TRADEMARKS AND MEN OF SUCCESS: Ferruccio Lamborghini a loyal and stubborn man like a “bull”

“The story of Lamborghini is soon determined: the others were lesser!” This is how Ferruccio Lamborghini answered in an interview telling the story of his cars. 1

Lamborghini Automobili S.p.A., today one of the best 5 italian companies concerning the high quality car business. Truly appreciated from celebrities and the second hand market, enough that the mock-up Miura P400 S of the 1960s, owned by the racer Hans-Peter Weber, found in an old barn, got sold for 1 million euros.

The story of the Lamborghini Automobili officially started in 1963 thanks to Ferruccio Lamborghini, born in 1916 under the zodiac sign of the Bull, an expert, strong and stubborn man but first of all the visionary genius of the company.

Tonino Lamborghini in a recent interview said that Ferruccio was someone who build up on his own and with his expertise, when someone made a mistake, he teached him how to do things right; he had talent for that.

He was ambitious, concrete and with the risky attitude typical of the business man, so that he advanced from worker to artisan and then business man.

Son of farmers and keen on engines, after school(professional) does the apprentice at the local blacksmith in a small village not far from Bologna (Renazzo); here he learns the secrets of the iron working and welding.

His determination and stubbornness took him to Cavalier Righi, owner of the homonymous shop that, at the time, was the most important in Bologna because he had a contract to repair and build the military vehicles, he hired Ferruccio.

At the age of 18, Ferruccio decides to open a laboratory in Renazzo di Cento, a little countryside area between Ferrara and Bologna, with his best friend, Marino Filippini, with whom he shared the previous experience at Cavalier Righi.

During World War II Ferruccio is sent to Rodi in Greece, in the 50° in the mobile operation unit (l’Autocentro) where he gets some experience concerning the reparation and rescue of military vehicles; so he has the possibility to use the most modern and sofisticated items of the italian and foreign mechanic industry at the time.

In 1946 one year after the end of the World War II, he returned to his village, which didn’t get involved into the fight but its geographical position, far from the main ways of communication negatively affected the developpement of the modern agricolture, despite being for centuries the main area’s earning resource.

Even if at the time the farming vehicles business was dominated by Landini, FIAT and Motomeccanica, Ferruccio decided to challenge his own mechanical and technical abilities and at the end of 1947 produced his first tractor. For this reason he sais: “I was more and more sure that the Bassa’s farmers, with their small farms needed a tractor to work at their best without going through exhausting days. I thought i was able to satisfy this request and decided to build cheap and powerful vehicles.”.

Ferruccio without resources to realize his “product” has a brilliant idea:thanks to the help from his memorable colleague Vittorio Belletti, he buys obsolete military material and readjusts it for the construction of farming vehicles, among which the first mock-up tractor Carioca, officially proposed to his fellow citizens the 3rd of February 1948 during San Biagio’s celebration.

The farmers were so satisfied and Ferruccio received so many product requests that he decided to expand the production. He received a loan from the di Cento Bank, thanks to the father’s guarantee, with whom he purchased one thousand brand new engines Morris 6 cylinders 3,500 cc gasoline-powered with a vaporizator to add to his vehicles.

The evolution of the mock-up Carioca was the tractor L33.

In 1950, the only production of tractors was 200: to reach this he hired 30 workers. His wife Annita took care of the administrative part of the business.

The business was growing and needed more and more space. For this reason the year later he had to move in another bigger location which implicated the purchase of 10000 quadratic meters of land situated in the local old racecourse building. Here he built the first production factory specialized on tractors.

The Trattori Lamborghini S.p.A., was born, at the time it was one of the first industries in Europe.

Ferruccio was also a person who liked to amuse himself and since his youth was fond of the fast and beautiful cars. The economic well-being takes him to choose the best even for himself, for this reason he becomes an regular client of the Maranello’s “cavallino rampante” . His favourite was the 250GT.

