Exclusive: How Lamborghini is prepping up to take on COVID-19 challenges in India, Sharad Agarwal explains
New Delhi | Ankit Dubey: The coronavirus-induced lockdowns across the globe has affected the automobile industry badly. Even the largest auto manufacturing companies are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The lockdown imposed to contain the coronavirus, has affected the economies in such a way that it will take some years to revive them.
For the revival, many car companies are taking necessary steps to take care of its employees and also helping the government by making ventilators, masks and face shields in India.
Regarding the steps to revive itself, Jagran Auto had a special conversation with Sharad Agarwal, Head of Lamborghini India and asked him about the preparations of Lamborghini in reviving its operations after the pandemic.
Q - How has Coronavirus impacted the Indian Strategy of Lamborghini?
Even though there is a pause in the industry currently, Lamborghini’s long term strategy has not deviated as we are extremely optimistic about our scope in India and believe in the India story. Despite challenges which the market is witnessing, we remain positive and see that India definitely has growth potential.
Our biggest concern now is the health, safety and well-being of our employees, partners and customers – this will remain our topmost priority and biggest consideration in determining the brand’s direction this year. We have now aligned ourselves to meet the norms of the current scenario. Our launches are happening digitally and we are also interacting with our customers virtually to engage with them and sharing tips and guidelines with them on successfully maintaining their cars during the current period while the car is staying parked. We at Lamborghini are using this period to work on our processes and prepare ourselves to meet the new expectations which will emerge post Covid-19.
Q - How Lamborghini helps the government to fight coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic?
During this emergency and at the time of this pandemic, we have taken a conscious step to contribute and play our part in the fight against COVID-19. Lamborghini has converted departments of its super sports car production plant in Sant’Agata Bolognese in order to produce surgical masks and protective plexiglass shields. The masks are donated to the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna to be used in Italy for the people. Lamborghini is providing both resources and equipment from its Research and Development Department for lung simulators. We are co-engineering with the production of breathing simulators, supporting Siare Engineering International Group, Italy’s top manufacturer of ventilators, during the health emergency. In just two weeks, Lamborghini has used its 3D printing laboratory to design, produce and validate the simulator, optimizing the components and enabling the production of 18 simulators per week, alongside the 3D-printed production of medical visors in polycarbonate, using an HP Jet Fusion 3D 4200 printer with MJF technology capable of printing with a 0.08 mm precision level.
To show solidarity against the difficult situation we would continue channeling energy to supplement the production of much needed medical supplies.
Q. What is the current market situation in the supersport car segment? What are your expectations?
The current Covid-19 crisis has affected the auto-industry at large which includes the Supercar segment in India. However the order bank from our new launches that we had in the beginning of the year and for Urus will support the business in these challenging times.
Currently the lockdown has been taken down in Green zones and orange zone which will kick start some economic activities. After the situation normalizes everywhere, we still anticipate that it would require a minimum period of 4-6 months for the business segment to regain its momentum, this is primarily because when the lockdown is suspended, the main priority for customers will be to rebuild and steady their business prospects owing to the distress that most businesses are undergoing at this time. The luxury car segment will witness a steeper decline and a revival is not likely to be seen before the start of 2021. It will continue to be our priority to assess and ascertain the market situation and working toward regaining the desired momentum.
Q - Lamborghini plans in terms of launches in the year 2020 & 2021?
We started our year on a great note with launch of the Huracan EVO RWD. The car was appreciated all around appealing to brand newcomers as well as those seeking sublime driving fun. One of our brand pillar is future shapers and we will continue to be the future shapers by introducing newer models that connect with different customer segments. In the spirit of innovation Lamborghini on 7th May had a virtual launch of its newest model, the Huracán EVO RWD Spyder, using Augmentative Reality. Lamborghini can be in everyone's home thanks to Apple's AR technology. As designers of the experiences, we are going to keep the momentum going. Thereby, meeting and exceeding the benchmarks in the super sport segment in the year 2020 & 2021.
Q - What is your take on electrification for India?
Lamborghini as a super sports car brand is all about style, driving dynamics and emotions. When it comes to a super sports car, the idea is to drive it to experience the thrill of driving a Lamborghini. This is why our customers drive a Lamborghini. What we see today, the technology in EV space is not yet evolved to the level that it can give the same dynamics and emotions to the customers that they expect when they buy a Lamborghini.
Lamborghini tries to approach the electrification process in an unconventional way, with a concept car which is radical in the energy management, in the body, in the architecture and in design, in line with the Lamborghini culture. Having said that, Lamborghini has also presented a concept on future electric mobility to Terzo Millennio but if we see technology evolving to a place where we can include same dynamics and feel of Lamborghini in to an electric vehicle than we can look at doing something around it.
Posted By: Talib Khan