Lamborghini to will enter Russian, South Korean markets

Sant'Agata Bolognese, Italy. Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann will expand the exotic sports car maker's worldwide dealer network and make the brand more accessible to its customers.

"We are restructuring our sales and marketing sector to comply with market, dealers and customers' demands," the ex-Fiat Deutschland manager said.

Winkelmann, 40, joined the Audi subsidiary on Jan. 1, replacing Werner Mischke.

Audi, which is part of the Volkswagen group, owns 100 percent of Automobili Lamborghini.

Winkelmann will expand the automaker's dealer network to about 80 locations by the end of 2005 from the current 67 dealerships. The 68th outlet will open soon in Boston, Mass.

Represented already in 20 countries, Winkelmann plans to enter new markets this year, including Russia and South Korea.

The number of dealers in Germany soon will be increased to seven from five. One of the new partners will be in Berlin, the other in either Hanover or southern Germany.

To expand the network even further, Winkelmann wants to work more closely with fellow VW group subsidiary Bentley. The exotic brands are considering having joint dealerships in new markets and combining back-office tasks and sharing distribution responsibilities in established markets.

To better manage the brand's sales locations worldwide Winkelmann will use six area managers. Each will be the point of contact for a dozen dealers.

Lamborghini's sales have quadrupled since 2002 and hit a record high of 1,592 in 2004.

With the addition of the open-top, 500-hp Gallardo Spyder, which debuts n September at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Lamborghini's 2006 sales should reach 2,000 units, Winkelmann said.

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