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Lamborghini  News:-  April 2006 - May 2005

Welcome to LamboWeb's news page.  This page will contain information about relevant Lamborghini news events around the world. If you know of something that you think might be relevant please feel free to submit it to this web site.


A New Model For Lamborghini In The Future
Sant Agata, Italy, April 11th 2006.
Lamborghini is expected to ask Audi over the next several years for more funds. Besides the money for modified versions of the current Murciélago and Gallardo sports cars, it is rumored most of the cash will be used to build a new 4 seat coupe similar to the original Espada of the late '60s and early '70s.  The idea behind the original Espada was for a grand touring car with the heart of a sports car. With its big V12 up front there was plenty of power, and although there were only two doors, it had four full-size seats and even a little cargo room in the back.  The same philosophy may make its way into the next-generation of Espada. Competition will be the upcoming Aston Martin Rapide and Porsche Panamera sedans. Both of those cars are expected to use front-engine designs like the Espada. Its not clear if a V10 or V12 engine will be used.  Indeed neither of the current engines may well be used, as Lamborghini thinks the V10 doesn't fit the car's image, while the V12 could have trouble meeting future emissions rules. A new engine may well be designed.
Victory For Lamborghini in Japanese Super GT Series at Suzuka
Japan, March23rd 2006.

A Lamborghini Murciélago claimed its first ever race win this weekend when Marco Apicella and Yasutaka Hinoi raced to victory in the GT300 class of the Japanese Super GT series at Suzuka. Rounding out an excellent day for the much-maligned Italian machine. After an uncompetitive 2005 season in the Japanese sports car championship when the Team JLOC (Japanese Lamborghini Owners' Club) Murciélago R-GT flailed in the larger GT500 class, for 2006 the Murciélago RG-1 ran in the smaller GT300 class.

The GT300 class started its 'Super Lap' qualifying runs last Saturday afternoon as the Super GT teams prepared for the opening round of the 2006 Japanese Super GT series, the Suzuka 300km. The first car to attack the circuit was the no 88 Akito-sponsored Team JLOC Murciélago RG-1 with Italian Marco Apicella driving. He completed his flying lap in 2.21.277sec, giving the rest of the GT300 field this as their target to beat. The next car out of the pits was the Kicchouhouzan Nissan Z driven by Kota Sasaki whose time was 2.20.858sec. Then rain continued to fall, and conditions gradually worsened throughout the afternoon. As a result, none of the last five cars in the GT300 class were able to improve their times. Sasaki claimed victory, followed by the no 87 and no 88 Lamborghini Murciélago RG-1s which lined up in 2nd and 3rd places..

Throughout the race itself both Lamborghini cars carried out their routine pit stops one after another; the no 87 car pitting first with the no 88 car diving in one lap later. At the next round of stops the no 87 car experienced a problem as Wada-Q took over the drive; the machine being momentarily blocked by a car which was pitting in the next space, and causing an excessive loss of time. The no 88 car, with Yasutaka Hinoi driving, went into its stop and returned to the track without any incident, thereby taking the GT300 lead and pushing the no 87 machine down to second place.

It appeared that the two Lamborghinis would finish in this order, but with just one lap to go, the no 87 car suddenly entered its pit stop, presumably due to worries over fuel shortage. Following a quick check-and-go stop, the car returned to the track, but the problem had not been resolved and the car failed to complete the final lap. The no 7 Mazda RX-7 driven by Tetsuya Yamano thus moved into second place.

At the chequered flag for the GT300 class it was the no 88 Lamborghini Murciélago RG-1 of Marco Apicella and Yasutaka Hinoi which claimed the class victory, with the no 7 Mazda RX-7 of Tetsuya Yamano and Hiroyuki Iiri placed second. Although the no 87 Murciélago RG-1 of Koji Yamanashi and Wada-Q did not cross the finish line after stopping on the final lap, a fifth place finish was awarded. Team JLOC has participated in the Japanese GT Championship since the inauguration of the series back in 1994, and this was its first - richly deserved - win. It is also the first win anywhere in the world so far for the Lamborghini Murciélago sports car.

First Pictures of New Murciélago Update
February 22nd 2006.

