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.