VUHL: Mexican Supersport Car in a League of Its OwnBy Alejandro Enríquez | Wed, 12/16/2020 - 05:00
Q: VUHL is celebrating five years of successfully delivering vehicles. What are the keys behind VUHL’s success as a brand?
A: The company was born as an engineering consultancy firm, meaning that engineering development is in our DNA. Different projects are being carried out constantly to assure optimal levels of innovation while strengthening our presence in the super-sports vehicle niche we play in. We are part of that exclusive and low-volume niche but we do not directly compete with major supercar manufacturers, such as Ferrari, McLaren, or Lamborghini. VUHL manufactures a vehicle at even lower volumes, with particular characteristics that include aerospace-related technology and materials that reduce the vehicle’s weight, optimizing performance. The ethos of our brand is achieving the highest performance through lightweight. When we combine excellent performance with the ultimate driving experience, we have the formula for a unique vehicle.
Q: What is VUHL’s role in ETXE Diseño’s portfolio?
A: Our group is formed by two companies. ETXE Diseño, which is our engineering consulting firm founded in 2007, and Adman Leku, which is an advanced manufacturing company founded in 2013 and focused on carbon fiber components and complex sub-assemblies. Both companies work for VUHL and represent between 25 and 30 percent of our portfolio, respectively.
Q: How is Mexico evolving regarding its participation in vehicle development?
A: Indeed, the world does not necessarily see Mexico as a source of engineering and innovation. However, as technologies have become more available, the most valuable asset is the idea and the capability to take it to the market. VUHL has demonstrated that Mexico can manufacture a vehicle that competes globally both in performance and quality, but we are not the only example. One of the most innovative vehicles in the world is Rimac, which is designed and manufactured in Croatia. What matters is the idea. If the idea is powerful enough, you can attract talented people, potential customers, and investors.
Q: How would you describe VUHL’s supply chain?
A: When you strive to be the best in the world, you should look to partner with the best. Google, Tesla, Apple, and any similar company look for the best talent and partners no matter their background. We are proud of being a Mexican brand, with Mexican engineering and design. That being said, when talking about a critical component for the vehicle, we first look closer to home, and if we cannot find the right fit we look elsewhere.
Because of our niche, we often find many of our suppliers in the UK, as it has been historically the most advanced country in sports cars. It is a US$4 billion industry, divided among companies that manufacture at low volumes with a high added value. VUHL has strong Mexican suppliers, followed by the UK and then other countries, including France, the US, Germany, and South Africa. We see VUHL as Mexican just as Mercedes-Benz is German. The capital, the ideas, and the manufacturing are Mexican. However, as with any good project, we have a global supply chain that incorporates the best of the best suppliers.
Q: Customization is important in your segment. What is VUHL’s take on this?
A: Customization is part of our essence. Our product requires us to offer different options in performance and aesthetics to create a truly unique car. Our low volume allows us to take customization to the next level. Each vehicle can be painted in any color and any variation, including the interiors. When it comes to performance, we also offer broad options as each customer has a clear idea of how they are planning to use their VUHL. Some want it as a recreational car for the city, which leads us to focus more on aesthetics. Others might be looking for road trips over the weekend, so they will be looking for a balance between aesthetics and performance. Other customers prefer to use their cars at the track, so they are solely focused on performance.
There are different segments within our niche and we are prepared to deliver what is imagined. We enjoy it when our customers challenge us. Often, their imagination takes us to whole new levels. One of our policies as a brand is that we will never make two vehicles that are the same. Each vehicle is different. Our customers can be certain their VUHL is unique.
Q: How did the pandemic impact your segment?
A: Although our product is a vehicle, we are not that close to the rest of the sector. That said, we had low sales during April and May due to the uncertainty related to the pandemic. Many of our customers went to their holiday homes to wait for more information. After several months, they started to spend their money again. In June, we started to see our sales recover and by the end of October, we were at 2019 levels. We believe we can grow in 2021. Our focus now is on recreational cities like Miami where many of our potential customers moved due to the pandemic and where we can have better-than-expected sales.
Q: What are VUHL’s strategies toward 2021?
A: We are developing new technologies that will make the vehicle even more fun to drive, improving its performance, and accentuating its uniqueness. VUHL is one of the fastest vehicles in the world, which is one of our core values. We have broken several track records around the world and won top international races. However, being the fastest is just as important to us, as it is to deliver a unique product to our customers that they can enjoy and have the best driving experience with. In this regard, we feel proud to know that many of our customers consider that their VUHL is the most fun car within their supercar collection.
VUHL is a Mexican OEM based in Queretaro that produces ultra-lightweight, high-performance vehicles. The OEM is part of ETXE Diseño, a Mexican company that offers engineering consultancy and design services.