Archive for the 'Lamborghini' Category

2012 European Automotive Recap

Monday, January 14th, 2013

The "all-new" MINI for 2014?

Well, it’s mid-January 2013, and partly because automakers have just announced 2012 whole year sales figures, and those at the bottom of the pile will no doubt be slashing prices to make up for a lackluster year of sales. That means it is a pretty good month to buy a car.

So how good/bad were those sales figures?

Let’s start with Lotus. Thanks to Dany Bahar, the company has set its sights on selling 4000-5000 cars annually by 2015. That is a drop in the bucket for a giant like German Volkswagen or even sports car maker Porsche, but Lotus has a long way to go, and will need to expand their sales five-fold over the 1043 cars sold in 2012. Incidentally, the company sold significantly more cars previously, 1457 in 2011, but the company had a delay on the Exige S production, forcing a huge drop. No doubt some Exige customers are a bit miffed about the extra wait, though they will rest easier knowing that it was reportedly a delay due to a quality overhaul.

Autocar is reporting that the generation-three MINI is about 12 months away, and that figure couldn’t come sooner. Apparently, the car will feature serious improvements from the ground up. As a driver of the 2009 MINI Cooper S, all I can say is that they ought to focus on the interior or I won’t be buying a second one. The third generation is the perfect opportunity to go through the cabin, and reduce the number of plastic pieces which cause the excessive rumbling and rattling and squeaking that my and many other MINIs suffer from. The solution is a combination of more leather, fewer hard plastic pieces, and fewer number of parts overall on the interior. The attached photo seems to indicate some serious design changes as well, but let’s hope we see less black plastic trim outside, rather than MORE, as the picture would indicate. Incidentally, MINI and BMW combined hope to sell near 1,000,000 per year by 2020. Currently MINI is selling about 300,000 cars per year, but they do hope to increase that figure by 50% in the not-so-distant future.

BMW Group as a whole did record business. 1,845,186 BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce vehicles were delivered worldwide. This was an increase of 10.6% over the previous record year in 2011 (1,668,982). BMW brand sales rose 11.6% in 2012 to reach 1,540,085 vehicles, again, a record (2011 totals reached 1,380,384).

  • BMW Group member Rolls-Royce saw another record (the third straight year!). 3,575 cars were delivered to customers in 2012, the highest annual sales in the 108-year history of the marque and the third consecutive record year.
  • Expansion into new markets – Rolls-Royce motor cars are now sold in more than 40 countries worldwide.
  • United States overtakes China to regain number one regional position.

VW’s U.S. numbers were really quite good for 2012, 438,000 units, and worldwide deliveries in 2012 rose 11 percent to 9.07 million vehicles, the Wolfsburg, Germany-based company said in a statement today. With last year’s gains, the maker of VW, Audi and Porsche vehicles has increased annual deliveries 44 percent since 2009.


Model Line Dec. ’12 Actual Dec. ’11 Actual Yr/Yr % change Dec. ’12 YTD Actual Dec. ’11 YTD Actual Yr/Yr % change
Golf 1,477 1,411 4.7% 20,677 17,839 15.9%
GTI 1,085 1,332 -18.5% 16,314 16,867 -3.3%
Golf R 292 N/A N/A 3,894 N/A N/A
Total Golf/GTI 2,854 2,743 4.0% 40,885 34,706 17.8%
Jetta 13,102 12,422 5.5% 146,478 150,515 -2.7%
SportWagen 2,559 2,000 28% 23,946 26,845 -10.8%
Total Jetta 15,661 14,422 8.6% 170,424 177,360 -3.9%
Beetle 2,666 1,530 74.2 28,654 5,626 409.3%
NBC 516 1 51,5000.0% 520 842 -38.2%
Total New Beetle 3,182 1,531 107.8% 29,174 6,468 351.1%
Eos 372 419 -11.2% 6,214 7,533 -17.5%
Passat 14,462 6,884 110.1% 117,023 22,779 413.7%
Passat Wagon N/A N/A N/A N/A 56 -100.0%
Total Passat 14,462 6,884 110.1% 117,023 22,835 412.5%
CC 2,196 2,450 -10.4% 21,646 29,502 -26.6%
Tiguan 3,310 2,403 37.7% 31,731 25,990 22.1%
Touareg 1,408 1,117 26.1% 10,553 7,535 40.1%
Routan 560 533 5.1% 10,483 12,473 -16.0%
Total Sales 44,005 32,502 35.4% 438,133 324,402 35.1%

Sister company Audi reached U.S. sales of 140,000 for 2012. Interestingly highline imports to the U.S. market accounted for approximately 1.4million cars out of 14.4 million sold overall. Worldwide, however, Audi did quite well with 1.455m units shifted in 2012.

