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Lamborghini CEO on electrification, future of supercar maker

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Lamborghini chairman and CEO Stephan Winkelmann joined Yahoo Finance to talk about the company's 2021 performance, outlook for next year, and its upcoming electrification efforts.

Video transcript

ADAM SHAPIRO: We're just talking about the classic car market-- more than $2 billion in sales-- at the auctions. But why wait until the car is a classic, when you can buy a classic today that's going to go up in value? And we're talking the pinnacle of sport luxury racing vehicles-- Lamborghini, of course. The CEO from Lamborghini, Stephan Winkelmann is joining us now. He's the chairman and CEO at Lamborghini. Along with Pras Subramanian, my fellow car geek. And I'm going to turn it over to you Pras.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: Hey Stephan. Thanks again for joining us. Really appreciate it. So wanted to ask you about 2021. We spoke earlier this year, you said that the year was actually trending better than 2019. How are things going so far as Q3 has come to an end and Q4 is starting to finish up?

STEPHAN WINKELMANN: I have to say, even better than the last time we talked. Every month is better than the month before. Every month we are selling more cars than we can deliver. And if you buy a Lamborghini today, you have to wait one year until you get your new car. Overall at 2021, it's going to be a record year, both in sales and also in terms of financial figures. So we are very happy about that. And we are looking forward to the year 2022.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So the Urus super SUV is you top selling vehicles by far this year. Are you guys seeing a lot of conversion from people buying that car to buying sports cars now? Or is it are you getting a lot of new customers from that SUV?

STEPHAN WINKELMANN: Yes. Because first of all, as you said this is the car which we are selling the most. And we have a lot of new customers due to this, due to the Urus. And this is also an opportunity. And we have a lot of examples where via the Urus, they are approaching also our super sports cars has like the Aventador and Huracan. So this is also a good flow into the other type of business we are having.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Hey, Stefan. It's Adam, and it's good to have you back. I think the last time we were talking, it was the end of this decade when Lamborghini would have a pure electric. As an old guy here who grew up on internal combustion engines-- and I do love the internal combustion engine-- are they going to be-- Let's look at 2030s, in the 2030s-- are they just going to be phased out altogether across the industry? Whether it's super sport luxury like you produce, down to the Fords that some people might buy?

STEPHAN WINKELMANN: I have to tell you that we are planning to have four models in total. Two Super sports cars and two more versatile vehicles. And after 2030, they're diversified so they're more daily usable vehicles. We will have them full electric cars. On the super sports cars, we are planning now to be doing them as plug-in hybrids. So the new cars will be plug-in hybrids. The legislator will tell us what we are allowed to do from 2030 onwards.

And on the other hand, we hope that there will be an opportunity for synthetic fuel-- which is then CO2 neutral-- to be as big enough, or distributed enough in a high quantity, that we have a capillarity, which we can also then fuel our super sports cars. So this is an opportunity we want to live open. We don't have to decide now, because this is not the moment where this type of fuel is present. And we don't know if it's going to be developed on a level which is then good for us as well.

So this is a window we leave open after this, or at the beginning of the '30s.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: So Stephan, when do you think we would first for the first time see a purely electric Lamborghini EV? How soon?

STEPHAN WINKELMANN: The first thing would be in the second part of this decade. So we think about '27, '28. And before that we will hybridized all the lineup we are having today. So the first full electric car will be our Ford model.

PRAS SUBRAMANIAN: And Stephan, real quick, I wanted to ask you about the Countach. Obviously a lot of hype, a lot of people talking about that car. You pre-sold that even before it came out. What do you think is the situation here with a lot of these big car super sport car makers doing these one off type of cars? Ferrari doing it, so is Aston Martin. Do you think it's going to continuing for the not-distant future?

STEPHAN WINKELMANN: If you do it once in a while, this is very positive for the customers because they get a special car. A very limited number of car with new technology, with a complete new design. And this is what they appreciate, because the value is going to increase over time. And it's not only a wonderful car, but it's also a good investment. So if you do it once in a while, this is a good exercise both for the customer and also for the company.

It's also a test how the brand is developing. How the people react when you have something which is really outstanding and new.

ADAM SHAPIRO: Stephan Winkelmann is Lamborghini's chairman and CEO. And Pras Subramanian is not only our executive producer, but Stephan he wants you to know he's volunteering to be a test driver for your new models as he wants to find out how they run here in the city. All the best of both of you.

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