Early this morning, Decrypt woke up to a strange phone call from Lamborghini’s Head of Communications, Gerald Kahlke, offering us an interview. Struggling into the land of the living, we clocked that this was the very man who had firmly, but politely, turned down our request last week to discuss crypto-zillionaires contribution to its sales-record-breaking year. “We have no association with any cryptocurrency,” he said at the time.
This, it now transpires, is not strictly the case.
Kahlke told us that the story we wrote, faithfully replicating his words, had been pilfered by unscrupulous German websites Coinwelt and BTCDirect, among others. It was getting around that Lamborghini wanted to distance itself from crypto’s nouveau riche. Mindful of the potential impact on sales, Kahlke was now keen to set the record straight.
“We sell to customers who make money with cryptocurrencies too,” he admitted.
Curious for more details, we chatted with Chief Commercial Officer, Federico Foschini, who was also on the call. Foschini told us that, though it was difficult—if not impossible—to directly link the crypto boom of last year with sales of the luxury vehicles, it was certainly the case that among ultra-luxury sports cars, Lambo’s demographics skewed the youngest. Indeed, more than half of Lamborghini’s clientele are younger than 40; an astounding 20% are under 30.
“The cryptocurrency crew, for sure, is made up of young people,” observed Foschini.
Lamborghini’s least expensive car, the Huracán (a snip at just under $200k), was launched five years ago and that kicked off the trend, Foschini said.
By accident or design this happily corresponds with the meteoric rise in the value of crypto. Although the canny Foschini wouldn’t be drawn too much in this direction, he did verify that Lamborghini is keen to “follow the market trend” and to further understand its customer base, particularly in the US, which is its biggest market.
Said Foschini: “There were, in the past, events where Lamborghini was displayed, being an aspirational brand for young people, [whether involved in] cryptocurrency or not.” But, he said, the brand is “not actively sponsoring or encouraging the cryptocurrency association. It’s something that is a natural association.”
Not extending, it appears, to the various associations that have been claimed by cryptocurrencies seeking to align themselves with Lamborghini. Among these is #MetaHash, a Swiss “speedy blockchain.” Foschini and Kahlke would only say that Lamborghini is investigating such cases.
And what of the company’s official claims that it has no evidence that some of its cars are paid for in cryptocurrency? Stories to the contrary would suggest otherwise. “There are some,” Kahlke admitted.
With that, Lamborghini has begrudgingly provided its benediction.