear wheel drive as the standard layout for high-performance cars of the era. Lamborghini grew rapidly during its first decade, but sales plunged in the wake of the 1973 worldwide financial downturn and the oil crisis. The firm's ownership changed three times after 1973, including a bankruptcy in 1978. American Chrysler Corporation took control of Lamborghini in 1987 and sold it to Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V'Power Corporation in 1994. In 1998, Mycom Setdco and V'Power sold Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group where it was placed under the control of the group's Audi division.
New products and model lines were introduced to the brand's portfolio and brought to the market and saw an increased productivity for the brand Lamborghini. In the late 2000s, during the worldwide financial crisis and the subsequent economic crisis, Lamborghini's sales saw a drop of nearly 50 percent.
- 1 History
- 2 Products
- 3 Motorsport
- 4 Marketing
- 5 Corporate affairs
- 6 Licensing
- 7 See also
- 8 Notes
- 9 Citations
- 10 References
- 11 External links
Manufacturing magnate Italian Ferruccio Lamborghini founded the company in 1963 with the objective of producing a refined grand touring car to compete with offerings from established marques such as Ferrari. The company's first models were released in the mid-1960s and were noted for their refinement, power and comfort. Lamborghini gained wide acclaim in 1966 for the Miura sports coupé, which established rear mid-engine, rear wheel drive as the standard layout for high-performance cars of the era.
Lamborghini grew rapidly during its first decade, but sales plunged in the wake of the 1973 worldwide financial downturn and the oil crisis. Ferruccio Lamborghini sold ownership of the company to Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer and retired in 1974. The company went bankrupt in 1978, and was placed in the receivership of brothers Jean-Claude and Patrick Mimran in 1980. The Mimrans purchased the company out of receivership by 1984 and invested heavily in the company's expansion. Under the Mimrans' management, Lamborghini's model line was expanded from the Countach to include the Jalpa sports car and the LM002 high performance off-road vehicle.
The Mimrans sold Lamborghini to the Chrysler Corporation in 1987. After replacing the Countach with the Diablo and discontinuing the Jalpa and the LM002, Chrysler sold Lamborghini to Malaysian investment group Mycom Setdco and Indonesian group V'Power Corporation in 1994. In 1998, Mycom Setdco and V'Power sold Lamborghini to the Volkswagen Group where it was placed under the control of the group's Audi division. New products and model lines were introduced to the brand's portfolio and brought to the market and saw an increased productivity for the brand Lamborghini. In the late 2000s, during the worldwide financial crisis and the subsequent economic crisis, Lamborghini's sales saw a drop of nearly 50 percent.
As of the 2014 model year, Lamborghini's automobile product range consists of two model lines, both of which are mid-engine two-seat sports cars. The V12-powered Aventador line consists of the LP 700–4 coupé and roadster. The V10-powered Huracán line currently includes only the LP 610-4 coupé.
Motori Marini Lamborghini produces a large V12 marine engine block for use in World Offshore Series Class 1 powerboats. A Lamborghini branded marine engine displaces approximately 8,171 cc (499 cu in) and outputs approximately 940 hp (700 kW).
Lamborghini licenses its brand to manufacturers that produce a variety of Lamborghini-branded consumer goods including scale models, clothing, accessories and electronics.
In contrast to his rival Enzo Ferrari, Ferruccio Lamborghini had decided early on that there would be no factory-supported racing of Lamborghinis, viewing motorsport as too expensive and too draining on company resources. This was unusual for the time, as many sports car manufacturers sought to demonstrate the speed, reliability, and technical superiority through motorsport participation. Enzo Ferrari in particular was known for considering his road car business mostly a source of funding for his participation in motor racing. Ferruccio's policy led to tensions between him and his engineers, many of whom were racing enthusiasts; some had previously worked at Ferrari. When Dallara, Stanzani, and Wallace began dedicating their spare time to the development of the P400 prototype, they designed it to be a road car with racing potential, one that could win on the track and also be driven on the road by enthusiasts. When Ferruccio discovered the project, he allowed them to go ahead, seeing it as a potential marketing device for the company, while insisting that it would not be raced. The P400 went on to become the Miura. The closest the company came to building a true race car under Lamborghini's supervision were a few highly modified prototypes, including those built by factory test driver Bob Wallace, such as the Miura SV-based "Jota" and the Jarama S-based "Bob Wallace Special".
