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Read the excerpts from an interview of Sharad Agarwal, Head, Lamborghini India to get a pulse on the brand. Unsplash

While the world economy is in slowdown, Lamborghini continues to zip ahead.

The luxury sporting automobile company has released various models despite the global crisis including the launch of the Huracan EVO RWD and Essenza SCV12, which is a track-only hypercar in a limited edition of 40 units, developed by Lamborghini Squadra Corse and designed by Lamborghini Centro Stile and it also it’s also celebrating an important milestone of the 10,000th Urus Lamborghini Super SUV only two years into its market introduction.

IANSlife speaks to Sharad Agarwal, Head, Lamborghini India to get a pulse on the brand and a sense of where the sports car segment is headed in the months to come. Read Excerpts:

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Q: Despite the crisis and resulting economic slowdown would you agree that the sports car and luxury car segments remain unaffected and continue to avail the same demand as they did pre-Covid times?

A: The current scenario remains uncertain, making it difficult to share a forecast in terms of short and long-term implications, in the luxury car segment. We estimate that in the short-term, the super luxury car segment may witness a decline which is sharper than the mass-volume industry. This is also because in the mass-volume industry, there may be some buying for safety and health reasons as people will prefer personal mobility options. However, the pandemic may move consumers to assess their spends on luxury this year and during this time customer priorities, preferences and needs will alter as the luxury segment is reliant on emotions.

“Lamborghini is the market leader in the super luxury segment in India, and because of our strong image, we are always have a strong order bank”, said Sharad Agarwal, Head, Lamborghini India. Unsplash

Q: Customers in this segment are usually HNI individuals or affluent individuals whose incomes though impacted, may not be significantly affected and thus will continue to purchase cars like Lamborghini?

A: Lamborghini is the market leader in the super luxury segment in India, and because of our strong image, we are always have a strong order bank. These are challenging times and the purchase of Lamborghini is driven by the emotions of our customers. At present, the priority for our segment of customers who are business owners and entrepreneurs is to bring their businesses back on track. There are some cases where customers have asked to defer delivery of their cars, but our order bank is strong and we have not had any cancellations. However, in the long run, we are positive that market will slowly start gaining some positive momentum from where it is currently and our brand enthusiasts will come to us when they think it is the right time for them to own a Lamborghini.

We are one of the strongest brand in the super luxury segment in India and the most important thing for us is to keep the value of our products and our cars very high in the minds of our customers and stay connected with them during these times. Lamborghini is an aspirational purchase and we do not anticipate that the current scenario will change the dreams of people.

“Lamborghini is positive and remains energetic to thrive against the challenges, while adapting to the current scenario”, said Sharad Agarwal. Unsplash

Q: There have been some exciting new launches from the brand despite the global lockdown; is Lamborghini sending a message it is recession proof or is it braving the storm with its chin up?

A: Lamborghini is positive and remains energetic to thrive against the challenges, while adapting to the current scenario. We started the year on a great note with the launch of the Huracan EVO RWD and expanded our reach to customers looking for Pure Driving Emotions without much intervention from technology. The car was well-received across the country.

Continuing with our spirit of innovation in May we had the virtual launch of our new model, the Huracan EVO RWD Spyder. We were the first automotive brand to use Augmented Reality (AR) for the launch of our new model. We started adapting ourselves to the scenario and used innovative ways to engage with our customers and prospects across the globe during these challenging times. Recently in July 2020 we announced the launch of the sold-out limited-edition Sian Roadster with the visionary V12 super sports car, combining groundbreaking hybrid technologies. We also celebrated the new Ad Personam facility and announced the Aventador SVJ Xago special edition: a car produced in just ten units and reserved for clients specifying their Aventador SVJ virtually.

We will continue with our innovative ways of bringing the brand closer to our customers and prospects.

Q: In the Indian context what implementations do you think the government should put in place to boost this sector, specifically in your segment?

