Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Changes Give Lamborghini Presence, Vector Boost

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Changes Give Lamborghini Presence, Vector Boost

Article excerpt

There have been some changes at Jacksonville's two exotic car

companies.

Automobili Lamborghini USA, the U.S. distributor of the

490horsepower Diablo supercar headquartered in Deerwood, will

now be operated directly by the factory in Italy. And the

beleaguered Vector Aeromotive company, which used a Lamborghini

engine in its M12 supercar, has a new investor after shutting

down its Green Cove Springs factory in October.

The changes at Lamborghini began a few months ago when Vittorio

Di Capua replaced former CEO Mike Kimberly in Italy. Kimberly

was removed from power by V'Power, the Indonesian shareholders

who owns Lamborghini.

As of Jan. 8, the company's Deerwood operation becomes a direct

subsidiary of the Italian company, instead of operating under

V'Power, said Robert Braner, who has been at the helm of the

U.S. arm of the company for three years.

"Instead of being owned independently, we will be owned by the

Italian company as an operating subsidiary of Autobili

Lamborghini Spa," Braner said. "We want to extend presence and

essence of the factory and bring as much of the impression and

image of the factory to our customers. The impression should be

that they are one and same conceptually."

The company's new consultant, Ernesto Vettore, visited the

Jacksonville office in early January. Braner said they will work

together to "lower the overhead" by consolidating some

positions. Two local employees were laid off last week.

In product news, the company will unveil its new "super Diablo"

at the Geneva Auto Show in March. The 600-hp car will be sold in

addition to the $300,000 Diablo, and could be on sale in late

1997. An "entrylevel Lambo," code-named the L140, could be on

sale by 1998.

Lamborghini USA is bringing a Diablo racing series to the

United States for 1997, after a successful year in Europe. The

series will use about 20 specially designed Diablo Roadsters

with a 540-hp V-12, roll cage, 18-inch magnesium wheels and

aerodynamic changes including a large rear wing. …

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