In the mid-1970s, while Lamborghini was under the management of Georges-Henri Rossetti, Lamborghini entered into an agreement with BMW to develop, then manufacture 400 cars for BMW in order to meet Group 4 homologation requirements. BMW lacked experience developing a mid-engined vehicle and believed that Lamborghini's experience in that area would make Lamborghini an ideal choice of partner. Due to Lamborghini's shaky finances, Lamborghini fell behind schedule developing the car's structure and running gear. When Lamborghini failed to deliver working prototypes on time, BMW took the program in house, finishing development without Lamborghini. BMW contracted with Baur to produce the car, which BMW named the M1, delivering the first vehicle in October 1978.
In 1985, Lamborghini's British importer developed the Countach QVX, in conjunction with Spice Engineering, for the 1986 Group C championship season. One car was built, but lack of sponsorship caused it to miss the season. The QVX competed in only one race, the non-championship 1986 Southern Suns 500 km race at Kyalami in South Africa, driven by Tiff Needell. Despite the car finishing better than it started, sponsorship could once again not be found and the programme was cancelled.
Lamborghini was an engine supplier in Formula One between the 1989 and 1993 Formula One seasons. It supplied engines to Larrousse (1989–1990,1992–1993), Lotus (1990), Ligier (1991), Minardi (1992), and to the Modena team in 1991. While the latter is commonly referred to as a factory team, the company saw themselves as a supplier, not a backer. The 1992 Larrousse–Lamborghini was largely uncompetitive but noteworthy in its tendency to spew oil from its exhaust system. Cars following closely behind the Larrousse were commonly coloured yellowish-brown by the end of the race. Lamborghini's best result was achieved with Larrousse at the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix, when Aguri Suzuki finished third on home soil.
In late 1991, a Lamborghini Formula One motor was used in the Konrad KM-011 Group C sports car, but the car only lasted a few races before the project was canceled. The same engine, re-badged a Chrysler, Lamborghini's then-parent company, was tested by McLaren towards the end of the 1993 season, with the intent of using it during the 1994 season. Although driver Ayrton Senna was reportedly impressed with the engine's performance, McLaren pulled out of negotiations, choosing a Peugeot engine instead, and Chrysler ended the project.
Two racing versions of the Diablo were built for the Diablo Supertrophy, a single-model racing series held annually from 1996 to 1999. In the first year, the model used in the series was the Diablo SVR, while the Diablo 6.0 GTR was used for the remaining three years. Lamborghini developed the Murciélago R-GT as a production racing car to compete in the FIA GT Championship, the Super GT Championship and the American Le Mans Series in 2004. The car's highest placing in any race that year was the opening round of the FIA GT Championship at Valencia, where the car entered by Reiter Engineering finished third from a fifth-place start. In 2006, during the opening round of the Super GT championship at Suzuka, a car run by the Japan Lamborghini Owners Club garnered the first victory (in class) by an R-GT. A GT3 version of the Gallardo has been developed by Reiter Engineering. A Murciélago R-GT entered by All-Inkl.com racing, driven by Christophe Bouchut and Stefan Mücke, won the opening round of the FIA GT Championship held at Zhuhai International Circuit, achieving the first major international race victory for Lamborghini.
The world of bullfighting is a key part of Lamborghini's identity. In 1962, Ferruccio Lamborghini visited the Seville ranch of Don Eduardo Miura, a renowned breeder of Spanish fighting bulls. Lamborghini, a Taurus himself, was so impressed by the majestic Miura animals that he decided to adopt a raging bull as the emblem for the automaker he would open shortly.
After producing two cars with alphanumeric designations, Lamborghini once again turned to the bull breeder for inspiration. Don Eduardo was filled with pride when he learned that Ferruccio had named a car for his family and their line of bulls; the fourth Miura to be produced was unveiled to him at his ranch in Seville.
The automaker would continue to draw upon the bullfighting connection in future years. The Islero was named for the Miura bull that killed the famed bullfighter Manolete in 1947. Espada is the Spanish word for sword, sometimes used to refer to the bullfighter himself. The Jarama's name carried a special double meaning; intended to refer only to the historic bullfighting region in Spain, Ferruccio was concerned about confusion with the also historic Jarama motor racing track.
After christening the Urraco after a bull breed, in 1974, Lamborghini broke from tradition, naming the Countach not for a bull, but for countach! (pronounced [kunˈtɑtʃ] ( )), an exclamation of astonishment used by Piedmontese men upon sighting a beautiful woman. Legend has it that stylist Nuccio Bertone uttered the word in surprise when he first laid eyes on the Countach prototype, "Project 112". The LM002 (LM for Lamborghini Militaire) sport utility vehicle and the Silhouette (named after the popular racing category of the time) were other exceptions to the tradition.