The web is alive today with the first pictures of the new updated version of Lamborghinis Murciélago called the LP640. The car will be unveiled at the Geneva motor show next week, but here we have an exclusive preview of the fastest production Lambo ever built. It has a 6.5-litre V12 engine with deeper and wider cylinder bores than the previous 6.2-litre V12. The new 6.5 now has 631bhp at 8,000 RPM.  It has a new six-speed gearbox, which can also be ordered with Lamborghini's e-gear sequential paddle shift and can do 0-62mph in 3.4 seconds - 0.4 seconds quicker than the older 6.2-litre model. There are reshaped front and rear bumpers to direct air more efficiently. The exhaust is now incorporated into the rear diffuser to help cancel out aerodynamic lift at high speeds. It also has an unusual larger air intake on the left side to feed the oil cooler. Some say too large -- it may take some getting accustomed to. There's is still the four-wheel-drive system that normally splits 70 per cent of the torque to the back, but can allocate up to 100 per cent to each wheel end depending on where the grip is running out. The wheels themselves are a bit different, they are 18" Hermera alloy wheels running huge 335/30 tiers at the rear. Inside, there are reshaped seats for improved comfort and greater headroom, while a revised instrument panel is flanked by a new stereo system.


Lamborghini Introduces New Miura Concept Car At Los Angles Auto Show
Sant Agata, Italy.  January 5th 2005.

Lamborghini brings back a legendary name from the company’s past with the breathtaking “Lamborghini Miura Concept”. which its the first vehicle to be conjured from Walter de’ Silva, the new Head of Lamborghini Design.  Celebrating its 40th Anniversary, the Miura was originally designed by Marcello Gandini and was first publicly presented at the 1966 Geneva Show.   De’ Silva has redesigned the car while remaining faithful to the original form. The new car retains the extraordinary purity of line characteristic of the original Miura. The designer’s intervention has been defined by refining the contours and eliminating any superfluous detail in order to enhance the clean, simple lines and perfectly-balanced proportions of the original that so impassioned enthusiasts. The restyling of the lower part of the body takes the car’s structural strength and aerodynamic performance to new heights, without disturbing the delicate aesthetic equilibrium.  And so a true design icon is reborn. “Over the last two years,” explains Walter de’ Silva, “I have often dreamt of redesigning the Miura. Now, thanks to my new position at the head of Lamborghini design and the enthusiastic support of the Lamborghini CEO, Stephan Winkelmann, I have been able to turn that dream into a reality.”  The car was first shown to the public at the 2006 LA Auto Show.


Lamborghini To Open Office in India
Sant Agata, Italy.  December 28th 2005.

Lamborghini might be the next big brand to enter the Indian market after the likes of Audi, BMW, Bentley, Rolls Royce and Porsche. The company is preparing to launch their best-selling model Gallardo in the Indian market in the next couple of months. Lamborghini has appointed Exclusive Motors Manager as their distributor for the Indian market. Exclusive Motors Sales Manager Rahul Grover said in a statement: “The plan is to bring the Lamborghini Gallardo within the first quarter of next year.”  Exact pricing of this particular model has not been revealed but it is expected to cost in the range of Rs 1 crore and Rs 1.5 crore. The company has set a modest target of selling 2-3 units in the next year. The prospective of this model to sell more units here in India is less considering the lack of decent roads for this car to drive on. Lamborghini on their part accomplished the distinction of selling their 3,000th Gallardo earlier this month. It will be interesting to see how this model competes with the likes of Ferrari’s F30 and Porsche’s 911 Turbo in the Indian market.


Future Plans For Lamborghini In 2006
Sant Agata, Italy.  Dec 22th 2005.

Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini's CEO recently spoke about Lamborghinis future for 2006 and set about dispelling a few rumors that were around about its plans for future cars.  First Winkelmann says that there are no definite plans for a Lamborghini SUV and a GT 2+2, a LM 002 type car or an Espada like car. He said a couple of new versions of the Gallardo are in the works: one with rear-wheel-drive only, and one a spartan version, lightened (à-la Porsche Carrera GT3 ?).  he also said that the 2006 production run is all booked up: 800 Gallardo Spyders, 600 Gallardo coupès and 500 Murcielagos, between coupè and roadster.  he said they do not intend to go over 2005's its production levels.


Lamborghini To Back Off In Sales
Sant Agata, Italy.  October 28th 2005.

