High duty in India a burden in selling cars: Lamborghini chief Stephan Winkelmann

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Bengaluru | Updated: November 28, 2014 11:16:50 AM

Italian super-sportscar maker Automobili Lamborghini’s President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann...

President & CEO of Automobili Lamborghini Stephan Winkelmann poses with a car during the inauguration of the company's showroom in Bengaluru. PTIPresident & CEO of Automobili Lamborghini Stephan Winkelmann poses with a car during the inauguration of the company’s showroom in Bengaluru. PTI

Italian super-sportscar maker Automobili Lamborghini’s President and CEO Stephan Winkelmann today said high import duty is the main burden for selling its vehicles in India.

“In 2011, the customs duty was 60 per cent and the basic customs duty now is 100 per cent, which ranges up to 167 per cent … this is what the main burden we have (for selling their cars in India,” he told reporters here at the inauguration of the company’s showroom here.

Asked if the company had petitioned the central government to bring down the import duty on cars like these, he said it was left to industry to seek duty concessions collectively.

“We are a small manufacturer. We know the weight of the small manufacturer. If we have to do something like this (asking for duty concessions), we have to come together with other manufacturers, who are interested in bringing the duty down. We alone don’t have to wait for the change of mind.”

He said the company would be comfortable if the import duty is capped at 2011 levels, when it was 60 per cent.

lamborghini

Winkelmann, however, said the reduction in import duties will help the government earn more. “It is clear that if the taxation is going down and the sales are going up, at the end of the day the government is earning more,” he said.

He said Brazil was another market where there is an issue of high import duties. “Yes, there is another market like this – Brazil. Brazil is a bit different and there are safety measures,” he said.

Replying to a question, he said 22 Lamborghini cars were sold in India last year. Sales could go a bit below as Huracan was launched in the market a couple of months ago, he added.

The company has sold 94 cars till date in India and 2013 was the best year for the company while 2011 was the best year for the industry, Winkelmann said.

Winkelmann said the company wants to launch SUV in Indian market in 2018.

Asked whether the company was keen on capitalising on the issue of other companies having dealership issues in India, Winkelmann said there is space for everybody in the supersports car market world over.

“In the supersports car market there is space for everybody that we have been experiencing all over the world, and there is no fight for the customers,” he said.

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