We’ve been hearing for some time that the Pagani Huayra is nowhere near ready to be federalised. Will the Pagani Huayra ever be legal in the U.S.? We don’t think so.
When Horacio Pagani presented the Pagani Huayra to the world, the world let out a collective Gallic shrug. What was this generic supercar from the builder of the Zonda? Surely Pagani can’t seriously be offering the Huayra as a replacement for the Zonda?
To be fair to Pagani, the Huayra is a grower and it is better looking in the flesh than in many of the pictures. And it’s more grown-up and generic-looking because Horacio Pagani wants the Huayra to be a world car. The USA is his big target, but our sources are saying that target is a long way off being hit.
We’ve been talking to a number of sources over the last few months, and we’ve discovered that things are not as straightforward as Pagani are portraying. Not by a long way.
We’ve spoken to a source in the US connected to the DOT who says that Pagani has not yet started the process of application to have the Huayra federalised. Which as that is a far from short process does make us wonder how Pagani can be taking orders for the Huayra in the US and promising year end (that’s year-end 2011) delivery. We’ve spoken to one guy expecting his Huayra this year after paying a six-figure deposit to a Pagaini dealer in the US.
We think Pagani has been procrastinating on the DOT stuff in the hope it can get exemptions for the Huayra, one of which is a Temporary Exemption from Advanced Air Bag Requirements. But the application for Pagani to be exempt has now been refused by the DOT, making the sale of the Huayra in the U.S. impossible.
The application for exemption was made on the basis that complying with the regulations would cause Pagani undue hardship. But the DOT has refused the application, which will mean a lengthy process of developing and testing more advanced air bags for the Huayra. The big problem with that is that the DOT will require actual crash-testing without the exemption, and we don’t think Pagani can fund that.
We’ve also learnt – thanks to the DOT application for exemption – that Pagani first made this application back in 2007, but has subsequently requested delays until it had the Huayra ready. Pagani say in its petition to the DOT that they hope to produce 35-45 Huayras a year and sell between 6 and 12 in the US.
We’ve learnt that Pagani made net income of between €13k a year and €832k a year between 2004 and 2010. Pagani say a refusal to allow the airbag exemption for the Huayra would mean a loss of income of €3 million between 2011 and 2014.
Interestingly, the DOT documents also state that Pagani says it only operates on a cash in hand basis and has no lines of credit, which supports the long-held belief that Pagani can only build a car once it’s secured a deposit on a car scheduled for later production.
Despite earlier assertions from Pagani that they are building a new factory to produce the Huayra, we knew they hadn’t got much past drawings. The DOT documents confirm that without the exemption the new factory won’t be built and the Huayra will likely be produced in similar numbers to the Zonda.
All of which is a big blow for Pagani. Will their US dealers now refund deposits taken in the US? Are those deposits even being held by the dealers, or have they been remitted to Pagani? And if they have been remitted to Pagani, can Pagani repay them?
All the problems with taking the Huayra to the US are bad enough for Pagani, but we were told just last month by a well-connected source that not a single confirmed order for the Huayra has been made in the UK.
Could the Huayra, rather than being a bright new dawn for Pagani, in fact be its downfall?
We’ll soon see.
Pagani Huayra Photo Gallery
(40 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)