Lamborghini sees worldwide sales doubling by 2019 after SUV launch

NEW YORK — Luxury automaker Lamborghini expects to at least double production to 7,000 vehicles a year by 2019 once it rolls out a new SUV, but it will not lose its focus on making sports cars, Chief ExecutiveåDomenicali told Reuters the company plans to cap yearly production of its supercars at 3,500. He also expects sport-utility vehicle production will be at least as high but could be higher depending on demand. The Italian automaker is owned by Volkswagen Group through its Audi unit.

The new SUV will go on sale in 2018 starting at around US$200,000 (RM800,000).

“We will push like hell to” sell 3,500 or more of the SUVs, Domenicali said in an interview, adding interest in it is high in the United States and elsewhere. “It’s a big game-changer.”

Domenicali, who was named CEO in February, said Lamborghini plans to boost its worldwide dealer network to 160 from 132 now.

About 30 per cent of its dealers and sales are in the United States, its largest market. Lamborghini sold a record 3,245 vehicles worldwide in 2015, including just over 1,000 in the United States. “We will not, clearly, give up on our DNA, which is to produce super sportcars,” he said.

Lamborghini is adding 500 employees and doubling the size of its Sant’Agata Bolognese plant in Italy as part of an investment worth hundreds of millions of euros announced in 2015.

Lamborghini is joining several luxury carmakers that have entered the profitable SUV market, including VW’s Porsche unit.

Domenicali, a former Ferrari and Audi executive, said he wants to keep brand volume limited. The company unveiled its Centenario Roadster in California, and said the company had already sold the 20 roadsters it was building at a starting price of €2 million before taxes.

Lamborghini plans a plug-in hybrid electric version of the SUV by 2020, and could add a zero-emission vehicle.

Domenicali said the SUV could be a platform for future autonomous vehicles, but such vehicles won’t hurt the brand.

“If you buy a Lamborghini you want to drive… We are talking about emotions,” he said, adding that steering wheels won’t go away in Lamborghinis: “In life, technology has to be part of the emotion.” — Reuters

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Kia to launch fourth-generation Rio in Paris

PARIS — Kia will introduce its new, fourth-generation Rio at the 2016 Paris Motor Show on September 29.

The new vehicle features a streamlined, smooth surfaced-design, with a longer front overhang and bonnet, plus an upright C-pillar to give the car a more balanced appearance than the previous version. It also offers world-class safety technology and the latest in connectivity.

The Kia Rio is the brand’s best-selling model globally, boasting sales of over 450,000 in 2015. The next generation Rio will go into production at the end of 2016 for Europe, with additional production times coming closer to its launch date.

The Paris Motor Show runs from October 1-16 in Paris, France. — AFP


All-electric Opel set for Paris Motor Show premiere

PARIS — Opel promises a revolutionary new electric car with its Ampera-e, set to premiere globally at the Paris Motor Show, October 1-16, 2016.

The Ampera-e will be the first fully electric vehicle unveiled under the Opel brand, and is essentially a European version of the Chevrolet Bolt, shown January 2016 at the Detroit Auto Show in the US.

Although initially expected at the Geneva Motor Show, the Opel Ampera-e is set to make its debut at the French capital’s auto event.

“The Opel Ampera-e makes electromobility fully feasible for everyday use and ready for the future,” says Opel CEO, Dr Karl-Thomas Neumann.

“The Ampera-e demonstrates impressively how well sustainability and driving pleasure can form a unity. And with its strong-as-an-ox electric motor, it delivers pure fun to drive.”

With Opel promising range of over 300km, the Ampera-e rivals the best electric cars on the market, such as the Nissan Leaf, while offering a cheaper alternative to Tesla’s sedans.

Loading the battery pack under the vehicle floor makes for a spacious interior, with seating for five passengers and trunk space comparable with other cars in the compact class.

The Ampera-e will also come with the brand’s latest-gen technologies, such as the IntelliLink infotainment system (compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto) and the Opel OnStar connected onboard system.

There shouldn’t be much difference in specs between the Chevrolet Bolt and the Opel Ampera-e.

The hatchback, which promises 204 horsepower, is set to sell at a competitive price, expected to come in under €30,000 (RM136,464) including relevant government subsidies.

The Paris Motor show runs October 1-16, 2016, at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France. — AFP Relaxnews


In full bloom

Florals take centre stage in yuna and hatta dolmat’s first fashion collection.