Tonino Lamborghini (son) sais: “My dad owned at the time two Ferraris… and during the night “had” races: Bologna-Cantagallo-Florence. … people met for the races… he smiles. Come on, we’ll see who’s gonna win! And the winner pays. Pays the coffee! So…, this clutch… didn’t take the car’s stress as long as my dad disassembles,tries, tries again… and attempts to adapt the clutch of one of our tractors . The car supports it perfectly and it works…! That’s it!”
Concerning the bad joke of Enzo Ferrari against the father: “So, no one ever said Ferrari wasn’t good in his job, not even my dad. But the fact that a car can have a flaw, is normal. Maybe also the Lamborghini have one, for God’s sake! This guy treats him pourly and sais: You don’t know how to drive my cars, the only thing you can do is drive your tractors!”
My dad was very mad and went out the Ferrari’s…-I remember it as it happened yesterday -it was evening and we sat at the table for dinner. It was me my dad and my mom. My dad was very “pissed off” and precisely seated at the head of the table said: “Look at how this guy treated me… even if I bought two Ferraris from him!”.
“Dang! I build 52 tractors per day. Who does he think he is!?! Now I want to make a car!” My mom took care of the economic part of the business beyond leading the tractors factory and said: “Ferruccio, please, calm down. I can see it was a bad day but why do you want to invest all this money for such an initiative.” And he said: “We spend,
 (referring to that period) 1 billion liras for the street advertisements”(the street poster designing which repeated Lamborghini’s tractors, Lamborghini’s tractors etc.)” And he said: “If I use that milion (sparing on advertisement) to build the factory if it goes well I’ll make such a noise that I will repay it. So… i can spare on the street advertisement.>> 2

This is what the son Tonino could tell during the interview about the dispute between Enzo Ferrari and his father, which pushed Ferruccio to create his first sports car.

The successful strategy was to build cars with a powerful and resistant engines, but at the same time beautiful, giving as much importance to the care for the body and the insides design, both of high level.

Despite the disagreement of everyone also his family, Ferruccio Lamborghini challenges the fate and decides to realize what has always been beyond a passion also a dream.
Between the end of the 1962 and the May 1963, founds in Sant’Agata Bolognese Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini S.p.A.

From nothing and in less than one year, builds the factory: a huge central warehouse, very bright, next to the office buildings so that that the supervisors could constantly monitor the productive process.

The supervision was as important as giving the right example, in fact as already testified from the people the closest to him, the founder of the company didn’t back down when he had to give the example on how to work in the different production departments. In the morning he came in the garage and if something wasn’t in order, with his very strict bolognese dialect, said to the department worker to fix it.

From an interview to his strict coworker the engineer Stanzani, emerges a story which underlines the “overbearing” and out of the ordinary nature of Ferruccio Lamborghini. To avoid a rise of the wheels forniture’s price for his tractors (at the time the car production didn’t start yet), showed up with his designer directly to the Pirelli’s, but without him knowing, he introduced directly into the Pirelli’s building (now Palace of the Lombardy region) with his Ferrari and, after asking for Leopoldo (like they already knew each other), they were immediately received from the engineer Fausti (creative director of the Pirelli’s) and another business manager.

At the time the Pirelli & C. S.p.A. was one of the best suppliers of the Trattori Lamborghini, and future supplier of the Automobili Ferruccio Lamborghini, which was rising the product’s list price. Ferruccio in front of these people almost remained without words, he improvised a crow boy scene, while talking, he hit three times his fists on the table, such that he forced the interlocutors to accept completely the deal he had in mind.

The first car model 350 GTV is born right away (1963). With his debut, Lamborhini had very clear ideas, in fact, the engine, which had to be of 12 cilinders with a V shape, was assigned to Giotto Bizzarrini, who came from the Ferrari’s motor design department, and the design of the car body was entrusted to Nuccio Bertone, he was at the time a well known designer.

To such important people also join two other promising engineers:Paolo Stanzani and Gian Paolo Dallara, which contribute “substantially” to create a new car structure from the bizarre appearence.

So, after some months from the completion of the factory, the company was ready to partecipate to the Salone dell’Automobile of Turin the November 1963. As a matter of fact, despite the short time, but thanks to the hard work of everyone, the brighting sports car 350 GTV Lamborghini was presented.

Only after two years from the debut of the first prototype, and the coming out of other passable success models, Lamborghini amazes again, so he presents to the Salone di Torino a new car structure much more bizarre than the initial one, made by the same engineers of the first models. The structure’s features where destined to add more prestige and distinctiveness to the Casa di Sant’Agata Bolognese in the super sports cars domain.

The car structure for the time was unique, surprising and well-finished in all the particulars, it was made by Marcello Gandini: a mix of originality, class and elegance.The work to realize the car of the century, exactly like Gandini said, was draining: they worked 24 hours a day, everyday.

We can consider the Miura, for the time, as a true masterpiece, with a captivating name which was inspired to a particular race of bulls, so that it could be bonded with the bull’s icon already used for a while from the company. The bull was also the zodiac sign of Ferruccio Lamborghini.