The Jalpa of 1982 was named for a bull breed; Diablo, for the Duke of Veragua's ferocious bull famous for fighting an epic battle against "El Chicorro" in Madrid in 1869; Murciélago, the legendary bull whose life was spared by "El Lagartijo" for his performance in 1879; Gallardo, named for one of the five ancestral castes of the Spanish fighting bull breed; and Reventón, the bull that defeated young Mexican torero Félix Guzmán in 1943. The Estoque concept of 2008 was named for the estoc, the sword traditionally used by matadors during bullfights.
Throughout its history, Lamborghini has envisioned and presented a variety of concept cars, beginning in 1963 with the very first Lamborghini prototype, the 350GTV. Other famous models include Bertone's 1967 Marzal, 1974 Bravo, and 1980 Athon, Chrysler's 1987 Portofino, the Italdesign-styled Cala from 1995, the Zagato-built Raptor from 1996.
A retro-styled Lamborghini Miura concept car, the first creation of chief designer Walter de'Silva, was presented in 2006. President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann denied that the concept would be put into production, saying that the Miura concept was "a celebration of our history, but Lamborghini is about the future. Retro design is not what we are here for. So we won’t do the [new] Miura.”
At the 2008 Paris Motor Show, Lamborghini revealed the Estoque, a four-door sedan concept. Although there had been much speculation regarding the Estoque's eventual production, Lamborghini management has not made a decision regarding production of what might be the first four-door car to roll out of the Sant'Agata factory.
At the 2010 Paris Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Sesto Elemento. The concept car is made almost entirely of carbon fibre making it extremely light, weighing only 999 kg. The Sesto Elemento shares the same V10 engine found in the Lamborghini Gallardo. Lamborghini hopes to signal a shift in the company's direction from making super cars focused on top speed to producing more agile, track focused cars with the Sesto Elemento. The concept car can reach 0–62 in 2.5 seconds and can reach a top speed of over 180 mph.
At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Aventador J – a roofless, windowless version of the Lamborghini Aventador. The Aventador J uses the same 700 hp engine and seven-speed transmission as the standard Aventador.
At the 2012 Beijing Motor Show, Lamborghini unveiled the Urus SUV. This is the first SUV By Lamborghini since the LM002.
Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. controls five principal subsidiaries: Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A., a manufacturer of motorcycles; Italdesign Giugiaro S.p.A., a 90.1%-owned design and prototyping firm that provides services to the entire Volkswagen Group; MML S.p.A. (Motori Marini Lamborghini), a manufacturer of marine engine blocks; and VOLKSWAGEN GROUP ITALIA S.p.A. (formerly AUTOGERMA S.p.A.), which sells Audi and other Volkswagen Group vehicles in Italy.
By sales, the most important markets in 2004 for Lamborghini's sports cars are the U.S. (41%), Germany (13%), Great Britain (9%) and Japan (8%). Prior to the launch of the Gallardo in 2003, Lamborghini produced approximately 400 vehicles per year; in 2011 Lamborghini produced 1,711 vehicles.
|This section requires expansion. (April 2009)|
|Ferruccio Lamborghini (1963–1972)|
|Georges-Henri Rossetti and René Leimer (1972–1977)|
|Patrick Mimran (1984–1987)|
|Chrysler Corporation (1987–1994)|
|V'Power and Mycom Sedtco (1995–1998)|
|AUDI AG (1999–)|
Automóviles Lamborghini Latinoamérica
Automóviles Lamborghini Latinoamérica S.A. de C.V. (Lamborghini Automobiles of Latin America Public Limited Company) is an authorized distributor and manufacturer of Lamborghini-branded vehicles and merchandise in Latin America and South America.
In 1995, Indonesian corporation MegaTech, Lamborghini's owner at the time, entered into distribution and license agreements with Mexican businessman Jorge Antonio Fernandez Garcia. The agreements give Automóviles Lamborghini Latinoamérica S.A. de C.V. the exclusive distributorship of Lamborghini vehicles and branded merchandise in Latin America and South America. Under the agreements, Automóviles Lamborghini is also allowed to manufacture Lamborghini vehicles and market them worldwide under the Lamborghini brand.
Automóviles Lamborghini has produced two rebodied versions of the Diablo called the Eros and the Coatl. Automóviles Lamborghini plans to start producing auto parts in the Argentine province of Santiago del Estero in 2011, followed by production of cars in 2012.
- According to AUDI AG's 2011 Annual Financial Report, on 1 July 2011, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., Lamborghini AntiMarca S.p.A. and STAR Design S.R.L. were merged into Automobili Lamborghini Holding S.p.A., which was renamed Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (S.p.A. stands for Società per Azioni, the Italian designation for a joint stock company. S.R.L. stands for Società a Responsabilità Limitata, the Italian designation for a private limited company).
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