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Chinese hammer Lamborghini

2011-03-16 08:00

PROLETARIAN REVENGE: The good blue-collar workers of China having a go at customer dissatisfaction.

China is the world’s most important market for new cars.

Don’t for a moment think that double-digit sales growth, year-on-year, has improved dealer service though, even if you drive one of the world’s most desirable supercars.

It would appear that, besides overcrowded roads and prohibitive price inflation, there is little reason to own a supercar in China - bar bragging rights and outright image appeal.

In fact, so frustrating was the Lamborghini Gallardo ownership experience for one Qingdao resident that he decided to destroy his car publicly.

The unidentified Gallardo owner bought the black Lamboi in late 2010 but then experienced a few issues with the Italian supercar. First, it would not start. Then, after it was transported to the dealership for diagnostic analysis, technicians damaged it.

To compound these issues, not a single dealer employee would take responsibility for the damaged Gallardo and – unbelievably – the original non-starting malady still hadn't been resolved.


After repeated attempts to raise the issue with senior Lamborghini after-sale service directors failed the hapless Gallardo owner even tried to personally contact Stephan Winkelmann, Lamborghini’s CEO.  When all else failed, it was decided to make an example of the mercantile business practices many luxury brands are currently pursuing in China, using Lamborghini as an example.

Many Chinese are increasingly aware of the fact that despite providing the strongest demand for certain luxury goods (cars among them) brands are happy to take the money but later be unable to provide service levels comparable to those found in Europe and North America.

In an attempt to draw attention to the problem of purchasing a supercar for R4-million practically without competent after-sale back-up, the good residents of Qingdao were invited to participate in the destruction of said Gallardo – accomplished with sledgehammers.

The date of destruction, March 15, was chosen specifically - it was World Consumer Rights Day.

And all that time you thought South African supercar after-sale servicing was a trifle underwhelming…

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