The wait time for a new Lamborghini SUV or supercar is now over 12 months as demand from wealthy car enthusiasts shows little sign of slowing down, the automaker’s chief executive told CNBC on Wednesday.
Despite stock market volatility and growing economic uncertainty, demand for Lamborghini is “higher than ever,” said Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann.
“It’s amazing,” Winkelmann said. “It’s hard to predict what’s going to happen and for the rest of 2022. But talking to customers, talking to all of our leaders, we don’t see any slowdown in terms of orders.”
The result is a waiting list that is now over 12 months old. Before the pandemic, the typical waiting list for Lamborghinis was six to nine months. When asked when or if the company’s waiting list will ever return to “normal”, Winkelmann said demand for premium cars may have fundamentally reset to a higher level. given the amount of wealth created over the past two years.
“What we are seeing is that across the world there are more and more people who are able to buy a car like ours,” he said. “After the pandemic, people wanted to reward themselves. And we have the markets that have been flooded with money. I think we’re at a very high plateau. I don’t know if that’s the new normal.”
Additionally, Lamborghinis have become favorites of wealthy young people, who have made their fortunes through crypto, stocks, tech companies, and inheritances. Winkelmann said 70% of Lambo customers will be under 40 by 2025.
“We’ve definitely seen a shift towards a much younger clientele,” he said.
Stephan Winkelmann, CEO of Lamborghini
Courtesy of Lamborghini
Lamborghini posted record profits and production last year, largely thanks to its SUV, the Urus. Sales rose 19% to $2.1 billion, and it delivered 8,405 cars, up 13% from 2020, including sales of 5,021 Urus models, 2,586 Huracans and 798 Aventadors .
Winkelmann said production this year has not been hampered by supply chain issues, as the company gets a high priority for chips and other parts from parent company Volkswagen. He said this year’s production is on track to be even higher than last year’s.
“We’ve improved our production, so we think we’ve improved production,” he said. “We’ll see. But it’s an opportunity for sure.”
Because of long wait times, some dealerships are charging customers five- and six-figure markups to get cars available sooner, either through cancellations from other customers or through demo models. A buyer told CNBC he paid $100,000 to get a Urus in a month, rather than wait.
Winkelmann said the company is doing its best to control pricing practices and prevent “ghost orders” from dealers. But with prices for many used Lambos now at 140% of the new list price, the temptation to profit for dealers with available cars remains strong.
“We don’t share this view of letting people pay for a sticker,” he said. “When we discuss with our partners, our dealers, we are always very clear on our position.”