Porsche had a stellar 2012. We’ve seen conflicting reports from Porsche, first saying they were hiring, then saying they were putting a halt, so it’s not quite clear what the internal dynamics of the company are at this time, but the 918 supercar remains on track and Porsche reports it added 30 percent staff in the last year (bringing the total to 17,000). Record worldwide sales of 141,075 were an 18.7% increase over the 2011 record year of 118,868 vehicles. No doubt, China is fueling a large percentage of these records as it sold a record 31,205. Somewhat surprisingly, the largest Porsche market remains the U.S. with 35,043 sales. Due to the new 911 seeing the showroom, 911 series model sales shot up 31.4% and the Boxster, which also received a refresh, saw sales up 29.1%. On the downside, the father of the 911, the Ferdinand Porsche died in 2012, and Dr. Wolfgang Porsche took over as Chairman of the Supervisory board.

Porsche Deliveries December Fiscal year
2012 2011 Variance (%) 2012 2011 Variance (%)
World 12,097 9,159 32.1 141,075 118,868 18.7
Europe 4,674 4,149 12.7 49,639 43,748 13.5
Germany 1,387 1,102 25.9 17,487 14,959 16.9
America 3,479 2,061 68.8 41,060 34,350 19.5
USA 2,952 1,834 61.0 35,043 29,023 20.7
Asia-Pacific 3,944 2,949 33.7 50,376 40,770 23.6
China 1,937 1,867 3.7 31,205 24,340 28.2

Bentley saw worldwide growth of 22% in 2012 to 8,510. 2011 saw 7,003 sales.


The Americas finished 2012 as Bentley’s largest global market, with 2,457 cars delivered to customers in the region, a 22% increase on 2011 (2,021 cars). China followed closely with 2,253 cars delivered, Bentley’s largest ever volume in the region and a 23% increase on 2011 (1,839 cars).

In Europe, deliveries grew by 12% with 1,333 cars delivered to customers (1,187 in 2011). The increasing popularity of the Bentley brand in growing markets like Russia, where deliveries were up 37%, contributed to the strong performance of the region. In the UK, 1,104 cars were delivered to customers, a 7% increase on the previous year (1,031 cars).

The Middle East region performed very well with deliveries up 44% to 815 cars (566 in 2011). Asia Pacific also increased its deliveries by 44% to 358 cars (249 in 2011). Finally Japan saw exceptional growth of 73% with 190 deliveries (110 in 2011).”

Following record sales in the previous year, Mercedes-Benz Cars has once again posted an annual record in 2012 as well as the highest December sales to date. Over the past twelve months, 1,423,835 customers chose a vehicle of the brands Mercedes-Benz, smart and Maybach. The previous year’s sales volumes were thus exceeded by 4.5% or 60,901 units. Also Mercedes-Benz achieved a new sales record in 2012. From January through December, a total of 1,320,097 vehicles of the core brand (Mercedes-Benz) were sold.

Overview of sales by Mercedes-Benz Cars

December 2012 Change in % as of December 2012 Change in %
Mercedes-Benz 125,234 +0.7 1,320,097 +4.7
smart 7,355 -4.0 103,738 +1.7
Mercedes-Benz Cars 132,589 +0.4 1,423,835 +4.5
Mercedes-Benz sales by market
Western Europe 47,195 -3.8 554,797 +0.6
- thereof Germany 22,691 -10.3 261,084 -0.4
NAFTA region 31,872 +10.1 311,547 +11.3
- thereof USA 28,145 +9.5 274,134 +11.8
Asia/Pacific region 33,805 -6.6 337,102 +5.1
- thereof Japan 5,234 +33.3 40,488 +24.9
- thereof China 18,910 -18.6 196,211 +1.5

