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Finesse on four wheelsBy Korea Herald
Published : March 4, 2012 - 18:59
Gone are the days when the wealthy would ogle a Mercedes Benz or BMW above all else. High-end customers are increasingly eyeing built-to-order, traffic-stopping beauty rarely seen in most neighborhoods.
“I have compared Lamborghini Aventador, Maserati Quattroporte and Porsche 911 and decided to settle on the 911. I can get technical about the decision process, it is cheaper, but I wanted a car desired by most but rarely seen,” a Porsche owner wishing to be identified only by his surname Yoon said after waiting six months for his car.
Ferrari, Lamborghini and other such prestigious brands say exclusivity is a core part of their brand identity.
Lamborghini CEO Stephan Winkelmann said in a recent interview in Seoul that the brand deliberately builds fewer cars than demand would support.
“A brand needs history, efficiency and design. It needs to produce fewer than what the market demands, and most importantly, anyone should be able to tell it’s a supercar at a single glance,” Winkelmann told reporters in January.
Lamborghini sold fewer than 15 cars in Korea last year, and it plans to increase that to just 35 this year, according to Winkelmann. All 2,000 vehicles it produces across the world each year sell out. It has no plans to increase production, he added. The amborghini Aventador LP700-4, launched in November for Korea, is 700 horsepower, all-wheel drive and comes with two modes in 50 millisecond shifts. It is capable of reaching 100 kilometers per hour from standstill in 2.9 seconds. It costs 575 million won, inclusive of value-added tax.
Ferrari, long considered the biggest rival of Lamborghini, priced its new first all-wheel drive Ferrari FF at 460 million won. It takes 3.7 seconds to reach 100 kilometers per hour.
The first ever four-wheel drive from Ferrari was brought into Seoul in October and is the largest, heaviest and most expensive model in the exclusive Ferrari range with a V12 engine.
Enrico Galliera, marketing director at Ferrari, said the brand is desired by so many, even with an average waiting period of four to five months, because of the short supply.
“It is our goal to keep supply thin. The consistent short supply of Ferrari makes it rare and therefore desirable,” Galliera said during his October visit for the launch of Ferrari FF.
A marketing expert at Lamborghini said it is often a test drive that makes people sign a contract.
“You can’t do the hard sell to people in this price bracket,” Juliet Javis, marketing manager for Lamborghini in Britain, said at a test drive day in Cortina in the Italian Alps, in February.
“We always see a result from our drive events. Once people drive the car, they’re hooked.”
By Cynthia J. Kim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Articles by Korea Herald
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