Andrea Baldi

Head of asia pacific automobili Lamborghini.

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Head of asia pacific automobili Lamborghini.
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This  man is as Italian as they come. Born in Italy with a passion for Italian motors, Andrea Baldi has two of the most collectable Italian motorcycles – a classic 1950s Vespa which his grandfather gave him and a 1974 Ducati Scrambler 450.

Andrea studied Industrial Engineering at the University of Bologna and after graduating, it was not unexpected he would start his career in Italy’s Motor Valley.

First off , in 2001, was with Ducati Motor Holding in Bologna. He remained there until 2008 when he was posted to Shanghai, China to oversee sales in the Asia Pacific region.

The opportunity to work with a four-wheel Italian superbrand came knocking in 2010 and he joined Automobili Lamborghini as head of South East Asia & Pacific in Singapore. His second child was born here during this stint when he was implementing development strategy across 12 countries.

The Italian then moved to Beijing in 2013 with his wife and two daughters to be the managing director of Automobili Lamborghini China. Andrea is now the general manager for Automobili Lamborghini Asia Pacific, based in Beijing, a position he has held since 2014 June. The 40-year-old manages the company’s operations in Japan, China, India, South Korea, South East Asia and Oceania.

What were the culture and language barriers you faced as the Italian MD of Lamborghini China?

I had been in China before I joined Lamborghini China, so I already knew something about the Chinese culture. It helped me a lot to speed up my ability to understand the market.

However, there was still a huge language barrier as I was and am still not as good as I would like to be in Mandarin.

The secret is to build up a team of colleagues and dealers who can really understand our culture which I try to bring. I also try to be a bridge to explain and communicate the Italian Lamborghini brand to the Chinese market.

So it is a combination of factors, and it also allows us to create products like the Urus, which is very much driven by the Chinese consumers’ preference for SUVs. The Chinese market is definitely very important, and it is in any decision the company makes. While China is still not the biggest market in the world, the US is by far larger, it represents the future.

What are some of the strangest requests made through Lamborghini’s Ad Personam customisation programme?

We have countless requests for colours, sometimes based on daily use objects. For example, the special colour of a mobile phone cover which the customer loves. They want the exact colour and ask us if we can do it, and we say, “Yes!”

We will do several tests to get the matching colour, because the customers won’t have the colour code, and the colour on the sample plastic product will reflect differently when applied to metal.

They can be as creative as they want and challenge us to find the special colour combination. And this extends not only to the leather or Alcantara interior, and exterior body panels, but also to details like the brake callipers.

Not only do we use the best leather in the world, what is unique in a Lamborghini is Forged Composite, carbon fibre with a unique appearance which was developed by us with Boeing and the University of Washington.

So you can add the price of these to your car and make it even more unique, at a very reasonable price. [Chuckles] 

Andrea Baldi owns a vintage Vespa scooter given to him by his grandfather.
Andrea Baldi owns a vintage Vespa scooter given to him by his grandfather.
How does the rear-drive Huracan LP580-2 differ from the four-wheel-drive LP610-4?

The LP580-2 offers a different approach to driving a super sports car because a rear-wheeldrive system will challenge you more. We try to consider all our customers’ requests and this was something some of our customers really wanted to have. So we came out with a car which we think is very well balanced.

How has the response been for the Huracan LP580-2?

Very good. Our LP580-2 buyers appreciate it more than a car with more horsepower and four-wheel-drive. Though some of our customers say the LP610-4 is the car for them, we have widened the base of people interested in the two-wheel-drive Huracan, and we are eating into that part of the traditional rear-drive super sports market whose owners are welcoming this car a lot.

I would also say that the LP580-2 coupe is more about the fun-to-drive factor and the LP610-4 coupe is more about performance. And, of course, the LP610-4 Spyder is a lifestyle statement. The 2018 Urus will be powered by a 4-litre twin-turbo V8.

Can you tell us more about Lamborghini’s first turbocharged engine?

Unfortunately, I cannot, but I can confirm it will come into the market in 2018. There are a lot of expectations with this car and we’re glad this project is approved.

We’re building a new factory and doubling the size of Sant’Agata’s original site, because the Urus will be produced there with the same passion as we make our super sports cars. 

"It is such a special brand, and there is a commitment to excellence, to be the best in what we do."