In Europe, Renault had a tough year. It looked something like this:

Full year 2012 VOLUMES Var vs 2011

(in %)

MS %
RENAULT GROUP PC+LCV 551 334 -19,8% 24,2%
RENAULT GROUP PC 424 147 -22,1% 22,3%
RENAULT GROUP LCV 127 187 -10,8% 33,1%
RENAULT PC 343 355 -24,7% 18,1%
RENAULT LCV 123 455 -10,1% 32,1%
DACIA PC 80 792 -9,2% 4,3%
DACIA LCV 3 732 -29,6% 1,0%

Note, PC=Cars

LCV=Light Commercial Vehicles

Peugeot’s sales were down, as was their media web site. I did find out from Bloomberg that their sales were down 17% to 2.97 million car sales. Twelve-month sales slid 6.1 percent to 1.56 million vehicles at the Peugeot brand and 12 percent to 1.27 million autos at the Citroen marque.

Jaguar Land Rover saw a great year with sales up 30%. Jaguar Land Rover sales totaled 357,773 vehicles in 2012. It plans to add 800 jobs to support development of new models. The brands sold 71,940 vehicles in China last year, up 71 percent, surpassing sales in the U.K. at 68,333 and the U.S. at 55,675. Land Rover global deliveries rose 36 percent last year, while Jaguar sales increased 6 percent. In the U.S., Land Rover sales climbed 15 percent to 43,664 while Jaguar fell 2.2 percent to 12,011, the company said Jan. 3.


2012 looked good for many automakers. The French clearly need a kick in the pants, but everyone else seems to being playing the game well. Barring any economic issues like the Euro or dollar collapsing, we may continue to see sales increased in 2013 as consumers get more comfortable with the climate.




BMW Group


Weekend entertainment: Fast cars in Paris

Friday, June 22nd, 2012

Bored this weekend? Why not watch a video we caught of a Porsche racing a Lamborghini in the streets of Paris?

VOTW: The Lamborghini Aventador growls to life

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

This video is of the new Lamborghini Aventador. The engine starting sounds like nothing we’ve heard before in the auto industry.

My neighbor has this rusty old Chevy pickup truck from like 1950, and every time he starts it, my house shakes. I would love to exact revenge every morning by starting this beast:

VOTW: Lamborghini’s Balboni talks cars

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Fabled test driver Valentino Balboni on Lamborghini’s latest creations…

Weekend entertainment: a visit to Jay Kay’s garage…

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Jamiroquai front man Jay Kay has some impressive toys. Known to Top Gear enthusiasts as the former Board-Topper (twice), Britain’s Fifth Gear took a tour of the superstar’s garage and play land, which includes everything from a Segway to a Rolls-Royces to any number of Go-Karts…

Video of his first appearance on Top Gear:

Video of Jay Kay’s 2nd record breaker:

Also, check out his review of the Lamborghini Miura on Top Gear:

Ugh… how can something be both creative and disgusting at the same time?

Sunday, February 13th, 2011

Click to find out!

Weekend entertainment? Fiesta vs. Lamborghini?

Friday, September 10th, 2010

Is it possible that viral marketing videos from OEMs are growing old????

Very possible if you are Ford making a half-baked effort to compare the “new” Fiesta to a Lamborghini Gallardo. Presumably a few people watched this video, but no doubt all were disappointed. Even the “cupcake addict” failed to get me all that excited… Uff!

Weekend entertainment: LEARN to DRIVE!

Friday, February 27th, 2009


Your next drive: Lamborghini Gallardo LP-560-4

Your next drive: Lamborghini Gallardo LP-560-4



So let us say that you are looking for a fun weekend get-away for yourself or a loved one. Why not spend it touring one of Europe’s racetracks in a Lamborghini Gallardo at 160+ miles per hour.

Granted, at $3,900 (not including your flight, of course), the Lamborghini driving program is not what you would call cheap or affordable. But if you have a little cash lying around and want to try something that will get your pulse racing, may we suggest this???


