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Lamborghini CEO on a speed mission in India

With his bespoke pinstripe suits made of English wool, Old Bond Street shoes, Italian tie, flower power bracelets and sideburns, Stephan Winkelmann seems to have arrived straight from a baccarat table in a Bond flick. But, the German-born, Italy-raised paratrooper-turned-automobile poster boy embodies Lamborghini’s raging bull image. He has never been a conformist, having done things often not in tune with traditional Italian taste. For one, he has added German precision to the Italian marquee brand’s panache, speed and power. On his second visit to India, he wants to shake things up among the super-luxe sports car lovers.

Who said the urge to make a statement would succumb to the slowdown? But, to be realistic, even a  INR2-5 crore (INR20-50 million, USD382,700-956,750)Lamborghini is not recession-proof. Punitive taxation and zero infrastructure make it even tougher to broad-base the market. But "lights are always brighter than shadows", quipped the 48-year-old president and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini as he settled in for an exclusive chat. "Our strategy is not linked to a year or a region but to a process, partners and a plan. We don’t want to rush."