Story on pages 34 & 35


to inspire

THE Baltic Neopolis Orchestra from Poland will be performing at the annual Toyota Classics concert on Nov 2 at the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.

Well known in its home country and around the world, the orchestra will be accompanied by two soloists Pamela Tan Nicholson on piano and Vasko Vassilev who will serve as conductor and violinist.

Another highlight of the Toyota Classics this year is a performance by youth choir Rendezvous from Universiti Teknologi Mara’s Faculty of Music.

The Toyota Classics concert series stands out among over 200 of the company’s corporate social responsibility programmes in Asia, raising funds for local charities and other organisations while delighting audiences of all ages.

With the tagline “Music that Moves Lives”, Toyota Classics aims to touch the lives of people both within and beyond the concert hall. Besides Malaysia, the concert series will also be presented in Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Singapore, Cambodia and Vietnam.

“Regionally, the Toyota Classics series has raised a total of US$8.6 million (RM32 million) through its performances in various countries,” said UMW Toyota Motor deputy chairman Akio Takeyama.

“In Malaysia, thanks to the generous donations from individuals as well as corporate sectors, the total donation collected is close to RM8 million. The fund has been used to assist and finance projects organised by various NGOs and charity organisations.”

UMW Toyota Motor president Datuk Ismet Suki said: “Our focus for Toyota Classics donations this year is youth engagement as we believe youths are our future leaders and they have not been receiving enough support through our CSR programmes.

“Therefore we are inclined to inspire and boost support towards this particular group.”

He also said that two recipients have been identified — the UiTM Faculty of Music and the Youth Trust Foundation.

“The UiTM Faculty of Music is ecstatic to be one of the recipients of the proceeds of this year’s concert,” said its dean Assoc Prof Dr Ramona Mohd Tahir.

“We appreciate the support of UMW Toyota as well as its recognition of the Faculty of Music.”

Tickets are priced at RM106, RM159, RM 212 and RM265 and can be purchased by calling 03-2051 7007 or from the Box Office at Dewan Filharmonik Petronas.

The concert series has been presented in Malaysia since 1990.


Selena says time out

AFTER a year of highs and lows, Selena Gomez says she will take a break to deal with panic attacks and depression thought to be a side effect of her lupus disease.

The 24-year-old issued a statement saying: “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges.”

“I want to be proactive and focus on maintaining my health and happiness and have decided that the best way forward is to take some time off.”

Gomez is in the midst of her Revival world tour -— which is scheduled to end in December — and it is not immediately clear when she would start her break or what would happen with the rest of the shows.

A source close to Gomez told People magazine the career break was not related to alcohol or substance abuse.

The decision comes about two weeks after getting into a social media feud with ex-boyfriend Justin Bieber after the Canadian pop star posted images to his Instagram page of himself and his latest girlfriend.

Gomez, a former Disney channel star, opened up for the first time about her diagnosis last year, after spending a few months out of the spotlight.

Following a flurry of speculation as to what was keeping her away, she told Billboard magazine in October: “I was diagnosed with lupus, and I’ve been through chemotherapy. That’s what my break was really about. I could’ve had a stroke.”

“I wanted so badly to say, ‘You guys have no idea. I’m in chemotherapy. You’re assholes.’ I locked myself away until I was confident and comfortable again.”

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body and affects some 1.5 million Americans, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
— Reuters

Chris Brown

Hey Jude!

HL: Summer lovin’

Who would have thought the lovefest between Iggy Azalea and French Montana is still going strong? The 26-year-old singer couldn’t keep her hands to herself as she leaned onto the 31-year-old rapper on Sunday night, just two months after splitting with fiancé Nick Young.

The two were spotted heading to dinner in Los Cabos, Mexico, just hours after they were caught passionately kissing on a yacht. The Australian beauty and her new beau have not been shy about showing off their affection during their romantic getaway.

Earlier in the day, clad in their swimwear, the lovebirds shared several kisses while aboard a yacht. Before jetting off to Mexico, Iggy posed for a picture with Montana, his brother and three friends in front of a private jet.

She broke off her her engagement to Young, a professional basketball player, after rumours surfaced that he got ex-girlfriend Keonna Green pregnant with his second child. And we all know that Montana was canoodling with Khloe Kardashian about a year ago. A summer fling or is this last till the next holiday?