From Lamborghini:

20 February 2009

SANT’AGATA BOLOGNESE — Lamborghini has announced its new Lamborghini Academy dates for 2009. With courses open to all sports car enthusiasts as well as Lamborghini owners, the track driving schools provide an extraordinary opportunity to experience the full potential of Lamborghini cars, alongside the Italian super sports car manufacturer’s professional instructors.

The Track Academy course provides an entry into the Lamborghini Academy world. Held at various European race tracks from Spring 2009 onwards, participants’ driving skills are improved alongside a professional driver instructor, while exploring the full potential of the Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4.

The Advanced Academy is the top level programme, and concentrates on optimum control and performance on the race track, fully supported by a professional invehicle telemetry system. Driving is undertaken in the Gallardo LP 560-4 and the Murciélago LP 640: the fastest and most extreme super sports car in its class.

All classes include technical and safety briefings, followed by handling and performance exercises, with instruction on how to get the ‘ultimate kick’ from race track driving! Participants improve their handling and feel of Lamborghini’s permanent four-wheel drive cars, learn to manage understeer and oversteer; practice manoeuvres with and without ABS and ESP; master ‘controlled drifting’ and, of course, find the ideal ‘racing line’ on track.

As a reminiscence of this experience each individual participant gets his own in-car-video with footage of the whole driving day as well as a photo CD of all the action of the day on the race track.

Lamborghini Academy courses start from 3,900.00 euro, including accommodation, cars at the race track and all driving instruction, but excluding travel. For full details, go to, or contact your local Lamborghini dealer.


Economic failures = new car models for European automakers. Month in review.

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009

Audi R8

The economy is hurting and more and more carmakers are suffering. Not all are doing poorly, though. Audi, as an example reported record sales for 2008, with over 1,000,000 vehicles sold. Lamborghini, owned by the VW/Audi Group, also posted record sales for 2008. Both companies produce sports cars that retail at over US$100,000.

Let us examine the developments of the last month by automaker:

Porsche. There is no substitute for a strong economy. A poor economy negatively impacted sales at the sports car maker, and even a significantly revised 911 model did not save it from a virtual sales slump. Porsche is tighter with numbers than most companies, but while sales were slowing, the company hopes that new models in 2009 will help it combat slumping sales. A four-door car, the Panamera should hit showroom floors in the first half of 2009, while you can expect to drive a 2009 Boxster/Cayman with revised powertrain as soon as March.

In financial news the company announced the first week of January that they had bought an additional 8.16 per cent stake in VW worth 6.1bn Euro/US$8.2bn. Porsche now owns 50.76 per cent of VW Group but may gain further stake in VW, rising to 75 per cent in coming months (if all goes as planned).  In November, news came out that Germany’s upper house of parliament passed new laws regarding ownership of VW, despite European Commission rulings that such laws were illegal.

In November, the high profit-maker in the world gobbled up a stake, which sent hedge funds scrambled to recover from trading, which briefly left VW as the most valuable company in the world. Porsche’s finance team effectively practiced something called “cornering”. Let us not forget that Porsche is better as an investor than as a carmaker – though they are a damned good carmaker. In 2007, the company made 3.6 billion Euros on investments, and only a paltry 1 billion Euros on cars. At a 12 per cent profit margin, the decision to invest in VW stands financial positioning, and partly seeking a partner with whom to share technology development costs.

Still, everyone is watching the dollars and cents these days. Even Porsche has announced that is it pulling out of the American LeMans series for 2009 – in part. It is pulling the P2 team, but not pulling support for the 911 GT3 RSRs in the GT2 category.

Mercedes-Benz. Mercedes has finally announced the much-anticipated E-class for 2009. The new car replaces the round headlights with more rectangular ones, perhaps in the style of the C-class or a Lexus.


Lamborghini struggling?

Monday, November 10th, 2008


Well, the world’s largest Lamborghini dealership has closed this year as well as the largest Chevy dealer.