So just like Ferrari with his animal rapresented by the horse, Lamborghini also had his, which was the bull that gave the perfect harmony between Ferruccio’s personality and the products he invented: an animal symbol of strength, loyalty and courage, which took the founder to say to the people who would have taken care of the graphics: <<… i want a bad Bull of which people can see the attributes.>> 3

In 1966, the Miura model, was also presented to the Motor Show of Ginevra: in four months, it took place arrogantly in the most important car models rankings of the year.
Industrialists, celebrities, royal houses owners wanted to own at all costs the car of the year: many of the also were able to have it, starting from the Sultan of Brunei to Dean Martin, Elton John, Paul McCartney, the Scia of Persia, Twiggy, Frank Sinatra and Grace Monaco, as well as the italian stars of the time: Gino Paoli, Claudio Villa and Little Tony.

From then the new ideas immediately became models of success, and through many of them we remember the original Marzal, an incredible 4 places car with poterior engine horizontally installed behind the axle, and the car body equipped with two unusual small doors with vertical opening.

The Marzal, a revolutionary car in its entirety, was shown by Prince Ranieri III of Monaco and his wife Grace Kelly at the inauguration of the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo in 1967. And 51 years later, it was exhibited again in public in occasion of the grand Prix of Monte Carlo (Historique) from the Prince Alberto II of Monaco. 4

Following the success of these models, took place in 1968 the Islero, an evolution of the 400 GT and the Espada, first Lamborghini model with 4 places. Two years later also the Jarama and the little Urraco (with 2500-V8 engine).

In that period the famous Frank Sinatra said: “People who want to look like someone buy a Ferrari, People who already are buy a Lamborghini”. 5

In 1972, Ferruccio Lamborghini suddenly abandoned his company, giving the most part of the shares to the Swiss business man Georges-Henri Rossetti, the next year sold the remaining part to René Leimer, a friend of Rossetti.

Il motivo di questa inaspettata decisione fu proprio il bisogno di reperire denaro per finanziare la Trattori Lamborghini che necessitava di sostegno economico.

This period matched with the loss of enthusiasm from the very same founder and with the union agitations that for a long time spread in the most part of the italian industries for which people had a stall in the production and a worsening of the product’s quality.

In a few years, the shores of the Trattori Lamborghini S.p.A. were sold to the SAME Deutz-Fahr an industrial multinational corporation. This determined the retirement of Ferruccio Lamborghini to private life. He was already 67. The following period, for the trademark Lamborghini, was very hard. To worsen the situation beyond, was the oil crisis of the 1973 which definitely discouraged the purchase of cars in general and, also, the sports cars. Even the new Swiss property was often absent.

In 1976 the new convertible car, the Silhouette, was included in the catalogue.

In the August of 1978, the court of Bologna put the company in controlled administration to avoid bankrupcy.

A year later to diminish the effects of the payroll subsidies, the company wanted to use the workers making service agreements with FIAT, so employ themselves to build up the inner preparation of 5000 models “127” (Rustica).

The 28 february 1980, the Swiss owners without finding a buyer for the car company, put it in clearence sale. To take it over again the founder himself unofficially made an offer of 3,5 billions of liras, but the court of Bologna awarded it for 3,85 billions of liras to the brothers Patrick e Jean-Claude Mimran, wealthy French business men of sugar.

The 23 may 1981, the divestiture of the company was officialised and it took the name Nuova Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., with the new ownership took place some important new changes.

When the needed assets arrived, the industry activity restarted at full speed: the development of the new car model Countach was completed, very requested; and the model Silhouette was replaced by the more advanced Jalp which had a decent success.

Unexpectedly, in the April 1987, the Mimran brothers sold Lamborghini to the president of the American industrial giant Chrysler, Gerard Greenwald, for about 30 millions of dollars, who also took about ten billions of debts. 6

Initially, the news was taken with excitement and gave strength to the company but immediately after people noticed that there were many problems concerning the different business philosophies of the two trademarks.

Ferruccio Lamborghini died at the age of 76 right after refusing to get the company back; they say the reason was that the managers didn’t accept his condition to receive as a gift the old 350GTV, first Lamborghini’s car model. Before his death, he had pleasure to make peace with the old competitor, Enzo Ferrari.

The Chrysler, the 21 of Genuary 1994, gave Lamborghini to the holding Megatech, company presided over Setiawan Djodi and Tommy Suharto (son of the Indonesian premier Suharto). 7

The latter, proved themselves to be insensitive investments in fact their interest was mainly focused on the financial rebalacing with the detriment of the product’s realization, so the sales had a slow and non-stop decrease.

In 1998, the Lamborghini group was bought by the Audi group for 10 million dollars, which has produced so far a variety of successful car models.

