Who Makes Lamborghini Cars?

by Rob Wagner

Lamborghini is owned by the German automaker Audi AG, a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group. Since its inception in 1963, Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. struggled financially, although it delivered high-quality premium cars. The 1973 and 1978 oil crisis further worsened Lamborghini's fortunes. Mergers in the 1970s and 1980s didn't stabilize the company until it was acquired by Audi.

Founding

Lamborghini founder Ferruccio Lamborghini.

Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. was founded by Italian tractor manufacturer Ferruccio Lamborghini, who was a sports car enthusiast.

Ferrari Influence

A 2008 IMSA Lamborghini Murcielago GTR.

Lamborghini was an avid Ferrari sports car fan. He decided to build a competing sports car after Ferrari creator Enzo Ferrari rebuffed Lamborghini's efforts to discuss problems with the Ferrari Lamborghini owned.

First Cars

Ferruccio Lamborghini with his sports car and tractor products.

Beginning in 1963, Lamborghini built the 350GT and the 400GT tourers, followed by the Miura. These cars became the primary rivals to the Ferrari.

Financial Problems

The 2010 Lamborghini Murcielago LP650 Roadster.

In 1972, Lamborghini's tractor business was dealt a blow when a large tractor contract was canceled, forcing Lamborghini to sell the tractor company to Fiat, which eventually sold it to SAME Deutz-Fahr Group.

Bankruptcy

Chrysler purchased Lamborghini in 1987 and made the cars with more comfortable interiors.

Lamborghini filed bankruptcy in 1978, was bought by the Swiss-based Mimran Brothers in 1984, and was sold to Chrysler three years later.

Audi

Audi AG's investment in Lamborghini returned the exotic car to its original first class status.

Chrysler improved production and then sold Lamborghini to the Indonesian investment company Megatech, which in turn sold it in 1998 to Audi AG where the car was returned to its prestigious international position.

About the Author

Rob Wagner is a journalist with over 35 years experience reporting and editing for newspapers and magazines. His experience ranges from legal affairs reporting to covering the Middle East. He served stints as a newspaper and magazine editor in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Wagner attended California State University, Los Angeles, and has a degree in journalism.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Audi AG