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Toys From Ferrari to Lamborghini: How Luxury Carmakers are Responding to Covid-19

From Ferrari to Lamborghini: How Luxury Carmakers are Responding to Covid-19

From Ferrari to Lamborghini: How Luxury Carmakers are Responding to Covid-19
By Damian Teoh/CNA Luxury
April 07, 2020
The top priority for many luxury carmakers is to safeguard their employees’ health and peace of mind, as well as maintain regular and transparent communication with their stakeholders

As it stands, the luxury automotive industry—like the rest of the luxury industry in general—is not in good shape. Major car-producing countries, such as the UK, Germany and Italy, are in lockdown owing to the covid-19 pandemic.

Across the UK  and northern Italy, manufacturers from Goodwood to Maranello remain shut. To our knowledge, only a handful of factories in Munich and Stuttgart remain open, but for how long more is anyone’s guess.

But even before the pandemic hit Europe, there were already rumblings of supply chain disruptions from component manufacturers in China.

Despite all this, carmakers that CNA Luxury reached out to said they remain cautiously optimistic for the remainder of 2020, with many hoping to pick up where they left off once the worst of the crisis is over.

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SPOKESPERSON, ASTON MARTIN SINGAPORE

Has the ongoing crisis-affected demand in any appreciable way in Singapore/the region?

Fortunately for Aston Martin Singapore, our first quarter of the year is on track despite the current situation with the covid-19 coronavirus. In fact, as of February 2020, our market share has increase significantly to 29 per cent for two-door cars in the segment, compared to 19 per cent in February 2019.

What is the outlook like for the rest of the year?

We are expecting Q2 to be challenging as the coronavirus continues to impact the global economy. However, we are hopeful that sales will start picking up again in Q3 when our new SUV, DBX, arrives on our shores.

If the situation turns unfavourable, what plans do you have to mitigate this?

We have developed a series of pro-active campaigns to better serve our esteemed customers, while ensuring the safety of our customers and our staff remains the top priority.

We will be offering a Test Drive Concierge Service where our Brand Specialist will bring the car to their venue of convenience to minimise contact points, so that they can test drive our cars with a greater peace of mind. This service will be communicated on multiple channels so keen buyers will know where to find us.

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SPOKESPERSON, FERRARI FAR EAST

Has the ongoing crisis affected demand in any appreciable way in Singapore/the region?

There is no impact on our current order book, as of now.

What about supply? With the recent lockdowns going on across the world, has it affected production and supply chains?

Our supply chain proved to be effective in the short run, although lately we were experiencing the first signs of problems with certain strategic suppliers closing down their production.

On Saturday, March 14, Ferrari decided to suspend production in our factories in Maranello and Modena until March 27. The decision was taken mainly to safeguard our employees’ health and peace of mind in the moment in which the outbreak of the coronavirus seems to be at its peak in Italy.

What is the outlook like for the rest of the year?

We are preparing for a strong restart.

If the situation remains unfavourable, what plans do you have to mitigate this?

We will monitor closely the developments on a global scale and will evaluate the best course of action. In the meantime, we will put in place all possible security and company organisation measures to prepare for a fast and effective recovery as soon as possible.

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MATTEO ORTENZI, CEO, AUTOMOBILI LAMBORGHINI ASIA PACIFIC

Has the ongoing crisis affected demand in any appreciable way in Singapore/the region?

Lamborghini super sports cars traditionally appeal to a very niche audience of high net-worth individuals.

So far, we have observed continued interest, passion and demand amongst our clientele, which includes Lamborghini owners and new customers alike. However, there is no doubt that the wider luxury automotive industry has been affected.

We are working very closely with our solid dealer network and partners around the region to monitor the situation, as well as provide continuous support and commitment to our customers throughout this period of uncertainty.

What about supply? With the recent lockdowns going on across the world, has it affected production and supply chains?

To intensify measures taken against coronavirus in support of new government directives, we closed our premises in Sant’Agata Bolognese, the birthplace of Automobili Lamborghini, from March 13 to March 25.

Despite the potential effects this would have on our supply chain, we do not view this decision lightly. It is an act of social responsibility and high sensibility towards our people. The company will continue to monitor the situation in order to react rapidly and with the right flexibility, in collaboration with Lamborghini employees, so as to restart with energy in the right moment.

