Lamborghini revs up record sales to fund new SUV model

Luxury car-maker planning to employ additional 500 employees

Lamborghini broke all its financial performance records in 2015 after selling an unprecedented 3,245 models of its luxury sportscars, the Volkswagen owned Italian group said Thursday.

Sales of Lamborghini's two current models, the Huracan and the Aventador, brought in 872 million euros ($949 million), a 39 percent increase on the company's 2014 turnover.

"In a fifth consecutive year of growth we have achieved record results in terms of our main performance indicators," CEO Stephan Winkelmann said.

"We took medium and long-term strategic decisions which will make the company even more competitive in the global luxury car market," he added in a reference to Lamborghini's plans to launch its first sport utility vehicle (SUV), the Urus, in 2018.

Winkelmann said the positive sales figures had enabled all company's development work, which includes variants of its sports cars as well as the Urus project, to be funded from cash flow.

Lamborghini shipped a total of 2,242 Huracans in 2015 and said sales of the model, launched in 2014, were 70 percent higher than those of its predecessor, the Gallardo, in its first 18 months on the market.

Sales of the different models of the Aventador, which has been available for over four years, totalled 1,003 units.

Lamborghini is planning to employ an additional 500 employees and double the size of its production facilities in the Italian city of Bologna to be able to produce the Urus.

The new vehicle will compete with the likes of Land Rover's top Range Rovers, BMW (Swiss: BMW.SW - news) 's X6 and luxury rival Bentley's planned SUV.

It will be the least expensive model in the Lamborghini line with industry experts anticipating an entry price-tag of around $150,000, compared to a current minimum of $230,000 for a Huracan.

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