Automobili Lamborghini SpA, owned by Germany’s Volkswagen AG , however, sees long-term potential in the nascent Indian market and hopes better-than-expected sales in the United States, its biggest market, will offset the China sales slowdown, Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann said.
“Unfortunately, there are not so many Chinas around the corner. And China for us is a challenge right now,” Winkelmann told reporters in New Delhi. In China Lamborghini sales have slowed to around 200 cars in 2013. The China slowdown is due in part to the new political leadership’s campaign against lavish spending and gifting. Super luxury brands, such as Lamborghini, are seen as especially vulnerable to the crackdown on lavish spending as pricey sports cars have come to symbolize corruption in China.
Although the Indian economy has slowed over the last year, luxury carmakers see tremendous growth potential in the country, which, according to the Boston Consulting Group, had 164,000 millionaire households in 2012. “This is an opportunity we see for our future. And we hope that sooner or later, in terms of taxation, in terms of infrastructure, this is going to be easier to market, and then you have the opportunity to grow in numbers,” Winkelmann said. Annual sales of luxury cars in India stand at just about 1 percent of the total car market, compared with around 7 percent in China.