A: The super luxury segment in India is very small and does not represent the true potential of the market. In the past, the segment has been hit by sharp increase in import duty which has hampered growth as fluctuating taxes impact market sentiments and in turn, that of the buyer.

The size of the market has remain small and stagnant over the years despite of the growth in passenger car industry and strong economy growth. We would like that the government should view the premium auto luxury sector differently than mass volume segment as the market variables that drive business and growth are very different. We are hoping that necessary actions are being taken by the government to support the consistent growth in future.

Lamborghini is an aspirational brand and admired for its pioneering spirit in innovative initiatives. Unsplash

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Q: Last and not the least brand partnerships and role of influencers for a well-established brand like Lamborghini, essential or not required in this day and age?

A: Lamborghini is an aspirational brand and admired for its pioneering spirit in innovative initiatives and customer engagement outreach. One of our brand pillars is future shapers and we will continue to be the formative influence.

Merchandising and brand building is an integral part for us – a combination of core business and brand extension to build the power and coolness of the brand. Hence, we are selecting very carefully our partnerships and interactions some of which are recently done with – SUPREME, Lego, Amazon’s Alexa, Sony, Gran Turismo, Microsoft and many others. One of our recent collaboration with the LEGO Group to produce the LEGO � Technic� Lamborghini Sian FKP 37: a 3,696 piece, 1:8 scale model has been widely received and appreciated by everyone.

As designers of the experiences we are going to keep the momentum going by being at the forefront of such innovations. (IANS)



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Milky Way galaxy as seen from Chitkul Valley

NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory has for the first time spotted signs of a planet transiting a star outside of the Milky Way galaxy, opening up a new avenue to search for exoplanets at greater distances than ever before.

The possible exoplanet -- or planets outside of our Solar System -- candidate is located in the spiral galaxy Messier 51 (M51), also called the Whirlpool Galaxy because of its distinctive profile, NASA said in a statement.

Astronomers have, so far, found all other known exoplanets and exoplanet candidates in the Milky Way galaxy, almost all of them less than about 3,000 light-years from Earth.

An exoplanet in M51 would be about 28 million light-years away, meaning it would be thousands of times farther away than those in the Milky Way, NASA said.

"We are trying to open up a whole new arena for finding other worlds by searching for planet candidates at X-ray wavelengths, a strategy that makes it possible to discover them in other galaxies," said Rosanne Di Stefano of the Center for Astrophysics at Harvard and Smithsonian (CfA) in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who led the study.

The findings are published in the journal Nature Astronomy.

The exoplanet candidate was spotted in a binary system called M51-ULS-1, located in M51. This binary system contains a black hole or neutron star orbiting a companion star with a mass about 20 times that of the Sun. The X-ray transit they found using Chandra data lasted about three hours, during which the X-ray emission decreased to zero.

Based on this and other information, the team estimates the exoplanet candidate in M51-ULS-1 would be roughly the size of Saturn and orbit the neutron star or black hole at about twice the distance of Saturn from the Sun.

The team looked for X-ray transits in three galaxies beyond the Milky Way galaxy, using both Chandra and the European Space Agency's XMM-Newton. Their search covered 55 systems in M51, 64 systems in Messier 101 (the "Pinwheel" galaxy), and 119 systems in Messier 104 (the "Sombrero" galaxy).

However, more data would be needed to verify the interpretation as an extragalactic exoplanet. One challenge is that the planet candidate's large orbit means it would not cross in front of its binary partner again for about 70 years, thwarting any attempts for a confirming observation for decades, NASA said.

Named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel laureate, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, the Chandra X-ray Observatory is the world's most powerful X-ray telescope. It has eight times greater resolution and is able to detect sources more than 20-times fainter than any previous X-ray telescope.

Known to the world as Chandra (which means "moon" or "luminous" in Sanskrit), Chandrasekhar was widely regarded as one of the foremost astrophysicists of the twentieth century. (IANS/JB)

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