Lamborghini sales grew at warp speeds for the past three years for the Italian exotic carmaker. It's time to apply the brakes, its CEO Stephan Winkelmann said. For the first 40 years of its existence, Lamborghini sold about 250 cars a year. After an unusual series of owners since it was launched in 1962 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, (included the Chrysler group and a group of Indonesian investors),  in 1998, Lamborghini was acquired by Audi.  Audi invested the equivalent of about $419 million at today's exchange rates. Since 2001, Lamborghini has launched two cars - the Murcielago, with a base price of $289,300, and the Gallardo V-10, which starts at about $176,300.

Stephan Winkelmann, said he decided shortly after his appointment not to top last year's global sales of 1,592 cars in 2005. It's an unusual decision for a carmaker - but not so bizarre for Lamborghini. Rather than volume growth, Lamborghini needs to focus on building stronger ties between its dealers and its customers, Winkelmann said. The United States for example, by far its biggest market, still doesn't yet have a Lamborghini main office. The first step toward establishing more of a presence is looking for a public relations officer, Winkelmann said. It's also in the midst of increasing its global dealer network, adding 15 new dealerships this year for a total of 80 - including two more in the United States for a total of 26 here. For the first time since Audi bought the company, it earned a profit of about $4.8 million last year, Winkelmann said.  He said that Lamborghini has no plans to expand its range for now.  A key reason is lack of capacity. Capacity is about 2,000 cars a year!  It is also Audi's turn to reap something from the investment. Audi will launch a production version of its Le Mans all-wheel-drive concept mid-engine sports car as early as next year and use the Gallardo platform and 5.0-liter V-10 engine.

New Audi-A8 to Use the Gallardo V10 Engine
Tokyo, Japan. October 19th 2005.

Tokyo, Japan – Audi and Lamborghini announced today at the Tokyo auto show that the latest version of the German automaker's Audi-A8 S will use the Lamborghini Gallardo V10 engine. It should be in showrooms around the world from the middle of 2006. The V10 is smaller, lighter and with fewer friction-generating components than a comparable 12-cylinder unit and Audi claims it will deliver 340kW at 7000rpm and 540Nm at 3500rpm with 90 percent of the latter available from only 2300rpm. Weighing in at a comparatively light 220kg, the new engine exhibits the same meticulous attention to lightweight construction as the aluminum shell of the S8 Quattro, Audi said. The car is the first V10 to come from the Audi stable and delivers its power to the road through all four wheels, just the same as its predecessors and rides on air-suspension that offers four modes of comfort, gradually reducing ride height according to speed. German pricing has been confirmed at 97,600 Euros. It's not clear if Audi will continue production of the "W12" engine.

A Lamborghini Laptop Computer
California, October 15th 2005.

Lamborghini and Intel have jointly announced that they will produce a Lamborghini Laptop. Both companies have set their sights for selling this laptop in 2006. According to Intel, the laptop will be based on its Centrino mobile technology. A previous collaboration between Acer and Ferrari resulted in the popular Acer Ferrari series.  The new Lamborghini range will likely following the trend of using carbon fiber bodies (similar to the Sony VAIO TX series) which are stronger than steel yet are significantly lighter. The Centrino platform will have dual core processors capable of splitting tasks between two computing chips. Codenamed "Yonah", the new dual core processors will have multiple technologies to increase performance. An Intel developed technology called "Digital Media Boost" improves multimedia applications while the "Advanced Thermal Manager" better manages heat buildup. "Dynamic Power Coordination" optimizes operations between the two processing cores for greater real world performance. The Lamborghini laptop like the cars, will likely leave other notebooks choking in its dust during performance tests.


Early Spy Shots of 2007 Gallardo
Germany, October 11th 2005.

The first early spy shots of the 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo seen on a test track in Germany are now appearing on the web. The 2007 (which will share its chassis with the Audi Le Mans), will have only a couple of minor updates from the standard version of the vehicle when it goes on sale in 2006. Lamborghini is making some changes to the Gallardo's air intake.  These intakes shown in this photograph have the effect of making the care appear a little longer. A stretched out version of what is in the Ford GT-40!. The effect however looks good and probably gets more air into the engine compartment effectively.  The 2007 Lamborghini Gallardo will also be available as a roadster in the form of the 2007 Gallardo Spyder. Both cars will be powered by a version of the current 5.0-liter V10 that will have its horsepower bumped up into the 550 range. The vehicle's six-speed sequential-shift transmission will feature an automated clutch. The Gallardo Spyder's power-controlled soft top can be lowered in 20 seconds, independently of a glass rear window, that can either be brought down separately or left up to be used as a windshield.