What is the outlook like for the rest of the year?

We maintain a positive outlook while taking a highly cautious approach in our implementation of all brand activities, launches and initiatives which we have prepared for the year ahead.

Our biggest concern now is the health, safety and well-being of our employees, partners and customers—this will remain our topmost priority and biggest consideration in determining the brand’s direction this year.

If the situation remains unfavourable, what plans do you have to mitigate this?

We are flexible, and, while being positive facing the situation, we will adjust plans and resources dedicated country by country.

The first good signs are now coming from Chinese market itself, which progressively is planning a restart.

Our biggest concern now is the health, safety and well-being of our employees, partners and customers–this will remain our topmost priority and biggest consideration in determining the brand’s direction this year.

– Matteo Ortenzi

ROBIN COLGAN, MANAGING DIRECTOR, JAGUAR LAND ROVER ASIA PACIFIC

Has the ongoing crisis affected demand in any appreciable way in Singapore/the region? 

All markets are affected but there is a spectrum from those that are now on complete lockdown, to those that remain open for business but are seeing reduced demand. Singapore has been relatively stable which reflects how effectively the country has managed this crisis so far. 

What about supply? With the recent lockdowns going on across the world, has it affected production and supply chains?

All Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) factories that supply Southeast Asia are currently closed as a precaution to safeguard employees and will remain so until late April when we will re-appraise the situation. Clearly, we will also be strictly adhering to local government advice and instructions. Our factory in China re-opened on February 24 and business there is getting back to normal.

What is the outlook like for the rest of the year?

Like all businesses, we’re facing uncertainty. Perhaps surprisingly, we have very high demand for new products, particularly the all-new Land Rover Defender. Despite everything, one of our main challenges is managing customer expectations for that vehicle during the plant closure.

We normally work with a rolling 12-month plan for production and logistics, and we have to accept that our planning window is now much shorter. Markets are responding to evolving government direction on a daily basis and it’s now the role of the JLR regional team to remain flexible, respond to changes in demand and de-risk our retail partners as quickly as possible.    

If the situation remains unfavourable, what plans do you have to mitigate this?

We will continue to prioritise customers, which means making sure that the supply of spare parts is uninterrupted and that service standards are maintained. There are a number of ways in which we can relieve pressure on our retailers and we have taken early measures to adapt our sales programmes and incentives to the current situation. Another important rule we follow in any crisis is regular and transparent communication with all of our stakeholders.

 

PAUL HARRIS, REGIONAL DIRECTOR ASIA PACIFIC, ROLLS-ROYCE MOTOR CARS

Has the ongoing crisis affected demand in any appreciable way in Singapore/the region?

We have just announced a suspension in our production at Goodwood for two weeks from March 23, followed by a further two weeks of scheduled maintenance shutdown for the Easter break. Our Board decided that this was necessary to protect our employees, their families and the wider community. At present, Goodwood reports no delays to parts logistics.

Understandably, given the situation in a number of other regions, sales may be negatively affected. We are monitoring the situation here very carefully.

What about supply? With the recent lockdowns going on across the world, has it affected production and supply chains?

We are monitoring the situation very carefully and working closely with our global supplier network. At present there is no indication of imminent delays to our supply chain.

What is the outlook like for the rest of the year?

We do not make sales predictions at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars. A new Ghost is due for launch later this year. It will be an important model for us, and we look forward to it continuing its iconic status in a new form.

If the situation remains unfavourable, what plans do you have to mitigate this?

VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) has always been foremost in our management thinking. Founder Sir Henry Royce’s mantra is: “When it does not exist, design it… Whatever is rightly done, however humble, is noble”. For us this means constant innovation and self-challenge.

It has been 116 years since Charles and Royce met in Manchester to form one of the most respected brands in the world. They left us a legacy of excellence and innovation that we at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars embody and celebrate today. The brand has been through world wars and recessions, so this period, though unprecedented, is yet another challenge where we believe will come out stronger and even better.


Access is a collaboration between Singapore Tatler and CNA Luxury.

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Toys Cars Ferrari Lamborghini Luxury cars covid-19 coronavirus

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