Lamborghini has become the latest car
manufacturer to announce a production slowdown as it
grapples with shrinking sales: it will halt the production
lines at Sant'Agata for two weeks between February and
March. Just under one-third of the workforce at the factory
located near Bologna will be affected by the decision.
Prestige car manufacturing rivals
including Bentley, Aston Martin, Rolls Royce and
Mercedes-Benz have all announced halts to production in
recent months, and Lamborghini believes that this shutdown
will protect jobs in the longer-term. In order to avoid
redundancies, Lamborghini has reduced working hours. The
two-week shutdown will affect around 300 of the Raging
Bull's 1,000 staff.
"We have established a decade of sales
and profit increases, including another record year for
deliveries in 2008, but we cannot maintain the previous
levels of production during the downturn," commented
Lamborghini’s CEO, Stephan Winkelmann.
"Therefore, in agreement with the unions, we have decided to
implement the option of a working time reduction. This
provides a flexible reaction to market volatilities and
helps to ensure production jobs in the long term," he added.
Just prior to Christmas Winkelmann had issued a
bullish statement stating that Lamborghiniis very well
placed to ride out the global recession and that the
Audi-owned brand would continue to adhere to its future
growth targets. During last month's
North American International Auto Show in Detroit
Lamborghini confirmed that last year set a new record for
sales with 2,430 cars being delivered, a growth of 1 percent
on 2007's total of 2,406 units.
The unions at Sant'Agata have been quick
to support Lamborghini's plan to cut working hours. "The
working time reduction has been agreed in order to safeguard
jobs and to retain the growth realised by the company during
the previous two years," commented the main union leader.
"Paying attention to personnel will be crucial for economic
The target of bringing a new sports car
model to production each year would stay in place, and
Lamborghini is now preparing to unveil a final
limited-edition version of the ageing V12-engined Murciélago
supercar when the 79th Geneva Motor Show opens its door in
just under two weeks time. "The company will not abandon its
long-term strategy and is not making any reductions in its
investment and growth plans. We are committed to introducing
one new product to the market each year," added Winkelmann.