Reiter Engineering Readying a Gallardo Based GT Racer
KIRCHANSCHÖRING, Germany.  October 6th 2005

For many years now, the Lamborghini Murcielago has been raced successfully by Reiter Engineering, a German motorsports team. In the past they have essentially done it on their own with little help from Lamborghini. Now that there is a new official internal company "Lamborghini Racing Customer Team",  Reiter announced today that in collaboration with Lamborghini they are now extending their Lamborghini range to include a Gallardo-based GT racer. The 500+bhp car is being developed for entry in the GT3 category of international sportscar series as either 4-wheel or 2-wheel drive. The image, taken in the early stages of development, clearly shows the distinctive Lamborghini styling of the Gallardo. The main competition in this field comes from Porsche, since the Porsche 911 has a successful entry in the GT3 category as well.

Reiter has already received orders and considerable interest from privateer customers. The finished product will be available in February. Further technical details on the race car will be available over the next two months, while a 'street' version of the Gallardo GT3R will follow within the next month.

Last weekend the first derivative of the proposed Gallardo GT3 racer successfully completed a two-day shakedown test in the hands of the Lambo-Racing customer team. The 4-WD car was developed and built by Reiter Engineering at a customer's request, in time for them to prepare for the start of the 2006 VLN Nordschleife Championship. See (


Lamborghini Outlines Its Future Car Plans To The Public
Sant Agata, Italy.  October, 5th 2005

As early as next year, Lamborghini plans to introduce an all-new Miura, Lamborghini's answer to the Ferrari Enzo. It will be derived mechanically from the mid-engine Audi Le Mans. The Miura will be lower, wider and shorter than the donor car. It boasts an upgraded V12 engine. The displacement goes up to a massive 6.5 liters, and the power output increases to 700 horsepower.

The next all-new Lamborghini is currently called the LM00X, a high-performance version of the future Audi Q5. The LM00X will have a choice of two engines: a supercharged, 4.2-liter V8 good for 400 hp or a supercharged, 5.0-liter V10 rated at 500 hp. Both will be introduced in 2008.

The third newcomer will be a 2+2-seater coupe, a reincarnation of the Espada. The choice of engine options ranges from the Audi V8 to the Lamborghini Murcielago's V12. A mid-engine 2+2 could be production-ready by late 2007, but a front-engine version would likely not appear before 2009 they say.

Finally, Lamborghini also is looking further into the future for the next-generation Murcielago, including a limited-edition super-car derivative powered by an all-new 6.0-liter V12 that would match the Bugatti Veyron's output of 1,000 hp.

Gallardo Spider Shown to Public
Frankfurt, Germany.  Sept. 13th 2005

Two years after the launch of the Coupé version of the Gallardo, Lamborghini presented the new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This latest addition brings the marque's range of supercars to four models. The Gallardo Spyder is not just an open-top version of the Coupé, but is a completely new model. It has an attractive new design and a unique system for opening and closing the fabric roof that utilizes the engine compartment to store the folded roof.

The new Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder features a number of important modifications to the original engine and transmission from the Coupé.  The 10-cylinder 4961 cc propulsion unit now develops 520 hp (382 kW) at 8,000 rpm.  The six-speed gearbox now has lower ratios (1st gear is 27% lower, 2nd gear is 13%, 3rd / 4th / 5th gears are all 6% lower, while 6th gear is 3.5% lower), which create a more dynamic performance. The steering is also more direct and precise and the suspension has been recalibrated.  Like the other models in the range, the Gallardo Spyder also benefits from aluminum bodywork and features permanent four-wheel drive.  And finally, its performance figures: the Gallardo Spyder - which complies with EURO 4 homologation standards - reaches a top speed of 314 km/h with the roof up and 307 km/h with the roof down, accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds.


Luc Donckerwolke to Step Down as Lamborghini Car Designer
Sant Agata, Italy.  July 26th 2005

In surprise move, Luc Donckerwolke Lamborghinis chief car designer will be leaving the company to take up an appointment as Director of Design at SEAT (a car design and manufacturing company headquartered in Spain). Donckerwolke will also assume the responsibility for the Spanish company‘s Design Center. This is currently run by Steve Lewis who, together with Walter de’Silva, the Head of the Audi brand group design, and was instrumental in implementing SEAT‘s new sporty and emotional design language. Lewis will take over new responsibilities within the Audi brand group.

