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Lamborgini

 
 
Cars, Stars Debut Dealership(سه شنبه 87 مرداد 29 ساعت 7:33 عصر )
Lamborghini Targets Valley

By Nadra Kareem
San Fernando Valley Business Journal Staff


Launch: Calabasas is now home of newest Lamborghini dealership.

Launch: Calabasas is now home of newest Lamborghini dealership.

To say that the Nov. 14 grand opening of Lamborghini Calabasas was festive would be an understatement.

Showgirls in yellow spray-paint and headdresses with the Lamborghini name scrawled across their legs evoked Brazil’s Carnaval celebration. Dancers gyrated on swing sets and a hefty mechanical bull, and attendees dined on raw fish served on nude women, a practice known as body sushi.

Turning out for the event, which doubled as a benefit for the Epilepsy Foundation, were a slew of celebrities—the Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines, beefcake Fabio and the cast of NBC’s hit television show “Heroes,” among them.

The “Heroes” cast, including Milo Ventimiglia, Kristen Bell and the ubiquitous Hayden Panettiere, arrived at the dealership, in the 23800 block of Ventura Boulevard, steering the luxury automobiles. But the person who ostensibly made the longest journey to attend the launch of Lamborghini in the Valley was Stephan Winkelmann, president and CEO of Italy-based Automobili Lamborghini.


Launch: Calabasas is now home of newest Lamborghini dealership.

Sweet: Location was chosen for prosperity of residents and choice freeway access.

Winklemann said that he decided to make the trip across the pond because, “being a small brand, I want to have a presence at every opening of a new dealership.” Moreover, North America is the brand’s largest global market, accounting for 40 percent of total Lamborghini sales worldwide.

Southern California is a key player in Lamborghini’s North American sales, accounting for 30 percent of business here. In fact, the automaker’s largest dealership is located in Orange County.

Now that the dealership has expanded to Calabasas, owner Vik Keuylian hopes to break new ground. “My goal is to grow the market here in Calabasas,” he said. “We’ve already proven ourselves in Orange County. We want to kind of duplicate what we have in Orange County.”

Keuylian, who has more than 25 years of Lamborghini sales experience, owns and runs Lamborghini Orange County with his three sisters.

While some duplication is necessary, Keuylian and Winkelmann also hope to identify an untapped market, luring Valley residents to the brand. “The customers in Calabasas are not the customers in Orange County,” Winkelmann said.

A year ago, according to Winkelmann, Lamborghini decided that Calabasas would be the site of the new dealership. But executives also considered launching a dealership in Agoura Hills or Westlake Village before ultimately choosing Calabasas as the location. “We did market studies for sure,” Winkelmann said.

Calabasas was an attractive option because of the number of people moving into the community and the prosperity of the residents, Winkelmann said. “Most of the luxury brands are already here,” he added. Calabasas is home to Mercedes-Benz, BMW and MINI dealerships.

Freeway exposure

Then, there was the fact that the site of the Calabasas dealership has freeway exposure, Winkelmann said. Positioned just off the Parkway Calabasas exit on Interstate 101, the dealership is in full view of passing cars. During the Nov. 14 grand opening, many passersby on the freeway saluted Lamborghini by honking their horns.

Thus far, business has been good, according to Keuylian. Fifteen Lamborghinis have already been sold, he said. There are a total of 80 Lamborghinis in the dealership now. “It’s a very thriving market,” Keuylian said.

Winkelmann wanted to capitalize on the initial success of the Calabasas dealership through their presence at the Los Angeles Auto Show, which ran at the Los Angeles Convention Center through Nov. 25.

While the launch of Lamborghini Calabasas was fun-hearted with the dealership being made into a playground of sorts, it also served to raise funds for a serious health condition—epilepsy. Representatives of the Epilepsy Foundation, a national charitable organization that functions to raise consciousness about and help the estimated three million Americans who suffer from the disease, attended the grand opening.

Donations to the foundation and its affiliates go toward research for new treatments and a cure for epilepsy as well as services for those who suffer from the disease. Complications of epilepsy cost the country $12.5 billion, according to the foundation







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