Q and A with Andrea Baldi, General Manager, Asia Pacific, Automobili Lamborghini and Sharad Agarwal, Head, Lamborghini India.
How did you zero in on the name? What does Urus mean?
Andrea: Urus means ‘bull’; it's a Latin word. You know, normally we choose the name of a bull fighting in the arena. In this case, it means exactly ‘bull’ in Latin.
What are Lamborghini’s expectations in India?
Agarwal: India is one of the strategic markets for Lamborghini worldwide and this is also being seen in our actions, in what we have done. In 2012, we created a setup and structure in India which is dedicated for Indian market with a long-term view and that’s why this car is here much before than any other markets in the world. We strongly believe that Urus is a true Lamborghini which can actually be a game-changer for the Indian market. In India, we see that people like to travel with family, with kids, with friends; they want to carry heavy luggage, go on holidays; they want a car which is an everyday use car which they can enjoy everywhere. So, this is the perfect answer. You have the performance of a sportscar and also the versatility of an SUV.
What are the figures that you are looking at India?
Agarwal: Globally we are saying that we are going to double our volumes with Urus. So it will take the company to a new dimension, but as I said, India is more of an SUV market. Here we expect our growth is going to be much higher. What we are looking at is a three-digit figure, in terms of volumes, say by 2019, once we have the full availability of Urus for the market.
What was the thinking behind launching an SUV by Lamborghini? Every luxury car maker seems to be launching an SUV these days.
Andrea: First of all, I would like to say that when we presented the concept of the Urus back in 2012, at that time you couldn’t see so many luxury manufacturers saying “I am also going to do one”. Maybe Lamborghini was faster than other companies in seeing a trend. We were clearly wondering and asking ourselves what our customer wanted to see on a Lamborghini…more versatility, more roominess, more usability? This (Urus) is not our first SUV, its our second. (LM 002 was the first). That was an outstanding idea within the DNA of Lamborghini, so it was much easier for us than our competitors to do something that is actually a Lamborghini. Then the real challenge was to translate the sci-fi design of the countache, that language, that vocabulary into an SUV. That was a challenge because our customers got used to a certain shape. All the rules of the shape of the car are exactly following the same dictionary and so, everybody seeing this can say “it’s a Lamborghini and nothing else” and that is the achievement that our designers make.
Why did you bring the white colour to India and not your famous yellow?
Andrea: That’s a good question, but it’s just a matter of coincidence because when we wanted to have two cars in the Asia-Pacific region, to do launches around the region, we asked for one yellow, in fact. We wanted one in a colour that matches with sport. When it's mixed with red and black, you can see the interiors speaking that language. We love this configuration especially with the 23-inch rims that are something unique in shining black and red calipers. I think the car with these colours is extremely elegant, but this is just one of the countless configurations that we can do.
Agarwal: Also, we wanted to showcase that Urus can have multi-personalities. You can have a car that looks very elegant, if you don’t want it to look bold. You can also have a car that will give you the character of a super sportscar, if you want to actually give that character to Urus. You can see that in white; it looks as stunning as it looks in yellow.
Who is the target audience?
Agarwal: People who want to own and be a part of the Lamborghini and want to have uniqueness with them of this visionary product, they all will come. In terms of percentage, we feel it will attract a lot of new buyers in this segment. As we said, Urus is going to expand the luxury segment for the market, so you may have a lot of buyers coming from premium sedans, luxury SUVs to the Lamborghini family. And, yes, there will always be a percentage that will come from within the Lamborghini family, but we expect that a lot many will come from outside—the first-time buyers.
How many orders did you get in India?
Agarwal: As Andrea said the trend in India is also reflecting what is happening worldwide, so we are sold out for 2018 production.
How many units will come to India?
Agarwal: As I said, India is going to be more than double, so it's definitely going to take us, maybe, close to two times this year and, maybe, two and a half-three times in 2019.