The company's first models were released in the mid-1960s, and were noted for their refinement, power, and comfort. Lamborghini gained wide acclaim in 1966 for the Miura sports coupé, which established mid-engine design as the standard layout for high-performance cars of the era. After a decade of rapid growth, hard times befell the company in the mid-1970s, as sales plunged in the wake of the 1973 world financial downturn and oil crisis. After going through bankruptcy and three changes in ownership, Lamborghini came under the corporate umbrella of the Chrysler Corporation in 1987. The American company failed to return the automaker to profitability and sold it to Indonesian interests in 1994. Lamborghini's lack of success continued through the 1990s, until the company was sold in 1998 to AUDI AG (Audi), a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group, a German automotive concern. Audi's ownership marked the beginning of a period of stability and increased productivity for Lamborghini, with sales increasing nearly tenfold over the course of the 2000s, peaking in record sales in 2007 and 2008. The world financial crisis in the late 2000s saw Lamborghini's sales drop by nearly half by 2009, leading CEO Stephen Winkelmann to predict continued poor sales for supercar makers.
Assembly of Lamborghini cars continues to take place at the automaker's ancestral home in Sant'Agata Bolognese, where engine and automobile production lines run side-by-side at the company's single factory. Each year, the facility produces fewer than 3,000 examples of the two models offered for sale, the V10-powered Gallardo coupé and roadster. The flagship V12-powered Murciélago coupé and roadster were discontinued at the end of 2010, with a successor expected in 2011.