From 350 GT to URUS 60 years of history
Today, Automobili Lamborghini is a famous company, with more than 2,000 employees and 9,233 cars by 2022. But when Ferruccio Lamborghini founded the company in 1963, he started from scratch. Over the past 60 years, the Lamborghini headquarters where iconic cars continue to be created has undergone improvements, expansions and reconfigurations for production, environmental and technological needs, but has never lost its original central structure.
Ferruccio Lamborghini looked for a place to establish a new company and chose the land to build the new factories in Sant’Agata in Bologna, a few kilometers from the hometown of Centon. The construction of the initial part of the factory, which was considered the most recent of its time, was completed very quickly and in only eight months, between the autumn and winter of 1963. On October 20 of the same year, with Ferruccio Lamborghini. he invited the press to the presentation of Lamborghini’s first car, the prototype GTV 350, in the background of the photo the main structure of the finished factory could already be seen.
In 1966, when the gearbox and differential also began to be manufactured in-house, production, offices, test rooms and workshops were housed in the original 12,000m2 structure. Two assembly lines were to be made: one for engines and mechanical parts, the other for the assembly of cars with auxiliary machines to produce parts and to protect the vehicles. The offices, which were separated by 260 meters and located front and center, included the president’s office and technical and sales services. To the right of the building were the examination rooms and to the left were the customer’s workshop and staff rooms. From the beginning, Lamborghini has focused on the use of technologically advanced machinery, combining craftsmanship with the most advanced technology available, a value that remains today at the heart of the industrial company.
On October 18, 1968, Lamborghini announced the imminent completion of three new industrial buildings, covering an area of 3,500 m2. These were the buildings that, in addition to strengthening the production facilities, created a modern and well-equipped general testing facility. The photograph that accompanies this release has become iconic, as it shows, in addition to the flat under construction, a 400 GT, an Islero, an Espada and two Miuras.
Production went from 67 Lamborghinis built in 1965 to 425 in 1971, to 55 in 1979 due to the financial crisis of the 1970s. The 1980s marked a jump in production, with 470 cars produced in 1987 reaching 300 engines.
In 1983, Lamborghini began the first development and use of carbon fiber. The new department of “Experience of Composite Materials” (known as E.Co), was created thanks to the arrival of technical knowledge from Seattle that developed the first carbon fiber and Kevlar components of the Boeing 767. The first carbon prototype was created. The chassis of the Evoluzione Countach: it was Lamborghini’s first use of composite materials and the absolute first for such a design for a road car.
In 1990, the necessary tools for research, development and testing in the field of electronic systems and new composite materials were sought. A workshop for testing and developing emission control systems was also created, which allowed this process to be handled directly in the company.
Upon joining Audi in 1998, Lamborghini’s speed of development grew exponentially, as did the number of cars produced and the number of employees. In 2000, Lamborghini produced 1296 cars and employed 440 people; In 2001, the renovation of the headquarters was completed, the first in many years, which involved the construction of a new office building, a two-story museum and a new research and development area, as well as investment in production lines. The dining room was completed in August 2001 for a total of 155 million dollars.
On October 25, 2002, the opening of the Lamborghini Centro Stile was announced in the late spring of 2003, on the occasion of the company’s 40th anniversary. The center would open within a designated area of the new building that would be home to customer service, a center dedicated to Lamborghini classic cars and the marine engine sector. In 2003, the company was experiencing rapid growth, occupying an area of 100,000 m2, of which 28,900 m2 were covered, producing 1,305 cars, and with 624 employees, 145 of whom worked in research and development. In 2006, with an impressive increase of +30.4% over the previous year, 2,087 cars were produced.
In November 2008, work began on the expansion of the Finisimi department, leaving an area dedicated to the final inspections of cars on the assembly line; The new integrated logistics platform was inaugurated in October, now located in the Sant’Agata Bologna facilities in a new purpose-built building. The new logistics center occupies 11,000 m2 and guarantees space for 14,052 pallets.
In 2011, the new Aventador LP 700-4 was launched, equipped with an innovative carbon fiber monocoque design and manufactured entirely in Sant’Agata in Bologna. For the 100% carbon fiber body work of the Aventador, Lamborghini opted for full in-house production and launched “CFK – Lamborghini Carbon Production”, further reinforcing Lamborghini’s leadership in the supercar sector for the production and development of composite materials, which continues today.
In 2011, the Lamborghini Park was also inaugurated, which today allows the company to progress in two major projects in terms of sustainability and research on the environmental impact of the site: biomonitoring with bees; and they took an experimental study on biodiversity and CO2 in an oak forest, carried out in collaboration with the municipality of Sant’Agata in Bologna and the universities of Bologna, Bolzano and Munich.
In 2012, a completely new building was built to house the protoshop development and pre-production center: the first multi-solar industrial building of energy class A and N-ZEB (net zero emissions building) in Italy.
In 2015, Automobili Lamborghini installed its new trigeneration and district heating systems, the two main projects that led the Sant’Agata company in Bologna to obtain CO2 neutrality certification for the entire plant. The event marked the key objective of Lamborghini’s environmental sustainability campaign, which began a few years ago and which continues today.
In 2018 the third model arrived, the Super SUV Urus, with production in Sant’Agata in Bologna strongly defended by Stephan Winkelmann, CEO and President of Automobili Lamborghini. Based on a historic protocol with the Italian government and the region of Emilia-Romagna that supports renewal in the region of the “land of the motor god”, the factory has expanded its area to 160,000 m2.
The new production plant in Sant’Agata in Bologna houses a new assembly line entirely dedicated to Uro, a new finishing department for all Lamborghini models and a new office building with LEED Platinum certification: the highest standard in the world for energy and environmental certification. design and construction of buildings. A new test track has also been built, with thirteen different surfaces especially for SUVs, as well as a new logistics warehouse, a second trigeneration power plant and a new “Energy Hub” for the central production of all energy for passengers. The “Manifattura Lamborghini” production model has been developed, which offers an innovative and sustainable approach by combining craftsmanship with advanced technology.
In 2019, Urus installed a paint plant and, by 2020, the physical supply chain will be more sustainable thanks to transport by rail instead of road, achieving a reduction of 85% CO2. This sustainability is not only limited to the protection of the environment that surrounds us, but over the years the company’s duty will continue in many areas with the people and the community in which it operates, as part of its social responsibility is even more widespread.
In May 2021, Stephan Winkelmann announced the “Cor Tauri Management” program, an ambitious plan that Lamborghini will see in 2023-2024 when it will select the entire product range, with the introduction of a fully electric model at the end of the decade. These steps are significant within the broad decarbonization program, which is part of the company’s comprehensive approach to its sustainability strategy, to continuously reduce the impact not only of the production site, but also of the entire value chain.
The long front entrance, part of the original construction of 1963, with the proud Lamborghini logo on the roof, today remains a visible part of the company, a standard structure that has evolved over the years but whose DNA has always remained the same. eyes on the future.