You know the times are tough when even Lamborghini is reporting a dip in sales. Yes, the uber rich are holding off on purchasing the latest and most ostentatious models of the uber sleek, uber pricey automobile.
I wonder if the remaining rich are doing so because they're suffering from a post-Madoff, morning-after malaise or they simply see it as being smarter (and safer) to be more politically correct in their purchases.
Either way, what should Lamborghini do from an image and reputation standpoint? Hold fast with their breathtakingly high sticker prices or, a la Mercedes, begin bastardizing their brand with lower end, low cost models?
I'd advise them to remain in neutral. I think Mercedes and Starbucks made the wrong choices in their down-market moves. There may be more potential buyers, but what becomes of the brand's image and reputation? There was once a certain panache that went along with driving a Mercedes or sipping a Cafe Latte and listening to Coltrane at a Starbucks. But, the Mercedes 190 looks and rides like something straight outta Motown and Starbucks instant coffee projects an air of desperation to me.
So, here's hoping those high-flying folks at Lamborghini strap themselves into the proverbial cockpit and ride out the downturn. If they do keep the pricing pedal to the metal, I, for one, will be clapping and shouting, "Bravissima!"
It's high time that one brave, iconoclastic, if ill-advised, manufacturing company turned a blind eye to the economic cataclysm and held fast to its exorbitant pricing.
I may not be buying. But I will be clapping.