Italy is the wound that continues to drain blood from the body financial of Italian supercar and sports car makers. The wound was opened by the country's various financial police who decided to get serious about superyacht-owning and supercar-driving tax cheats a few years ago, by noting their registrations and checking their incomes. When it was found that a rather high percentage of exotic toy owners had claimed a rather low annual income - certain business owners were found to be declaring less income than their employees - the owners began dumping their cars and prospective buyers declined to buy.

Car and Driver has a piece on how the initiative is hitting the home market the hardest. Lamborghini sold 1,302 cars worldwide in 2010, 1,602 cars in 2011 and 2,083 cars in 2012 - an excellent surge in just two years. In Italy, however, it's all about the ebb: in 2010, the year that Italian police began scouring harbors, Lamborghini sold 96 cars in Italy, the next year it sold 72, last year it sold just 60. The declines for Maserati and Ferrari are even more pronounced.

Head over to CD for the full story and the numbers. What might be most incredible isn't the cause and effect, but where the blame is being placed. A year ago the chairman of Italy's Federauto accused the government of "terrorizing potential clients," this year Luca di Montezemolo says what's happening has created "a hostile environment for ­luxury goods." Life at the top, it ain't easy.


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  • 93 Comments
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        FuelToTheFire
        • 2 Years Ago
        They would be a lot more willing to pay their taxes if they were actually low. THIS is why Italy needs to set a precedent and ditch the income tax. Americans should follow.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          [blocked]
      masteraq
      • 2 Years Ago
      Poor, poor tax evaders feel bad about driving their Ferraris.
      Prus
      • 2 Years Ago
      We have a special ownership tax, called superbollo. So you have to pay 20 euros for every kw exceeding 185 kw/ 250 cv. That hits also the used cars market. This stuff is mixed with "redditometro" which is a control measure about the brand of car that you're buying.
      Avinash Machado
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why should the wealthy be exempt from paying their fair share?
        clquake
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Avinash Machado
        The myth is that it trickles down. Sure, they'll be the only ones to buy ready made coffee at your local Starbucks, but generally, they hoard their cash, they don't spend any of it, and when they keep the taxes lower, they simply keep more cash. They don't spend more. Businesses do the hiring, not wealthy individuals, and businesses use economic outlook to decide whether or not to hire, so in short, a good economy or gov't intervention creates jobs.
      Michael
      • 2 Years Ago
      So, it takes cheating on your taxes to drive a supercar in Italy (or to own a yacht in Greece)? Sounds like quite a few of those who did should never have been able to afford one legitimately, which, in turn, sounds like a 'bubble' of conspicuous consumption.
      davebo357
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow, they're actually cracking down on the .1% that cheats on their taxes so they can tool around in supercars? I know immigration is a sensitive topic in America but is there any way we can get some of those Italian police over here?
        Renaurd
        • 2 Years Ago
        @davebo357
        I gave you a thumbs up but AB did not register it, that happens often.
        GasMan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @davebo357
        The Italian police are the most corrupt, political, and incompetent in the western world. Trust me, you don't want them over here.
          m_2012
          • 2 Years Ago
          @GasMan
          Sounds like they would fit in just fine.
          clquake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @GasMan
          You've just described most of law enforcement in the US.
      EJD1984
      • 2 Years Ago
      Maybe they've discovered the Chevrolet Corvette - Supercar performance, at a 1/4 the price. :-)
        • 2 Years Ago
        @EJD1984
        [blocked]
      Greg
      • 2 Years Ago
      Poor millionaires…
        FuelToTheFire
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Greg
        When was the last time a poor person gave you a job? Millionaires and businesses create jobs.
          clquake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          Fuel, you complete #&#%. Hoarding cash is helpful to an economy that needs to grow? If quite a bit goes to the middle class (unless you define middle class as the reps and senators in DC), then why does every single study show the middle class is disappearing into the lower tier. Your complete utter crap is based on MARKETING by the rich, by efforts to simply hang on to their money. And BUSINESSES, not rich people, hire when there is good economy. So in your little world, you'd have JUST the middle class and poverty stricken people pay taxes? What a complete load of bullcrap. The rich already pay a smaller percentage than the middle and lower classes. Your economics is complete and utter stupidity. And how you ask does gov't create jobs in times of economic crisis? How about say, fixing bridges/roads for one example, with, wait for it, TAX DOLLARS.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          [blocked]
          FuelToTheFire
          • 2 Years Ago
          @FuelToTheFire
          Yes, yonono, all businesses are big, bad, , evil, no-gooders who want to put you in camps and eventually gas you. /s clquake, are you really that illiterate? Government regulations NEVER create jobs. Millionaires might keep the majority of their cash, but quite a bit of it goes to the middle class. Also, letting millionaires keep their cash is an INCENTIVE for hiring. You tax a business;they're just going to lay off more people, losing JERBS in the process. Jeez, it's basic economics, and you're failing it.
        Renaurd
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Greg
        It's so awful being rich and having the whole world kiss your ass. It pains me to see the sadness in their poor deprived eyes.
          Bernard
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Renaurd
          Hey now peasant! That's "rich" depraved eyes! >:-( *sarcasm*
          Renaurd
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Renaurd
          Your sarcasm was dead on, depraved us correct.
      Richard
      • 2 Years Ago
      Well...it's just chickens coming home to roost. When your country's entire economy is based on half the people not working, and supporting them through screwing tourists and selling $900 shoes, eventually economic reality catches up with you. F 'em.
        Zoom
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Richard
        It's not that their shoes sell for $900...it's that the sellers of those $900 shoes don't pay their taxes. Us Americans shouldn't talk - thinking about the corporate welfare we practice.
          clquake
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          Fuel, have you ever completed even a basic economics course or even read an economics book? Your lack of education is quite evident.
          FuelToTheFire
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Zoom
          Yes, I am perfectly economically literate, unlike you. Corporations create JOBS. Giving tax exemptions to large, multinational corporations might seem wasteful, but in the long run, they create JERBS! However, I oppose taxpayer bailouts of large companies, when they can get by just fine with a regular bankruptcy. Our politicians do not give a damn about JERBS. They just approved the taxpayer bailout to appease the unions. GM was never supposed to go bankrupt, but it did. And that was AFTER the bailout.
      Max Bramante
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm italian and i live in Italy (Lazio) but if i would buy a supercar I never would buy any italian supercar cuz my dream car is the LEXUS LFA. Better than ferrari, better than lambo, better than everything.
        Bernard
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Max Bramante
        You must be Corky Soprano...
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Max Bramante
        [blocked]
      Firefly
      • 2 Years Ago
      Just read the article. How can you cry 'foul' when you're delinquent $10 million in taxes?
      wonky donky.
      • 2 Years Ago
      What is it with these southern Europeans? Greece, Cyprus, Italy, etc. Nobody wants to pay their taxes for the economy and infrastructure they get in return; sheesh!
        Israel Isassi
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wonky donky.
        I suspect they are tired of the money they earned get taken away from them and thrown away by virtual strangers on things the income earner has no say in.
        gtv4rudy
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wonky donky.
        In Italy, the government of Berlusconi dropped hated the property tax.
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