Orange County Lamborghini apparently closed its doors, though the site remains: LAMBORGHINI ORANGE COUNTY

According to Leftlane New the company’s management struggled, despite the dealership being quite successful with some exclusive clientele for which most luxury goods makers would kill. It’s unclear which part of the family business is failing, however, as Vik is the property owner, but the dealership owners are actually Nora, Sossi, and Astrid, his sisters. One possibility is that cash flow is weak following the 2007 purchase of an Audi-VW dealership in Santa Ana. Either way, the business lesson to be learned is that cash flow is not safe in the down economy.


How a reverse VW-Porsche takeover might work

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

Unless you have been living in a cave the last two years, you know that Porsche’s strong financial position has allowed them to make a gradual play for VW’s shares. In fact it is just the latest in what has been a long-time partnership between the two + Audi. You may recall that many years ago Audi+Porsche dealerships often shared the same building.

But what we really didn’t know until recently was how Porsche might use VW in their product portfolio. Remember that the VW Touareg , Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne share the same platform. The benefit being significantly cheaper development costs. Bear in mind that Porsche has had a benefit in this partnership of releasing their Cayenne before VW and Audi have released their products. Ironically, it is the smashing success of the Cayenne product line that has given Porsche the ability to launch a takeover of VW.


Bad times for consumers, Good times for Ferrari

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008

Are Ferrari and most other supercar makers immune to economic recession? That was the question that everyone wanted an answer to because the “just how bad is it?” gets answered when we financial figures.

Ferrari released this press statement verbatim on October 27:

“Maranello, October 27th, 2008 – The Board of Directors of Ferrari SpA met today under the chairmanship of Luca di Montezemolo, to examine the third quarter results. Ferrari recorded 450 million in revenues (up 22.3 percent year-over-year), and a trading profit of 79 million (17.6 percent of revenues), up 41.1 percent from the 56 million figure (15.2 percent of revenues) for Q3 2007.

Lamborghini returns!

Monday, July 21st, 2008

How pleased Lamborghini must be that it’s latest supercar, the Murciélago LP640 has just co-starred with Cristian Bale in the latest Batman flick, the Dark Knight. Who knows if Lambo paid dearly for the product placement, but a 155+ million dollar opening weekend is sure to get them a ton of free advertising.

Auto companies are masters at product placement.

A few examples:

  • Ferrari – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Matthew Broderick steals his friend’s father’s 250 GT California.
  • Porsche – Tom Cruise drives a 928 into Lake Michigan (oops!)
  • Dodge Challenger – Vanishing Point’s star car gets driven into 2 bulldozers at high speed. Big crash!

Tons of other examples exist, I am sure someone will point out the cars from Bullitt and Miami Vice, too…

Look for the ultra-exclusive Lamborghini Reventón to appear in a yet-to-be-determined film sometime soon!

LOTW: Supercar Fun Club

Friday, May 16th, 2008

This week’s Link of the Week is pretty cool. Because of their rarity, non-millionaire fans of supercars can often find it difficult to get behind the wheel of the world’s flashiest and fastest cars. Even millionaires find it difficult to choose with a record number of supercars available for public consumption.

If you’ve ever wanted to spend the day “testing” a variety of supercars at supercar speeds, there’s a new option for you. 

It’s called Supercar Life.

The LA Times has written about the program here:,0,4314202.story

Lamborghini makes a profit, sister company Bentley does too!

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008


Supercar profits used to be a pipe dream. It was only a year ago that we told you the story of how companies like Aston Martin and Ferrari were making money hand over fist. Today it was Lamborghini’s turn as they announced financial results for 2007. 2007 was indeed quite a year.

During a race against a jet


Middle East Supercar Sales Surge, You Pay for Them!

Tuesday, July 10th, 2007

Enjoying paying US$3+ for that gallon of gas? Didn’t think so. But don’t worry the Middle Easterners are more than happy to sell your their pricey car juice. And they’ll use it to buy themselves a Ferrari! Super!

Yellow Ferrari F430 Spyder

Article Here

Aston Martins, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis are selling like hot cakes in the land of sand, so get yours before the list gets too long…

Photo courtesy Ferrari.

Supercar Profits a Pipe Dream?

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2007

In our most recent posting we pointed out that Aston Martin was integral to Ford’s Premier Auto Group, not just because it represented Ford’s presence in the supercar market, but because it was also profitable.

