Detroit Auto Show 2018
Lamborghini COO Alessandro Farmeschi talks sports cars and SUVs in DetroitHow can an Italian supercar manufacturer start making SUVs and still stay true? Lamborghini's COO joins us to talk about that and more.
[MUSIC] Bob of course we're talking about an even bigger branch expansion coming up with the launch of an SUV not too distant in the future. Now you've had a lot of tease about that I don't know how much you can talk about it but what was the intention for the new SUV the [INAUDIBLE], correct? Yes, so I mean the [INAUDIBLE] is a, and will be a super sport vehicle Would be the first one in the market and is going to hit the market in 2018. And for others these represents a big change for the company, for our clients as well. For the company because we are going to double the size of our sector inside Italy. And we're really doubling the size and this is really exciting. I was in October there after many months leaving here in US and for ten years, in Lamborghini I was completely astonished to see how big the factory is going to be. It's a game changer because obviously we will have a different clientel, we will attract, obviously we will serve families, so our new customer that we will give the opportunity to have a daily drive to all of our customers. That today obviously can enjoy Lamborghini, we say two seats Super sport car. [UNKNOWN] V12 engine and [UNKNOWN] V10 engine. So is a great, great opportunity. [UNKNOWN] this market that is a So powerful and strong in the SUV segment. You've been with Lamborghini for ten years, you were telling us. And you started in the customer relationship side of the business. Yes. And came up to this now top office in the company. What do you know, in your experience, In a nutshell about who is the Lamborghini buyer versus the buyer of another exotic super sports car. What is the DNA of the Lamborghini buyer? What attracts them to come to your car versus a couple of other names we could mention? I would say that one of the key elements is the design of our cars It's very audacious. Yeah. Very audacious. Yes. Yes, you are right. So it's a really sporting AG design that attracts our customers. And for sure it's the technology. So the contents of the technology, the contents that we have. Every year with every product, we bring really strong technical contents. Think about the events [UNKNOWN] that has complete, full carbon fiber [UNKNOWN]. This was launched in 2011. And we had the unique manufacturer producing, developing and assembling the car with this [UNKNOWN]. And also the performance. The handling of the car and the emotion. So these are all those things that attract. Our customer makes the difference versus our competitors. That it goes to. And [UNKNOWN] Technology is very interesting because traditionally all of these cars are traditional I guess I should say. So a lot of ties to history, racing, of course, is very important. But in terms of being progressive in technology, where does the Lamborghini stand when it comes to drive train technology? How progressive is Lamborghini willing to be when it comes to things like Hybrid drive trains and EV drive trains. Because, presumably, the partnership with Audi lets you tap into the family tree a little bit there, right? So we, regarding the technology. So far, we are very concentrated into the super small car technology. Meaning light [INAUDIBLE]. We introduced the carbon fiber. [UNKNOWN] and also the carbon fiber structure in the body of the [UNKNOWN] because lightness [UNKNOWN] is a key factor to win the race in the power-to-weight ratio. And this is a key element for us because handling is one of the key features and when you add the batteries, you add the load. wait. And you reduce the handling. So, so far let me say that we are not looking so closely to introduce these into the Courant models. But for sure, we are a company that, at the age of the technology, and so we are always looking for new solutions. And we would also want to satisfy our clientelle and the market. So we will see something with the SUV for sure and that clearly we are always watching around and seeing which are the trends. And that by confidence the one that we have is technology That allowed us to use batteries or energy in a different way. Maintaining of the pureness sportiness that is our DNA in our cars. Maybe at that time we offered something regarding certification. Well the idea of autonomy and a car like Lamborghini seem ridiculous like they should never be on the same space. But one of the trends in super sports cars is just to make them more livable everyday for the buyers so they're not punishing. Is there a role for driver assist or even a level of autonomy in the future of Lamborghini? I would answer saying that's one of the reasons why you buy Lamborghini is emotion and emotion is driving the car. And so, the autonomous drive machine or systems is something that I don't see So close to ours as a brand, because when you want to experience our cars, you want to drive our car. You want to be the owner. And you want to steer the car to do what you want and also go Going pretty fast so I can see somebody on a race track let's say. [LAUGH] Maybe not always the legal speed. [LAUGH] Right, exactly. I think [UNKNOWN] on the race track would be a little bit less fun. Well, [UNKNOWN] has some devices that can help the driver To improve the safety of the car. Maybe talking with other cars and warning the driver that maybe behind the corner there is another coming. But the driver is the pivot, everything goes around the driver and the car. So I think that at the moment I find it quite difficult to see not only->> Yeah, it was a strange combination but we see so many things and we think about even Lamborghini drivers, a person who wants to drive the care sometimes just back and forth to work on a nice day. And might get distracted and doesn't wanna run into the car in front of, certainly not with a Lamborghini. So little automatic brake in your something, might not offend them. Yeah, something like [UNKNOWN] can be introduced later on. The delicate, it's a delicate dance though or your message starts to get kind of stray doesn't it? I mean, the [UNKNOWN], [BLANK_AUDIO] The key element is the emotion. And emotion comes For what you experience in the car. So driving the car, accelerating on the accelerator and pressing the pedal, breaking. So this is part of what we offer for our customers. So if you mean something that helps the driver, to be warned in a difficult situation, it's something that I can see. But someone who or assistant that drives the car for you. Not full autonomy, no it wouldn't make much sense. I think it's a better- Yeah, go buy a Hyundai. Yeah, it's for other brands. Right. [LAUGH] And that emotional attachment of that driving experience, is the American buyer looking for a different experience than the European buyer of Lamborghinis? Are they being used in different ways do you know? Are there any sort of indications that the American buyer is looking for something a little bit different than the European buyer? Well, I I can tell you that I have been everywhere in the world, and I've seen almost the same behavior. I mean, our customers want to experience the driving, driving to find the narrowest roads with the sharpest corners experiencing the handling, sometimes the speed. So we have a lot of them going to racetracks to have the opportunity to exceed the limits. Because obviously, on a daily basis, if you want, you can do but then you know you will pay something maybe later on. This is how they usually do, they go for weekends, they go to restaurants. And they really like driving and experience the car for the pleasure of really driving. It's a device and it's an experience. Yeah. You're buying both [CROSSTALK] Yeah, you're buying both. And the most exciting thing for me is when we I sometimes go to our track days and track events where we have customers,our prospects coming.When they get out from the car and they smile nad they say wow,that's for me one of the most rewarding thing.>>We can't let you go without asking you what are you driving these days?>>I have an lDEQ7. Very good. Always interesting snapshot of each executive we meet. I used to drive an A7, now I have a Q7. I have a family, and so some. Following the SUV trend, I see. Very on point. [LAUGH]