Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Automobili Lamborghini SpA. was officially founded in 1963. That same year, the very first Lamborghini, the 350GT, made its debut at the Turin Motor Show. The car’s name came from its engine size, a 3.5-liter four-cam V12. Then came the 400GT, which was produced until 1968. But it was the stunning midengine Miura, produced from 1966-’73, that catapulted Lamborghini to worldwide acclaim.
Lamborghini’s tractor business suffered hard times in the early ’70s, which led him to sell a controlling interest of Automobili Lamborghini SpA to a Swiss industrialist. The Italian’s problems were worsened by that decade’s oil crisis, and he wound up selling the remaining amount of his shares. The company invested millions in the development of a new vehicle, the military truck-style Cheetah, but its sales were disappointing. By the end of the decade, the automaker had declared bankruptcy.
The company got back on its feet in the 1980s. The key was Lamborghini’s over-the-top Countach. Though introduced way back in 1974, the Countach, now fully styled with angles and vents, was the perfect exotic sports car for that’s decade’s mentality. Perhaps hoping to cash in on the firm’s revived popularity, the company’s managers sold Lamborghini to Chrysler in 1987.
Another change of ownership took place in 1994, when Lamborghini was acquired by three Far Eastern companies. Megatech was the largest of the trio and the primary shareholder. By the late 1990s, Lamborghini was in financial hot water once again. As before, the lack of a diversified product lineup was hurting the company’s ability to compete globally. It was acquired by Volkswagen (which also owns other luxury marques such as Audi and Bentley) in 1998.

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