The Italian crisis and the extinction of Ferraris

The tittle may be shocking, but it explains what is going on in the troubled Italy with expensive cars. According to Bloomberg news the situation with luxury cars is becoming dramatic in Italy because of the financial crisis and governments measures. It is not only a matter of new car sales figures, which are down an incredible 20%, but is also about the impossibility of having the Ferraris, Maserati, Porsche or Lambos in a country where new taxes appear every day and the fight against tax evaders has become an official duty. That’s why many Italians are exporting their super cars in order to avoid tax payments or the persecution of police. According to the article, the number of secondhand high performance cars exported from Italy was up 177% in the first 5 months of 2012, when 13.633 cars were taken out of the country. Italian authorities began a raid against all tax evaders going to exclusive places where all the millionaires go with their supercars. By doing it they could know who was really declaring the right income and therefore paying enough taxes. And as expected, Italian police has found several people enjoying their ‘toys’ and having the ‘dolce vita’ without paying the right amount of taxes. It is certainly a pity in a country known by its supercars in its wonderful roads.

Ferrari and Maserati sales figures in their main markets during 2011. They are Fiat’s most profitable brands. Source: Ferrari Annual Report via Torque News.

The rise on taxes to luxury cars has affected for the first time high performance luxury brands. Most of the times, this kind of cars is more resilient to economic crisis as millionaires are the last ones to suffer the consequences of a recession.  But in Italy things are different and Ferrari for example forecasts a fall on its new car sales of 47%, while they keep increasing their exports to China, the Middle East and the US. Eventhough local market is decreasing for Ferrari and Maserati, they keep being Fiat Group’s most profitable brands. Just in the first half of the year both brands had a combined operational profit of 175 million euros, with an awesome margin of 12.2%, beating BMW’s 11.6%, and helping Fiat Group to decrease its losses. It seems Italian economic crisis is not only affecting the small Panda and 500 but also the gorgeous Ferrari 458 and Maserati Gran Turismo.

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3 responses to “The Italian crisis and the extinction of Ferraris

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