Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A., commonly referred to as Lamborghini , is an Italian sports car manufacturer, based in the small village of Sant'Agata Bolognese. Founded by businessman and tractor factory owner Ferruccio Lamborghini in 1963, the company has achieved widespread recognition for sleek, exotic designs, and its cars have become symbols of performance and wealth. Despite this, the automaker has endured a tumultuous history and has changed ownership a number of times, most recently becoming a subsidiary of German car manufacturer Audi AG, itself a subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group,... in 1998. In the wake of World War II, Ferruccio Lamborghini was the owner of tractor manufacturer Lamborghini Trattori S.p.A., as well as a heating unit manufacturing business. His business success allowed him to cultivate an interest in sports cars. After owning a Mercedes-Benz 300SL, a Jaguar E-Type, and a Maserati 3500GT, he bought his first Ferrari, a 250GT. He quickly became a Ferrari enthusiast, eventually coming to own three 250GTs. However, he frequently encountered problems with the cars, specifically with their clutch mechanism.