HL: In the slammer again

Chris Brown is in trouble again. He has been arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after a prolonged, 11-hour stand-off with the police at his US$4 million (RM12 million) mansion.

Baylee Curran, a former Miss California Regional 2016, called 911 at 3am on Tuesday claiming Brown had pointed a gun at her after she admired his friend’s jewellery, TMZ reported.

Police arrived at Brown’s sprawling estate in Los Angeles, but no one answered the door and it took hours before they obtained a warrant to search the house for a weapon. Emerging from his mansion the next day, Brown took off his sweatshirt and sat on the ground in front of the door.

Authorities said Brown was cooperating with the Los Angeles Police Department before he was seen in the backseat of a car being taken into custody. Detectives searched the property, while Brown’s entourage of about half a dozen people were patted down and interviewed by authorities. Think he’s guilty? We have to wait and see.

HL: Not quitting

Actor Izzue Islam admitted that he did not have time to take a break or even go on a much awaited holiday with his wife. The actor is pretty in demand these days, with his latest movie hitting the big screens in September.

Izzue or Muhammad Islam Izzul Mazlan, 26, said he was on a mission to collect as many assets while he was still needed in the art industry. “To me, this is my time to build my career because one day it can all just go away,” he told a local online portal.

However, Izzue said his rise in fame did not mean he would quit singing and hosting anytime soon. Looks like Izzue’s fans can’t get enough of him!

HL: Insta-stars of the week

What do you do after the MTV Music Video Awards? Have pizza of course! Swizz Beatz shared an Instagram photo of himself and wife Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Steve Stoute, Lauren Branche, Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, Puff Daddy and Cassie enjoying a post-awards dinner together.

It was one of those intimate, high-profile dinners during which anyone would wish to be a fly on the wall — did Beyoncé and Kim sit next to each other to talk baby weight and babysitting? Did they even look at each other?

Did anyone call Kanye out for being Kanye yet again? And what was said or done that made these serious moguls kick back and laugh so damn hard? Wouldn’t you like to know?

Pictures of longevity


HL: Pictures of longevity


Lower Ground Floor, Berjaya Times Square

DIRGAHAYU photography exhibition features works of acclaimed Malaysian photojournalists Rahman Roslan, Ahmad Yusni and Hasnoor Hussein with works linked to “dirgahayu” – a wish for longevity. Visit for details.

HL: Miniature paintings

Sept 7-Oct 2

Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre, Menara Sentral Vista, Kuala Lumpur

MERAKI is a unique collection of painstakingly created miniature paintings on paper and faux ivory exploring themes of love. They vary in size — from being the size of postage stamps to being close to a metre in height. Admission is free. For details, call 012-308 0635.

HL: Social commentary


KTM Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Sultan Hishammudin

MONOLOGUE Jual Ubat is performed and directed by award-winning actor Khalid Salleh, who plays a street vendor, observing political deprivation, racial struggles and the subsistence of Malay-Muslims. Admission is free. Show starts at 8.30pm. For more information, call 03-2267 1200.

HL: Of Viji and Lakshmi


Auditorium DBKL, Jalan Raja Laut

NARI begins with a 10-minute short film live narrated by Gingger Shankar, which takes the audience on an emotional journey through Viji and Lakshmi’s lives. Using archival footage, interviews and photographs from their tours and family footage, viewers get a rare look into this incredible family. Tickets are from RM80. For details, visit, call 03-2166 0788 or email

HL: Solidarity through poetry


Rumah Pena, Jalan Bukit Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

THIS is an introductory event to the Asean Poets Gathering 2016 which aims to forge closer cultural ties among national laureates. Admission is RM30. Book seats at or call 03-2142 5824.

HL: Ethnic dances

Saturday & Sunday

Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur

EXPERIENCE Sarawakian music and dance, including the Hornbill Dance by the Kenyah, Menyak dance by the Melanau and Ngajat performed by the Iban. As part of DiverseCity, the performers were flown in especially for this. Free admission. For more information, visit

HL: Gypsy tales

Saturday & Sunday

Auditorium DBKL, Jalan Raja Laut

ANCIENT gypsy tribes from Rajasthan, India celebrated the art of storytelling through songs and dance. Known as Kathakars, they shared their art across foreign lands, creating a hybrid dance that eventually became the flamenco. Tickets start from RM30. Show starts at 8.30pm Buy them at, and call 03-2166 0788 or email for details.