He will not leave Lamborghini design before completing the current model range with the open version of the Gallardo, to be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show on Monday 12th September. A Belgian national but born in Peru, the multilingual son of a diplomat has always been a car fanatic. He is responsible for the design of all current models, the Murciélago, Murciélago roadster and the Gallardo coupe. He combined traditional elements with a radical new design and with innovations such as the moveable airducts on the Murciélago, giving the Italian brand the perfect expression of their key values: extreme, uncompromising and Italian. To ensure continuity and the further development of the brand, Walter de’Silva, will assume responsibility for Lamborghini Design, until a successor for Donckerwolke has been appointed. “The appointment of Luc is another important step in reinforcing SEAT’s commitment to design. But I can guarantee that we will do everything to continue to focus strongly on Lamborghini design" said Walter de’Silva.


Lamborghini to Produced a Special Edition Gallardo

Sant Agata, Italy.  July 20th 2005

Lamborghini announced it will produce a special edition version of its Gallardo super coupe. Production of the Lamborghini Gallardo SE will be limited to 250 units. Changes from the base car include two-tone body paint, upgraded interior appointments and a technical massaging of the 5.0-liter engine. The gearbox will be improved  so it can achieve 0-62 mph acceleration in four seconds flat and top speed to 195 mph. A new ‘thrust mode’ optimizes gear change and acceleration will be incorporated. Steering modifications will also made to improve handling. Six exterior colors will be made available: two grey shades as well as white, yellow, orange and green. The two-tone effect is created by painting the roof, engine bonnet, front and rear spoiler and side mirrors in black, while the rear lights are slightly tinted. Newly designed ‘Callisto’ rims and colored brake calipers (grey or yellow) are also a part of the Gallardo SE’s exterior trim changes. The two-tone concept extends into the interior, where all piping and stitching will match the exterior body color of the car.

A rear view camera and multimedia screen, sport suspension and sport steering wheel, Pirelli P Zero Corsa tires and a car cover will be standard features on the SE. Optional equipment includes e-gear, a navigation system, heated side mirrors, fully electrical and heated seats. A winter package (heated seats, side mirrors, heated wash jets, rubber floor mats), and a lifting system are also available. Hopefully the lifting system is not a repeat of the well known problem riddled Koni system seen on earlier cars. The Gallardo SE will be available starting this September at a price in the neighborhood of $170,000. There’s no official word yet as to how many of the 250 vehicles will be made available for the U.S. market.


Lamborghini Murciélago Roadster Stars in Batman Movie
June 16th 2005

A Lamborghini can be seen in this week in the "Batman Begins" movie, directed by Christopher Nolan and produced by the Warner Bros Entertainment Inc. In the film, billionaire Bruce Wayne (Batman), played by the actor Christian Bale, can be seen driving the Lamborghini supercar during his private life, when he does not use his Batmobile. The Lamborghini was a natural choice for Batman, as the way its doors open perfectly matches the image of the superhero speading his wings. Furthermore, the name Murciélago means "bat" in Spanish. The film was released in the USA this week and in the rest of the world from June 15th.




First Pictures of Lamborghini Gallardo Spider
June 12th 2005

First pictures are appearing on the web of the future Lamborghini Gallardo Spider. They took very little from the Concept S (dual-pod design, see below). It has the same front intakes as the Gallardo coupe and generally looks like a well-designed convertible version of the  coupe. The electric folding top is reported to open and close in less than 15 seconds. Like its cousin, the Murciélago roadster, the rear bonnet is fully mechanical and opens front-to-back. The entire windshield frame is black. This gives the car a more aggressive roadster look. Engine HP is still 500HP and top speed is quoted at 309 Km/h.



Lamborghini to Open in China
Sant Agata, Italy. June 7th 2005

Lamborghini announced it will open a store in Shanghai by next September. The franchised store will cover an area of 300 square meters and involve an investment of over CNY 3 million. The most likely location will probably be on Huaihai Road in Shanghai.
While Lamborghini officially marched into the Chinese market at the end of last year. It is not well-known there, so the company decided to give priority to getting itself acquainted with Chinese customers first.  Lamborghini's two cars the Gallardo and Murcielago have been successively launched in China but this is the first dedicated store.

