Ferrari and Maserati sales decline in Italy

A Ferrari being checked at the company's factory in Maranello, Italy Ferrari has seen weakness in its home market

Sales of luxury Ferrari and Maserati cars have slumped in the land of their birth as Italy's financial and economic woes bite even the richest Italians, industry figures have revealed.

Last year, Ferrari saw sales in its home market fall by more than 56%, while those at Maserati slumped 72%.

Just 248 Italians bought a Ferrari last year.

Italy is in recession, and the government is continuing with austerity measures to trim its deficit.

The head of the Italian motor traders' federation Federauto, Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, blamed "an overdose of taxes aimed at hitting, if not criminalising, the acquisition, ownership and use of cars".

In addition to taxing motoring directly, Italian authorities have also been specifically targeting the owners of Ferraris and other supercars to check that they are paying enough tax.

There have been numerous reports of police officers stopping such cars, and demanding that the driver produces his or her tax registration ID.

Both Ferrari and Maserati are owned by Fiat.

Analysis

Ferraris have become red flags for Italy's tax authorities, who have started stopping them in the street, then ordering tax audits of their owners.

In response, Italy's wealthy have virtually stopped buying the cars and started shipping the ones they already own out of the country at a rate of knots.

Hence, at a time when Ferraris are becoming ever more commonplace around the world, in their homeland they are set to become increasingly rare.

Only 115 Maseratis were sold in Italy last year.

Global growth

Around the world Ferrari is much more successful, however.

During the past decade, annual sales have climbed from about 4,000 to 7,200 in 2011. The 2012 figures have not yet been released.

In September, the carmaker reported record net profits of 100m euros ($128m; £80m) for the first half of the year.

Ferrari delivered 3,664 cars to dealers during the period, with revenues rising 11.9% to 1.2bn euros.

At the time, chief executive Amedeo Felisa predicted that 2012 could be another record year for Ferrari.

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