Winkelmann graces Lambo Manila openingBy Botchi Santos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Lamborghini Manila officially opened its doors last Monday, May 28, at the ground floor of the W Tower at Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. PGA Cars-Lamborghini Manila, the sole and official importer of Lamborghini Automobiles, welcomed select members of the motoring media, powerful business leaders, sports car enthusiasts and government officials to witness the opening, with Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A chief executive officer Stephan Winkelmann as the guest of honor, having flown in to witness the event.
Winkelmann, an Italian-born and educated German, is the embodiment of Lamborghini: charming, charismatic, stylish with a good dose of machismo confidence seemingly overpowering for the average Filipino, but a sense of Germanic efficiency that underlines the key change of Lamborghini supercars now on sale.
Lamborghini itself is in very good health, getting bigger, better, more efficient and ever more profitable over the last couple of years. The Lamborghini Gallardo is Lamborghini’s best ever selling sports car, and as of April 2012, has just passed the 11,741 units produced. The Lamborghini Aventador, introduced to the public last year, is also Lamborghini’s best ever flagship supercar, with a claimed 1,800 units in order, the books full up for the next two years. A Lamborghini concept car, the Urus SUV was presented to the media during the last major motor show in China, where Lamborghini expects its next major growth sector to be at, along with the rest of Asia. Prior to the eurozone crisis, Lamborghini expected one-third of sales to come from Europe, one-third from America and the other one-third from Asia, but it looks to be shifting, now that the US economy still hasn’t fully recovered, and the eurozone crisis is yet to be properly resolved.
Winkelmann was also quick to point out that previously, Lamborghini never bothered to foray into motorsports, but with new parent owner Audi being actively involved in Motorsports, Lamborghini was quick to follow suit and has started its own one-make racing series, the Blancpain Super Trofeo where Lamborghini Gallardo customers can enjoy an arrive-and-drive arrangement that sees Lamborghini undertake the cost of maintenance and repairs as well as logistics, transporting the race cars from various circuits all over Europe and just recently in Asia, at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia, where Winkelmann attended the inaugural running of the event prior to his arrival in Manila.
Winkelmann took the time to answer some questions from the media, such as the timing of Lamborghini’s opening in Manila. Winkelmann quickly pointed out that while Lamborghini and PGA Cars, already the importer of other related brands such as Audi and Porsche, seemed like a match made in heaven, Lamborghini wanted to be sure that PGA Cars was the best group to partner with, understood what Lamborghini was all about, and had both the location and facility to open up a showroom and service center. Although the Lamborghini Manila showroom had its soft opening as early as January of 2012, it was only now that operations have been normalized, hence the timing of the formal opening of Lamborghini Manila.
Asked about the prospects of the brand in the country, Robert Coyiuto III, president of Lamborghini Manila, said: “It’s been very promising indeed, and we’re well on track to hitting our quota for the year but of course, there are still many challenges we need to face.”
Aside from the cars, the Lamborghini Manila showroom will also showcase the Collezione Automobili Lamborghini fashion line, a range of exclusive clothing to suit the Lamborghini enthusiast.
Joining Winkelmann were other guests from Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. in Italy, some officers from Lamborghini’s regional office in China and officers of PGA Cars-Lamborghini, headed by the chairman Robert Coyiuto Jr., whose PGA Group of Companies has interests in the automobile industry (Porsche and Audi importers and distributors), a seat in the Philippine Stock Market, energy distribution, oil exploration and of course insurance.
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