Lamborghini is now also officially represented in Malaysia with Lamborghini Kuala Lumpur, which opened recently. This brings to four the showrooms for the brand in South-East Asia, after Singapore and Thailand.


Lamborghini Expands into Russia
Sant Agata, Italy. May 27th 2005

Automobili Lamborghini announced recently that it has appointed Mercury automotive division as its authorized dealer in Russia.  The authorized service center will open in Moscow in July, when the dealer will start accepting the first customer orders for Lamborghini supercars. "An introduction on the Russian market is very important and also absolutely strategic for Automobili Lamborghini," said Stephan Winkelmann, President and CEO of Automobili Lamborghini. "We have many customers in Russia who are enthusiasts and lovers of our Brand and our supercars. We felt therefore the need to provide, through the new dealership, current and future Lamborghini owners with local sales and after sales support, as we do on other markets around the world."

Winkelmann continued: "We have chosen Mercury, a company with vast experience in the sports and luxury car business, as our partner because of its reliability. This company represents many other important brands in Russia, and not only in the automotive field. Our aim is to create a long and profitable cooperation with Mercury that will help strengthen the image of the Lamborghini brand in this country." Lamborghini will provide the market with three models: the Murciélago Coupé, the Gallardo and the Murciélago Roadster.  In early 2006, an authorized Lamborghini showroom will open its doors to customers on Tretyakovsky Proyezd.

Next Version of Lamborghini Murciélago Seen in Germany
Nürburgring, Germany. May 25th 2005
Photographs from the Nürburgring racetrack in Germany show Lamborghini personnel putting the next edition of the Murciélago through high-speed testing are now all over the web. The test car has some black tape to hide recent changes, which include a subtle reshaping of the front and back bumpers. Also note the new wheels.  Wish they had integrated the rear brake intake vents better into the rest of the car. They still look like they were stuck on as an afterthought.

Lamborghini Outlines Plans For Asia Expansion
Sant Agata, Italy. May 6th 2005
Lamborghini, is exploring new sales opportunities in Asia. President and CEO Stephan Winklemann, who was appointed Automobili Lamborghini's new leader in January this year, has been touring the Asian markets.  He was in Thailand last week. Currently the Thai market is only about 15-20 units a year, (a number is similar to that of Ferrari). He hopes to increase this number considerably . Winklemann was also bullish about the Chinese market where he expects to sell at least 25 cars this year. Currently Ferrari is selling 100 units a year in China. He said "Our growth now lies in Asia where our presence is still small." Of the 1,600 units sold last year, more than 75% went to Lamborghini's major markets including the US, the UK, Germany, Italy and Japan.  The latter, Japan, has traditionally been the most important market for Lamborghini. It hopes to sell at least 150 units there next year.
Winklemann also said Lamborghini plans to build 820 Gallardo Roadsters next year with deliveries starting in May. Around 25% will be right-hand-drive. Some 300 bookings have already been made!  The open-top V10-powered Gallardo will cost 10-15% more than the Coupe he said.
Lamborghini Hangs In There at FIA GT Championship
May 4th 2005
In the FIA GT Championship at the Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours speedway (near Paris, France), the Reiter Engineering Lamborghini Murciélago R-GT continued to show its performance potential. It recording the third quickest time in the second practice session and was running in the top ten positions on all three days. However transmission problems in the closing stages of the 3 hour race forced Peter Kox and Norman Simon to retire to overall seventh place. In the future they said they will focus on long-distance testing  in a high temperature climate, so that they can iron out problems like the above.


Volkswagen Increases Profits in 2005
May 4th 2005

German-based company Volkswagen, Europe's largest carmaker, has revealed that it managed to increase operating profits by 41.2 per cent to 464m in the first quarter of 2005. Pre-tax profits soared from 44m in the same period last year to 121m. Net profits were up at 70m from 26m, while turnover fell by 2.4 per cent to 21.1bn.

That's the good news. The bad news is that operating losses in the US increased by nearly 100m to 328m as a result of the weak dollar. Volkswagen's main profit generators were the Audi, Seat and Lamborghini marques, which registered an operating profit of 303. The VW, Skoda, Bentley and Bugatti marques had operating losses of 53m. Volkswagen's global market share dropped from 10.7 per cent to 10.3 per cent. The group's 2005 performance will depend largely on the progress of its current cost reduction program according to a company spokesman.


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