Automobili Lamborghini – with its raging bull logo and the name of it’s talented founder Ferrucio Lamborghini – is a brand synonymous with raw strength and mired in mystique. The tale of the brand’s birth is one of determination against all odds.
As the story goes, in 1963, Lamborghini – then, a young and wealthy tractor mechanic – was in a dispute with Enzo Ferrari regarding shortcomings in Ferrari’s designs. When Ferrari told Lamborghini that he didn’t need any advice from a “tractor mechanic” and to leave sports cars to the professionals, Lamborghini promptly left and founded Automobili Lamborghini.
Today, Lamborghini stands for the founder’s philosophy of disrupting the industry’s established players and competing against other top performance car manufacturers.
Over the decades, the brand attracted a legion of loyal wealthy enthusiasts, vehemently passionate about Lamborghini and shares Ferrucio’s renegade thinking. Since 2018, Asia has been the fuel behind Lamborghini’s recent growth in sales which has increased 66% this past year, with Southeast Asia being a major contributor.
While many Lamborghini owners have established their own respective clubs worldwide the past 30 years, there has been a recent drive to bring these fragmented clubs under a unified, globalized structure.
A key figure in enabling this drive for unification is Khaled Mazeedi. Known by millions on Instagram as @Ten, Mazeedi is a serial entrepreneur and Lamborghini connoisseur. Similar to the brand’s founder he so admires, Mazeedi became a founder in the arena of luxury cars with his exotic car platform, Autosheik, and Lamborghini clubs. By applying Ferrucio Lamborghini’s principles and philosophy of invention and innovation against all odds, Mazeedi is making a name for himself and a place for owners by creating car clubs, most notably the Lamborghini Club UAE and linking the various clubs, including the ones in Southeast Asia, under the Lamborghini World Club.
“From a young age, I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I had to figure out a way to offer value. Sacrificing so much at an early age, with little experience or life wisdom, meant that I learned everything the hard way,” Mazeedi said.
A passion to connect
For years, like-minded owners and Lamborghini loyalists have formed national and international clubs to network and contribute in their local communities. The largest of these clubs today – the Lamborghini World Club – is made up of over 1,000 owner-members and was founded by Khaled Mazeedi in 2017. They, and the clubs established in Southeast Asia, compromise an integral part of the international Lamborghini network.
Mazeedi’s entry into the luxury car collectors guild began at the age of 26 when he purchased a 2012 Bianco Alpi Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder, a realisation of a childhood dream after years of hard work. In 2015, he decided to dabble into the car club scene by placing contact cards on every Lamborghini he came across in Dubai. Within a few months, he launched a chat group and website for members and transformed it into his first club, the Lamborghini Club UAE.
His goal was to build a free platform and community. “My late nights were loaded with exhilaration. I would wait until well past midnight and quietly take my raging bull on Dubai’s hidden roads, pedal to the metal, exhaust screaming, engine roaring. It was in these moments that I knew I had to share my passion for Lamborghini cars and connect with as many owners that shared the same sentiment,” Mazeedi noted.
The membership grew briskly, and Mazeedi knew he had to bring the local Lamborghini dealership into the fold to establish trust and confidence. After weeks of back-and-forth emails, cold calls, and sharing of club plans with the local dealer, negotiations for a partnership stalled.
“I contacted Francesco Cresci, who, at the time, was Head of Sales for Lamborghini Asia after getting his contact from one of the Italian members of the club. I sent all my plans, and we discussed the vision I had for the club. When I met the sales managers of the Al-Jaziri dealership at the time, Ahmed Darrag and Basil Katebi were defensive. I knew something was up,” Mazeedi said.
Yet, the opportunities Mazeedi presented were being noticed. The local Lamborghini dealership in the United Arab Emirates, owned by Al-Jaziri, began to formulate a plan of their own by creating their own club. Partnering with a member of Mazeedi’s club, the Al-Jaziri dealership repurposed all of the original club’s contacts and plans, and established their own dealership-first group.
Seeing this, Mazeedi decided to respond with a bolder step. For his next venture, he decided to move away from local politics and pursue a global-oriented strategy with the launch of the Lamborghini World Club— presently the largest Lamborghini Club in the world. The club opened to Lamborghini owners from any country including a communications platform dedicated to Lamborghini Club Presidents from around the world.
Today, 66 clubs are associated under Mazeedi’s Lamborghini World Club platform, which operates pro bono for over a thousand owner-members. Five clubs are in Southeast Asia – representing Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.
Creating a global structure, together
In 2018, following a move to Canada and a surge in club membership, Mazeedi began brainstorming this global structure for all the Lamborghini clubs by launching an online platform and setting up plans for international events in Asia by the end of 2021.
In April of that year, Automobili Lamborghini initiated a President’s meeting at the factory in Sant’Agata Bolognese. Khaled was not only thrilled, he had to join. The idea of meeting other presidents and formalising a structure recognised by the “OG” Lamborghini factory is precisely what was needed, and so he went.
“It was an honour to meet the heads of the manufacturer and other presidents at Sant’Agata Bolognese. Yet while the proposed initiative had some good principles, I felt it missed the very essence of what brought us together and what we represented in our communities,” he remarked.
Following the meetings, Mazeedi spent time in Bologna with other club presidents and became well-acquainted with fellow Russian Club President Artem Koryagin, the long-lasting president of Lamborghini Club Russia, headquartered in Moscow, as well as closely connecting with Sam Ho, a Singapore-based industrial entrepreneur and the 5th elected president of Lamborghini Club Singapore – the largest in Southeast Asia with 168 members – a tenure he’s held since 2007.
To sign or not to sign?
Upon returning to Canada, Mazeedi and other club presidents started receiving contracts under a new Lamborghini initiative proposed by the factory in an effort to increase their brand presence. However, many Presidents disagreed on the many clauses within the contract, including Lamborghini Club Singapore, as the contractual arrangements were too onerous with few benefits.
Moreover, many club Presidents never received a partnership contract including Mazeedi, who was the driving force in bringing the global presidents to the Sant’Agata Bolognese meeting and arguably the very reason the initiative began in the first place.
The prestige of being an official partner of the Lamborghini brand alone was a strong enough proposition, though, to get numerous club owners to sign, and to date, 16 known clubs have signed on.
Mazeedi can’t stop, won’t stop
A few months into the COVID pandemic, Mazeedi returned to Dubai. Unwavering in his passion to make his initiatives a success, he relaunched the Lamborghini Club UAE. The club now has regained its former glory, counting over 250 members across the Emirates.
Almost two years following the meeting in Italy, most Lamborghini Clubs including many in Southeast Asia have yet to finalise their contracts with the factory, and other clubs are unclear on where they stand.
Amidst all this uncertainty, at least one thing is for sure: all the clubs and presidents still use the platform Mazeedi created to communicate, network, and organise events, while along a national level Mazeedi’s UAE club and the Southeast Asian clubs are the most active in the Asian continent.
For Khaled Mazeedi, Sam Ho, and Artem Koyagin, and numerous club Presidents across the world, it is clear that the factory was unable to realise that the owner-members would remain unified, regardless of the factory’s decision in choosing who would represent them.
For the club presidents, they continue to follow Ferrucio’s original philosophy, remaining staunchly defiant in their principles with a robust and loyal following of owners- whether the factory recognises them or not.