Toby Venter’s LSM Distributors will, in May, expand its South African portfolio with the addition of the Lamborghini brand.
LSM currently distributes sports car brand Porsche and super-luxury marque Bentley in South Africa.
Adding supercar Lamborghini to the fold makes perfect business sense, explains Venter, as all three brands fall under the Porsche business in Germany, as part of the Volkswagen group.
Venter does not believe that the three luxury brands will cannibalise each other, “as they each have their own fans and supporters”.
A new Lamborghini showroom will open at the Bentley facility in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, on May 2.
Lamborghini South Africa will also take over the existing Lamborghini showroom, in Cape Town.
Venter hopes to sell around 50 Lamborghinis in South Africa a year.
“Sales will be boosted by the new 4x4 Urus, which we’ll launch in South Africa in the third quarter.”
Venter says the Urus is not Lamborghini’s first 4x4, as it follows in the footsteps of the LM002 that was built between 1986 and 1993.
Lamborghini was previously distributed in South Africa by the Imperial group.
Bentley sales last year surpassed expected Lamborghini sales, at 66 units.
This year will see the launch of the Continental GT in the third quarter.
“It is superb two-door GT sports car,” says Venter.
Bentley South Africa will also, by the middle of the year, add a new Cape Town showroom to the existing one in Johannesburg.
Porsche South Africa saw sales surge to more than 1 400 units in 2017, compared with roughly 1 330 units in 2016.
The German sports car brand will see the launch of the new, third-generation Cayenne in June.
A fourth South African Car of the Year title this year – the fourth in six years –should also boost sales, “reconfirming to our customers and the general public that the Panamera is a great car”, says Venter.
“Anybody who has driven the Panamera will tell you that it is best car in the world. It boasts a completely new design, not evolved from the previous design. Only the badge was carried over from the previous model. The car is basically a four-door 911.”
Looking ahead, Venter says it is difficult to predict what new car sales will look like in South Africa in 2018.
“There are positive signs that the economy will stage a recovery, which means that 2018 sales could possibly see an improvement.
“If government sends the right signals, I’m optimistic that we can have a better year than in 2017, but there is still a hangover from the downgrade last year.
“The economy is suffering at the moment. Sales will be determined by political and economic events.”
Venter says LSM Distributors absorbed the April 1 Ad Valorem duty and VAT increases on new cars, opting not to pass on the price increases to customers.
It would be prudent to consider that LSM customers “work hard for their money” and that “they drive the economy”, adds Venter. “Don’t kill the entrepreneurs.”