Sale of luxury cars up despite downturn

SALES of some luxury cars, such as Jaguars, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, soared last year despite the economic downturn, record job losses and the threat of war in the Middle East. 

The cheapest model in this collection of dream vehicles is probably the two-litre X-Type Jaguar, which costs about S$160,000 (RM350,000) with a certificate of entitlement. 

Bills for these cars can go up to seven figures. 

A spokesman for Lamborghini Singapore put the growth in sales to the fact that the people who buy these makes “are in a different league altogether.” 

“Ours is a niche market and our customers are not affected by the economic downturn,” he said. 

Otherwise, car dealers suffered the same fate as other retailers here – lower sales. 

Their sales dropped by about 8% last year compared with 2001. 

Even the Mercedes Benz, the car many view as a sign they have made it, moved slowly. 

Just 2,775 left the showroom in the first 11 months of last year compared with 4,461 over 12 months in 2001. 

The luxury car which enjoyed the best sales last year was Jaguar, preliminary figures from the Motor Traders Association showed.  

A total of 345 were registered then, a 27% jump compared with 2001. 

The biggest percentage jump was seen in Lamborghinis. 

Six of them, each with an average price tag of a million dollars, found buyers last year – triple the number the year before. 

Maserati sales went from five to eight. These cars cost more than S$400,000 (RM875,000) each. 

Ferraris showed the lowest percentage increase. Just 16 were sold last year compared with 14 the year before that. 

Two new Rolls-Royces were put on the roads, compared with one in 2001. 

These figures do not include the models brought in by parallel importers. 

A total of 56,711 cars were registered in the first 11 months of last year. 

This data from the Land Transport Authority covers the average man's vehicle as well as the Jaguars, but excludes tax-exempt ones, such as those registered by diplomats and some disabled people. 

In 2001, 67,158 vehicles were registered.  

The slower sales affected the amount of motor vehicle revenue collected. 

The government said this dropped a drastic 40% in the first nine months of last year. – The Straits Times/ Asia News Network  

  • Another perspective from The Straits Times, a partner of Asia News Network. 

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