Interview with Sharad Agarwal, Head, Lamborghini India
<i>The Ed chats with the head of Lamborghini India about the current trend of Lamborghini sales, the models that are set to make a mark in the Indian market and customer behaviour vis-a-vis the brand</i>
Sirish Chandran: So Sharad, how has the Indian business been?
Sharad Agarwal: It’s been very good for us, as you know that we were leading the super/sportscar segment until 2017. In 2018 we launched the Urus, after which we moved to a completely new achievement because we started leading the overall super luxury segment in India which has been a phenomenal achievement for us. And given the way things are today, we are confident to continue this growth path and we are going to be even stronger in the super luxury space in India. So, It’s been exciting for us, so far.
SC: After the Urus, has there been a decline in supercar demand?
SA: Not really. With Urus what we see is that 70 per cent of customers are first time Lamborghini buyers. These people always had an aspiration or an ambition that they want to own and be a part of Lamborghini family. But you know we have a lot of challenges in the Indian scenario such as traffic condition or infrastructure which was keeping them away. Now that they have come to our family, they are experiencing more and more of what the Lamborghini experience is all about. I’m sure they’ll move to supercars after Urus, because end of the day they always had the desire to have one in their garage.
SC: You see a lot of Urus deliveries, especially on Instagram. How many cars have you’ll delivered till now?
SA: I can’t give you a clear number at this stage. But I can say that this year Urus should contribute to more than 50 per cent of our business. This trend is expected to continue because, it’s been more than one and a half year since we launched the Urus in India, but the demand is very strong and continues to be on long wait lists for around 9-12 months. This is giving us good hope, and we believe our business will keep moving to a new dimension.
SC: In terms of supercar sales, do you outsell your rivals?
SA: Absolutely. Yes.
SC: How much do you see the Huracan Evo adding to your supersport sales?
SA: Going forward, what we believe is that the segment itself will be driven by the Evo. The current response is very encouraging. We launched the car in February and the order bank looks very strong. And people are going to experience it now. Evo is all about driving dynamics and driving emotions. I think once they drive and experience the car, they are going to really love it; they are going to feel that it’s really the evolution what we have got to the market. It should further strengthen the response we are having for the Evo in India.
SC: Do you see any demand for electrification?
SA: Not really. If you see the Lamborghini DNA, it is about driving dynamics and emotions. The technology which is there right now in the EV space is different and which is why we don’t see this technology in supercars. If it evolves and reaches a dimension then people will look at it. What is the reason behind people buying a Lamborghini? They want to enjoy the driving experience, the sound of the engine, the emotions that they get from a NA engine. This differentiates us from the rest of the market. People come to us because of this and we think that it will continue to come to us because of this. I don’t know how many would want to jump the EV bandwagon and lose the driving experience.
SC: Were you surprised by the response that you received for Aventador SVJ?
SA: India is moving towards limited edition cars. In 2017, we had brought the Huracan Avio and we got three units allocated to India out of the total 250 in the world. When we were launching the SVJ, we were anticipating a good response but never thought it would be that strong. We ended up refusing to give the car to customers as we were sold out worldwide. We have delivered five so far and we will be seeing more coming to India.
SC: Are there any updates for the Urus?
SA: Right now our focus is to meet the current demand. In time, we will look at giving more options in terms of customisation of the car. Very soon, we will open our personalization program known as ‘Ad Personam’ for Urus which will give our customers much more options and combinations in terms of customisation of the car. Right now our focus is to meet the current demand.
SA: We do have a used car program which is known as ‘Selezione’. The challenge in India with this is that we rarely find cars coming to us from the customer garage. We find that cars are moving from one garage to another, and there is no role to play for us as there is already high aspirational level for Lamborghinis in India. People are also queuing up saying that “whenever you want to sell, I am your buyer for the car.”
SC: Are you going to increase your dealership base?
SA: As of now, we have updated the current infrastructure at the current dealerships. Very soon you will see a completely new experience zone in all the three cities. We have also added more manpower so that we can take care of after sales requirements. What we believe is that, after this stage, our network is geared up to handle the additional volume. In future, we are going to evaluate the chances of opening new dealerships.