An interview with Mihaela Tudorică, Sales Manager Bentley & Lamborghini at Porsche Inter Auto
At first glance, the automotive industry is a man’s world. The luxury motor industry is a very glamorous one, yet, despite this, it is a very male dominated sector. There are however some women brave enough to stand up in this industry, and today we have the pleasure of having Mihaela Tudorică, Sales Manager Bentley & Lamborghini at Porsche Inter Auto, with us.
With over 13 years of experience in the automotive industry, 9 of them spent on the luxury car segment, Mihaela is responsible for the sales of two of the most famous brands: Bentley and Lamborghini.
Mihaela, please share with our readers a few words about your career in the automotive industry… how did it all start?
I think it all started with a lucky encounter. When I got hired at Porsche Inter Auto Romania, the General Manager had a specific vision about the sales people she wanted for the luxury brands. She was looking for good listeners, people who would pay a lot of attention to the customers needs and requirements not necessarily people who were into too much technical details. So this is how I landed a job in sales, rather than in another department.
When you are in the realm of luxury brands, high technology and exquisite quality are given. What the customers are looking for is ways to customize their vehicles, to make them really theirs, to make sure that when they purchase such a car, they really make their dream come true. So indeed, my job incurred a lot of listening and it still does. My mission is to help people build and get the car of their dreams. There are very few jobs on this planet that are cooler than this.
How hard is to be, especially in a leading position, in a field dominated by men? I’m sure you’ve found the secret, as long as you’re overseeing two famous brands for almost a decade?
It is actually quite nice and pleasant. As I said – I am in the business of making dreams come true and working for these two amazing brands has ensured the fact that all the people I talk to are inspired, motivated and proud of what they are manufacturing or what they are selling. They understand, like I do, how ethereal and exclusive the world of luxury is and they all want to make their own contribution – so working with all my colleagues here, in Crewe or in SantAgata Bolognese is rather easy.
What is your greatest professional achievement so far? And the personal one?
My greatest professional achievement is for sure bringing to Romania – and selling – one supremely exclusive Bugatti Chiron. This is a supercar all countries have been fighting for, it is the definition of exclusivity, and being able to build and secure one for one of our clients was an amazing achievement. As for my personal achievement, there is actually two of them – they are my two wonderful boys whom I adore.
Globally, luxury car buyers profile is changing. Not only we are talking about younger generations, but a growing proportion are female, and for many of them, green is the new luxury. How is the car industry embracing this new reality, and, speaking about Lamborghini and Bentley, what is their response to these trends?
We definitely see a trend towards green and electric vehicles. In the world of luxury cars, where extreme performance is the norm, it took a while for the manufacturers to make absolutely sure that by changing the engines of these super vehicles they are able to maintain or even to improve on the way they perform.
However, now all the brands I am representing here have embarked on the route towards electrification and it is clear that this is the path they will follow.
As for the customer base, indeed, it evolves with the times, as it should. We do see that the manufacturers pay closer attention to the women, include them in their communication, not only for the accessories, but for the cars themselves. The Continental GT, or the Bentayga are models that appeal to women and I have many clients who loved to build and buy their cars and now love driving them.
Speaking about Romania, what are the clients’ expectations when buying a luxury car? What’s the most wanted car from your portfolio?
Romanian client expectations do not differ too much from the expectations of any customer of luxury brands. They simply want the very best. Of course that a Bentley customer is looking for a certain style of driving and design, and that is different from Lamborghini. To me, it is wonderful to have two brands to cater to all their different needs – whether they are looking for elegance and power or extreme sportiness and cutting edge design & materials.
Our best sellers for Bentley are the Continental GT, followed closely by Bentayga. As for Lamborghini the Urus really made a difference in terms of customer base development. It was somewhat expected, as many people really wanted to own and drive a Lamborghini even day to day, but there were a lot of concerns related to the state of our road infrastructure. With an SUV, problem fixed!
Innovation – the key word of nowadays… and the new Lamborghini Huracán STO, presented recently to the Romanian public, has it all….tell us more about it, and what it brings in terms of innovation…
How do you see the future of automotive? What trends will dominate the luxury car market in next 5 years?
There is a future of mobility and then there is future of the luxury automotive world. We all hear about the many ways the sharing economy businesses influence the world of automotive and mobility. For the vast majority of people, mobility is a day to day need and a car is just a means to an end, not a dream come true. But in the world of luxury supercars, ownership is important, collections are important, cars do not just take us from here to there, they turn each trip into a memorable and pleasurable journey. This is human nature and this will not change so quickly. Super cars evolve, of course, by definition they incorporate the latest and the greatest technology in terms of power, efficiency, materials, connectivity etc – one thing will not change though, they will still be objects of desire.
2020 has been a very difficult year for most industries … how did you handle this period, how did this affect the sales, and what are the lessons learned?
2020 was a new kind of crisis, but for sure not the first one we have navigated successfully. The lessons we learned a decade ago proved right this time around as well. During the last crisis – back in 2010-2012 – we were finishing up and launching Porsche Pipera, the largest premium and luxury auto center in SE Europe. The reasoning back then was that the luxury segment is usually the one that loses least during a crisis and also the one that recovers first. Same thing happened now. Of course there was a glitch, of course we had to close the showrooms for a couple of months due to the lockdown, but the cars continued to be manufactured and sold. There were some hesitations and delays, but ultimately, we did sell a lot on all our brands because even in the deepest crisis, people need to have a morale boost to find the strength to move on. And way beyond a simple means of transportation or a generator of adrenaline, our cars provide the morale boost, the confidence boost and the motivation to go on for many people.
Mihaela, thank you very much for your time, one last question, please…. what advice would you give to someone who is just starting, what does they need to do in order to succeed, especially in luxury industry?
Keep your eyes, ears and mind open. There are a lot of preconceptions and misconceptions about the world of luxury and the best thing you can do when you really want to be a part of it is start listening and learning relentlessly. Working in the luxury industry can offer not only amazing professional opportunities, but can also prove to be a source of personal growth.
3 quick questions:
What car would you like to drive?
Hmm, It is a difficult question because I was lucky enough to drive a lot of special and powerful cars. So, if you ask me what car should I drive every day, I would say definetly a Bentley, any model, I find myself in real connection with this brand ?
What is your favourite destination? Capri, Italy.
Name 3 things that defines you! Loyal, trustfull and joyful.