Lamborghini set to agree to produce SUV in Italy

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Supercar maker Lamborghini will sign on Wednesday a preliminary agreement with Italy's government to produce a much-awaited sport-utility vehicle at its Sant'Agata Bolognese plant, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Tuesday.

Lamborghini, part of the Volkswagen group, hopes the SUV will allow it to repeat Porsche's success in the fast-growing market for luxury four-by-fours and boost its profitability. Its sales are expected to more than double the company's deliveries, which stood at 2,530 vehicles last year.

Wednesday's agreement envisages that Lamborghini will hire 350 workers at the plant in exchange for tax breaks and incentives of up to 90 million euros ($98 million), the source added.

The office of Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said earlier on Tuesday that an agreement with Lamborghini would be signed the following day, without giving details. Lamborghini declined to comment on the content of the agreement.

A separate industry source confirmed that the deal regarded taxes and jobs.

In a bid to tackle chronically high unemployment, Renzi's government approved a labour reform earlier this year, easing firing restrictions in large firms and offering fiscal incentives to employers that offer workers permanent contracts.

Both Renzi and Lamborghini Chief Executive Stephan Winkelmann are expected to attend the press conference and signing event scheduled for Wednesday.

Lamborghini has yet to announce a launch date for the SUV, named Urus, pending approval from parent Volkswagen. Winkelmann has previously said he expected the SUV could come to the market by 2017 or 2018.

The carmaker first presented a concept vehicle for the SUV in 2012.

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