RAW TRAVEL S2 (premiere)

Nat Geo People HD (CH725) 9.20pm

Krakow, Poland feels like a fairy tale with looming castles, mid-evil courtyards and even fire breathing dragons but the post effects of World War II and an occupation of communist rule did not leave Krakow unscathed. Today it is a progressive and friendly city that invites travellers the world over to sample its layered history and many charms.

W – TWO WORLDS (premiere)

Oh!K HD (CH394) 8.55pm

Oh Yeon Joo is a second-year cardiothoracic resident doctor. Her father, Oh Sung Moo, a script writer for a popular webtoon series ‘W’ mysteriously disappears and when Yeon goes in search of him, she finds herself sucked into the fictional life of Kang Cheol – Sung’s lead character in ‘W’. Starring Lee Jong Suk and Han Hyo Joo

5 RENCAH 5 RASA S14 (premiere)

Asian Food Channel (CH703) 9pm

Feast your eyes on Malaysia’s diverse food with culinary whiz Sherson Lian (pic). He will demonstrate how to prepare five, popular Malaysian dishes each week, with a different theme.


Catch the Tony Stark trilogy followed by Captain America: Civil War in which good friends Captain America and Iron Man battle it out.


Myanmar starts talks with ethnic minorities

NAYPYIDAW — Peace talks between Myanmar’s government and warring ethnic minorities kicked off yesterday in a bid to end decades of conflict that have claimed thousands of lives and kept the country mired in poverty.

A sea of colour filled the vast conference hall in the capital Naypyidaw as delegations from Myanmar’s myriad ethnic groups mingled with stony-faced military officers decked out in full regalia.

The summit is veteran democracy activist Suu Kyi’s much-trumpeted effort to reshape Myanmar as a federal democracy following decades of oppressive military rule.

The Nobel laureate has made bridging the ethnic fault lines that have fractured the nation since its mid-century independence a priority of her new government, which took power in March.

“So long as we are unable to achieve national reconciliation and national unity, we will never be able to establish a sustainable and durable peaceful union,” she told delegates.

“Only if we are all united will our country be at peace. Only if our country is at peace will we be able to stand on an equal footing with the other countries in our region and across the world.”

Few expect a concrete deal to emerge from the five-day talks, which are seen as the start of a peace process that could take years.

Seventeen rebel groups have joined the talks in the capital, but others have not laid down their arms and some remain locked in combat with the military.

Any hope of a nationwide ceasefire has been snuffed out by fresh flare-ups of violence in some northern states ahead of the summit.

Khua Uk Lian, an assistant general secretary with the Chin National Front, one of the rebel groups that has agreed to a ceasefire, said he was optimistic but warned that fighting would be hard to stop on the ground.

“You have local commanders fighting about local problems,” he said. “It’s been like this since we have been fighting.”

Communities in the conflict zones live in stark poverty despite the rich jade, tin and teak wood forests that dot their lands and lie at the heart of many of the battles.

Bringing peace could rejuvenate economies in the war-ravaged regions, and open up investment to foreign powers who are keen to scoop up its vast resources.

But distrust of the Tatmadaw, as the Myanmar military is known, runs deep among minorities after decades of oppression, marked by torture, rape and mass killings.

Negotiators from Suu Kyi’s government have said privately they are hamstrung by working with the army, which still controls borders, defence and a quarter of parliament seats.

Commander in chief Min Aung Hlaing urged ethnic groups to join the ceasefire the previous military-backed government signed with eight groups last year.

“We need to end this tragic drift,” he told the conference, according to an English transcript.

But he also warned against drawn out peace talks.

“If the peace process takes longer than the appropriate time, there may be more outside instigations, interferences and manipulations disturbing the process,” he said.

Yesterday’s meeting comes almost 70 years after Suu Kyi’s father, independence hero Aung San, signed a landmark agreement to devolve powers to some ethnic groups after independence.

The deal collapsed after he was assassinated, before Myanmar broke from Britain in 1948, triggering the civil wars that have rumbled across the country’s borders ever since.

Suu Kyi has dubbed her summit the “21st Century Panglong” in reference to the agreement brokered by her father, who remains a deeply revered figure. — AFP

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