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Ferraris selling like hotcakes despite the once-in-one-hundred-year depression

4, 17. 2009

   While the sales of imported cars are all going down in the face of the current economic downturn, the super luxury Ferrari sports cars are enjoying brisk sales. According to the new car registration figures made public by the Japan Automobile Imports Association (JAIA), the sales of Ferrari cars in fiscal 2008 were 30.2% higher than the previous year. Just for March 2009, the sales were double the same month of the previous year. The unshaken "brand name power" is the secret behind the brisk sales.

New registration in March 2009 went up 225%

Ferrari California to be marketed in summer of 2009
Ferrari California to be marketed in summer of 2009

   According to the JAIA, the new registration of imported cars in fiscal 2008 (April 2008-March 2009) totaled 199,115 units, down 24.8% from the previous year. Of these cars, those made by foreign carmakers were 176,723 units, down 22.2%. By the brand names, Volkswagen represented a decrease of 21.2%, Mercedes Benz a decrease of 25.8% and BMW a decrease of 30.3%.

   Amid these sales declines, only Ferrari showed staggering rise of 30.2% from the previous year. By the month the sales went up by 118.4% on year in August 2008, 142.9% in October, 133.3% in November, 134.6% in December, 135.1% in January 2009, 66.7% in February and 225% in March. These percentages show gigantic rises except for February.

   Ferrari cars are sold in Japan for 20 to 30 million yen each. There are some salaried workers who buy new Ferraris by drawing long-term bank loans, but most of the buyers are from the super-rich income groups.

   Ferrari S.p.A. Italy announced that a total of 6,587 units of Ferrari cars were sold in the course of 2008, up 2% over the previous year. The company's current profit went up 27% to an all-time high of 39 million euro, unaffected by the global economic slowdown.

   Most of Rolls Royce, Lamborghini and other luxury cars are priced over 20 million yen and are made to orders. Ferraris are also produced after ordered are received, and it takes six months to two years before the cars can be delivered after receiving ordered. Because of this, the current sales reflect the orders placed more than six months ago.

Most customers don't cancel orders even if economy plummets

   Kazuhide Ueno, editing staff of the official Ferrari magazine, SCUDERIA, published by Neko Publishing, says:

"The number of the Ferrari cars delivered currently reflects the orders placed before the economic condition gets bad as it is now. But most of the buyers don't seem to cancel their orders. I think the cars bear the brand name power that is worth tens of millions of yen."

   The unshaken brand name power is shown also by the fact that:

   The dealer Ferrari Japan will raise the prices of the Ferrari cars for deliveries in Japan by 3-4%, or by about 700,000 yen to 3.63 million yen each, starting with those completed in March 2009. This is because Ferrari S.p.A Italy was set to increase the worldwide prices to reflect the rise in production cost caused by higher materials prices. The dealer has already raised prices by millions of yen since January 2008.

   Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Prada and other goods of famous brand names are facing sluggish sales because of the economic decline, and their prices are reduced on the ground of "passing to customers the strong yen benefit." The Ferrari dealer must still be able to be in such a strong position only because Ferraris are selling well.

   The much waited Ferrari California will be put on the market in the summer of 2009. The domestic price will be 23.6 million yen. This is likely to become a popular car.

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