Profitability is something that once eluded supercar makers such as Aston, Ferrari, and Lamborghini, even Porsche at times. We noted that Aston Martin is, according to Ford, now a profitable unit. As Ford does not publish profitability for each of the PAG’s units, we will have to take their word for it, but we do know they sold over 5000 cars in 2006.

Take a look at Lamborghini, which according to the company, pretax profits rose to €18.1 million in 2006. That’s a 4.5-fold increase from 2005 when profits were only €4.4 million. CEO Stephan Winkelmann has said, “We have a complete model range, which is the youngest we’ve ever had. We are now a real car manufacturer.” While the “real-ness” of Lamborghini’s product line may be debatable, they do have 10-cylinder and 12-cylinder models, the Gallardo and Murciélago, respectively. Both models feature a coupe and roadster version.

Collage of Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari FXX, Porsche 911 Turbo

Part of this increase has been due to higher demand and production. In 2000, Lamborghini produced just 1 car per day, but in 2006 they had ramped up to 13 per day. This figure is still more than a bit shy of Porsche, but respectable for considering competitor Pagani has said it will make only about 20 cars for the year.

Doing very simple math, without consideration for one time write offs/sales, we can note the following per car sales for 2006:


Profit (pretax)

Production (# of cars produced)

Per car profit


€ 18,000,000


€ 8,591.89


€ 183,000,000


€ 32,269.44

Aston Martin





€ 1,390,000,000


€ 16,083.12

Porsche is the most profitable auto manufacturer in Europe, but per car averages put Ferrari impressively on top. Aston Martin and Pagani do not post numbers officially, but Aston reports a profit, however small that may be. Bottom-line, money CAN be made in supercars!


Aston Martin

Ford Resurrects the Taurus? Say it ain’t so!

Thursday, February 15th, 2007

At Beyond the KM, we find that automotive news is a love-hate sort of relationship. We loved the new Porsche Turbo, but we hate the new Kia Rondo (and every Kia for that matter). We love new safety devices like Mercedes S-Class radar-guided cruise control, but hate when it fails.

Thus the relationship continues this week when Ford announced that it was resurrecting the Taurus name. As we stated months prior, we LOVED when they ditched the Taurus, and we HATE that they are bringing back the nameplate.

It is not to say that Taurus is the worst name for a car, certainly, the Sable (also being resurrected) is worse, and Lamborghini does name many of their cars after bull fighting legends (think Murciélago and Miura). The problem we have always had is that the Taurus name, while having seen heavy investment over the years, still stands for mediocrity. Would a food maker name a new flavor of cheese “the moldy, stinky jack” ??? We don’t think so.

In essence Ford is trying to resurrect a car that is not selling well hoping that the mediocrity of its predecessor will not drive buyers further away. The move by Ford proves mediocrity in the marketing organization and will likely show that no matter how fanciful the name, if you are producing junk, people won’t buy it. American carmakers still don’t seem to take cue from the Europeans and Japanese that quality is more important than nameplate. Chevy NOVA anyone?

Car of the Year Awards Winter 2007

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Yes, it’s that time of the year, the picks for the best cars as of Winter 2007.

Which European cars are by matter of fact, “the best”? Find out below:

Best Supercar over $500,000: Bugatti Veyron 16.4

Best Supercar under $500,000: Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder

Best Ultra Luxury Convertible: Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupé

Best Ultra Luxury Sedan: Rolls-Royce Phantom

Best Ultra Luxury Coupé: Bentley GT

Best Hot Hatchback: VW GTI

Best Hot Sedan: Audi S8

Best sound: (tie) Ferrari 599 GTB/Ferrari F430

Best sports car under $100,000: Porsche 911 Carrera S

Best sports car over $100,000: Aston Martin DB9 Volante

Best new sports car: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Best Small Car: Mini Cooper S (John Cooper Works Edition)

Best Old Car Experience: Caterham Lotus 7 SV

Most economical and fun sports car: Lotus Elise

Mid-sized Sedan: BMW M5

Best Car for Old People Who Don’t Give a Damn: Mercedes-Benz S65 AMG

Best SUV: Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG

Best minivan/mpv (yes, I’m ACTUALLY including this category): Mercedes-Benz R63 AMG