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China Learns the 'Lamborghini Way'

Automaker Finds Inventive Ways to Court Booming Market, Its Second-Largest

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What's the largest market after North America for Lamborghini? China. The automaker's Asia-Pacific CMO James Page said the brand is opening six new dealerships in China between now and year end. That will give Lamborghini 20 dealerships in the country. In fact, of the 1,602 Lamborghinis sold in the world last year, 342 were in China, where a top-of - the line model starts at about $1 million. The Volkswagen-group owned Italian luxury car brand does little traditional advertising in the Asia Pacific region but works with PR shop Ruder Finn in several areas, including China.

Ad Age : Who are your target consumers?

James Page: Specifically in China, it's one of the youngest markets in the world. [Our consumers are] generally middle to late 20s, early 30s. It's a very much younger demographic than what you would see in our developed markets such as Australia or America or Europe.

Ad Age : How is , say, a mining exec in the Shanxi province to interpret Lamborghini's brand values -- "extreme, uncompromising and Italian"?

Mr. Page: We teach them the Lamborghini way. We spend time with them. We do lifestyle events, we do dynamic events where we're on the track and driving. ... We do what we call Lamborghini nights, where we'll entertain people in any specific city at a popular locale. We'll do it the Italian way, it's often a late night entertaining our customers.

Ad Age : How can customers fully experience a Lamborghini when many Asian cities have bad roads and terrible congestion?

Mr. Page: We'll provide them the opportunity, or our dealers will ... to go outside the cities and drive in the mountains, like we have here in Beijing. They can go on the weekends as a group, or with the dealers. Sometimes we'll do track events just for customers.

Ad Age : Customization in China is very popular. What do you do if a customer buys a Lamborghini then puts a bedazzled Hello Kitty on it?

Mr. Page: We have a customization process called Ad Personam that allows the customers to come up with any color that they want. In China, so far I haven't seen any crazy ideas. I know there are some out there, especially on some of the other brands.

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