THE DISTINCTIVE STRENGTH OF LAMBORGHINI HAS REMAINED FIRM! Over the years the graphic design stayed almost the same: the name Lamborghini in cursive and a golden bull in combat position, all inside a black shield surrouded by gold.

Today the trademark Lamborghini (beyond the car business) is so well known that it is also used to characterise other goods and luxury services. As a matter of fact, the same thing is made by the son Tonino Lamborghini to label the merchandising goods such as watches, glasses, Tech&Lifestyle, italian products and culinary products (<>). While, the daughter uses the trademark for her Umbrian property (<>).

THE TRADEMARK LAMBORGHINI IS PROTECTED WORLDWIDE! Nowadays, the trademark Lamborghini, in the variety of graphic and literal aspects, has received protection, in the following way.

Owner: Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. company with a single shareholder part of the Audi group, in the following countries: United States (53 trademarks), Canada (40 trademarks), Mexico (55 trademarks), Belize (1 trademark), Costa Rica (3 trademarks), Guatemala (20 trademarks), Honduras (1 trademark), Nicaragua (5 trademarks), Panama (15 trademarks), Argentina (70 trademarks), Bolivia (26 trademarks), Brazil (97 trademarks), Cile (23 trademarks), Colombia (27 trademarks), Ecuador (15 trademarks), Paraguay (28 trademarks), Perù (78 trademarks), Uruguay (6 trademarks), Venezuela (48 trademarks), Bahamas (3 trademarks), Dominican Republic (2 trademarks), Andorra (9 trademarks), Denmark (5 trademarks), Estonia (1 trademark), Russian Federation (1 trademark), Finland (3 trademarks), Georgia (1 trademark), Germany (12 trademarks), Greece (8 trademarks), Italy (82 trademarks), Kosovo (7 trademarks), Latvia (1 trademark), Norway (3 trademarks), United Kingdom (11 trademarks), Sweden (5 trademarks), Switzerland (13 trademarks), UE Trademarks (122 trademarks), Saudi Arabia (102 trademarks), Bahrein (4 trademarks), Arabian Emirates (83 trademarks), Jordan (36 trademarks), Iraq (2 trademarks), Israel (48 trademarks), Kuwait (36 trademarks), Lebanon (10 trademarks), Oman (6 trademarks), Qatar (54 trademarks), Syria (2 trademarks), Yemen (2 trademarks), South Africa (31 trademarks), Tanzania (2 trademarks), Tunisia (4 trademarks), Afghanistan (2 trademarks), Bangladesh (1 trademark), Cambodia (17 trademarks), China (46 trademarks), South Corea (12 trademarks), Filippine (11 trademarks), Hong Kong (43 trademarks), India (40 trademarks), Indonesia (29 trademarks), Macao (47 trademarks), Malesia (93 trademarks), Pakistan (5 trademarks), Singapore (18 trademarks), Sri Lanka (5 trademarks), Taiwan (47 trademarks), Australia (9 trademarks), New Zeland (21 trademarks), All the international trademarks (IR) (70 trademarks).

Owner: Tonino Lamborghini S.p.A., in the following countries: United States (8 trademarks), Canada (2 trademarks), Bolivia (1 trademark), Brazil (8 trademarks), Perù (2 trademarks), Russian Federation (2 trademarks), Italy (17 trademarks), Kosovo (1 trademark), UE Trademarks (13 trademarks), Saudi Arabia (2 trademarks), Arabian Emirates (8 trademarks), Kuwait (2 trademarks), Lebanon (1 trademark), Qatar (2 trademarks), Nigeria (1 trademark), South Africa (5 trademarks), Tunisia (1 trademark), Afghanistan (1 trademark), Brunei (1 trademark), Cambodia (2 trademarks), China (24 trademarks), South Corea (2 trademarks), Japan (1 trademark), Hong Kong (8 trademarks), India (2 trademarks), Indonesia (9 trademarks), Laos (2 trademarks), Macao (36 trademarks), Malesia (9 trademarks), Myanmar (1 trademark), Taiwan (14 trademarks), Thailand (1 trademark), Australia (2 trademarks), All the international trademarks (IR) (16 trademarks).

Owner: Tenuta Lamborghini S.r.l. (the owner is Ferruccio’s daughter, Patrizia Lamborghini), in the following countries: United States (1 trademark), Argentina (1 trademark), Colombia (1 trademark), Italy (1 trademark), United Kingdom (1 trademark), UE Trademarks (2 trademarks), China (10 trademarks), Japan (1 trademark), Hong Kong (1 trademark), Taiwan (1 trademark), Australia (1 trademark), All the international trademarks (IR) (2 trademarks).

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