The Sant'Agata Bolognese facility has seen massive change throughout its life.
Lamborghini is celebrating 60 years of car production in 2023 and with that, the company's famed factory in Sant'Agata Bolognese is also celebrating its birthday. To commemorate this, the company wanted to explore the history of the factory, including all of its changes and permutations over the years that have allowed it to produce some of the fastest and most beautiful cars in history.
The company kicked off celebrations this year with a renovation of the Lamborghini museum, showrooms in the US, and even breaking a world record. The festivities are set to last all year long leading up to the eventual debut of the Aventador's successor. In the meantime, the company wants to celebrate all things Lamborghini, and what better way to do that than by taking a look at where the cars come from?
Ferruccio Lamborghini was born in Cento, in the Kingdom of Italy to a pair of poor grape farmers. Growing up, he gravitated more towards the mechanical, eventually creating tractor and marine companies in the wake of WWII. After amassing a small fortune for himself and finding a love for fast automobiles like the Maserati 3500 GT and Ferrari 250 GT (and infamously having been rebuked by Enzo Ferrari himself) he decided to create his own car brand that would build the sports car that he believed no one else could produce for him.
This led to Lamborghini searching for a location for his new factory, eventually settling on Sant'Agata Bolognese which was only a few miles from his hometown of Cento. Construction started in the fall of 1962 and went through the winter finishing in only eight months. In 1963, the first Lamborghini car rolled off the line, the 350 GTV prototype, and the esteemed brand was truly born.
Throughout the 60s, the facility saw many changes as production grew and because Lamborghini wanted to make sure that his vehicles were produced with the most advanced technology available. The 12,000 m2 structure housed two assembly lines, the president's office, sales, customer service, and technical departments. In 1968 three new buildings were added that strengthened the production abilities and test departments. Production numbers soared during this time with the company producing 67 cars in 1965 eventually rising to 425 by 1971.
The 70s were a tough time for the brand, but the 80s and 90s saw many technological advancements made that allowed the brand to expand further. The use of carbon fiber, a staple in most sports cars today, was first seen in the mid-80s with the Countach Evoluzione and led to a facility being built. The 90s saw an expansion in the company's R&D into electronics and composite systems, something sorely needed. All this work led to the brand being absorbed into the Audi group in 1998, and the expansion of production even further.
In 2000, the company produced 296 cars and employed 440 people. A renovation to the headquarters was completed and a museum was added along with many other things. The year after saw the Centro Stile completed, expanding customer service, the company's collection, and the marine sector in truly explosive growth. By 2003, 1,305 cars were being produced with 624 employees, and the next year production increased to 2,087 cars.
Throughout the upcoming years, the supercar manufacturer saw the building of Lamborghini Park, a new prototype center, and projects that led to the plant's CO2-neutral certification in 2015. With the release of the Urus, the company saw one of its largest expansions in decades, with a plant erected specifically for the car along with a new test track that features 13 different surfaces.
The company, always focused on its carbon footprint, has employed many measures like more trigeneration plants and receiving materials by rail, which cut CO2 by 85%, during this process
From the beginning until today, the brand went from a 12,000 m2 facility to a 160,000 m2 one. The transformation has seen the company go from a struggling automaker trying to find a buyer to make more money than any of its rivals in 2022. Soon, the entire lineup will become electrified, heralding a new future that will surely see many new updates come to the famous facility. To this day though, part of the original structure still stands, a testament to the brand's enduring legacy and a reminder that the company must not forget its humble beginnings.
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