Monday, 18 July 2011

Fact of the Day: China Likes Fast Cars

Some 200 Chinese have ordered Lamborghini's Aventador 

China is set to overtake the United States to become the world's number one market for Lamborghinis by the end of this year.

The two markets are "battling month by month... but there is a good chance that China is going to be the biggest by the end of the year," says Automobili Lamborghini president and chief executive Stephan Winkelman.

The Italian carmaker sold 138 cars on the mainland in the first six months of this year, an increase of 60 percent from the same period last year, he said.

Meanwhile sales in the US which had been Lamborghini's biggest market were "about the same number" but grew only in single digits in the first half of this year.

The company sold 206 Lamborghinis last year in China, with 150 percent of its sales there. "This year we will get close to 300 cars, at the least," Winkelman predicts.

Meanwhile about 50 cars are sold in Hong Kong each year and he believes Macau will be around 10 to 20 annually.

"When our expectations were not as high as they are today, we were forecasting over the long term, up to 500 cars per year in [mainland] China," Winkelman says.

"I think we can do much more than 500 cars. I don't want to put a time frame on it because it's about building up demand. And it's always about producing less than demand."

Most of the cars sold in China were of the Gallardo line, which starts at a retail price of 3.38 million RMB ($522,410) and were "entry-level" models according to Winkelman.

This year mainland clients are putting in orders for the Aventadors that can accelerate from zero to 100km/h in 2.9 seconds and have a top speed of 350km/h. It also burns 11.3 litres of gas for every 100 kilometres in highway driving.

Those lucky 200 in China who have ordered the Aventadors have to wait 18 months before they can take them out for a spin.

And one can easily imagine them speeding anywhere they have a chance to floor it and flaunt it.

Currently Lamborghini has 14 mainland dealerships and will have more opening in the northwestern coal mining town of Taiyuan, Shanxi province and Shenyang, Liaoning province. That gives a huge clue of what line of work those Lamborghini drivers are in.

And another interesting fact is that mainland Lamborghini buyers are the youngest in the world with an average age of 35. "They are entrepreneurs, they are self-made men," explains Winkelman. "They are very young but in China most of the money is young."

With these kinds of statistics, boys with toys is taken to an astronomical level.

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