Gianluca Filippi is looking worried. The chief executive of Tonino Lamborghini has just spotted a Ferrari on the cover of a car magazine in the room where we are having our interview, and he’s clearly not happy about it.
“Can I do something, because I am quite disturbed?” he asks, before getting up, walking over to the bookshelf and flipping the magazine face down onto the table.
“I can see that and I can’t stay in front of this kind of car,” Filippi smiles, returning to his seat once more. “Really, for us, we have the DNA of a bull, and our DNA cannot match with a horse.”
It’s immediately obvious that some of the characteristics of the charging bull, the powerful symbol that represents the hugely successful Italian car brand, still run through the management of Tonino Lamborghini as well.
It was Ferruccio Lamborghini who began the story of the carmaker in 1963, having already established successful tractor and heater manufacturing brands. The logo that has now come to symbolise some of the world’s most recognisable sports cars came from his beloved star sign, Taurus.
But just 11 years after founding the marque, Ferruccio was forced to sell Lamborghini after the firm was hit by the 1973 global oil crisis. However, his son Antonio, or ‘Tonino’, kept alive his family’s link to the brand by introducing the eponymous luxury lifestyle collection.
Filippi, an engaging and personable Italian, was commissioned by the man himself to revamp the company and take it to the next level.
“After my arrival our turnover doubled every year,” says Filippi, while knocking firmly on the table three times so as not to jinx his statement.
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