Vendas de carros de luxo despencam na Itália

Atualizado em  7 de janeiro, 2013 - 07:30 (Brasília) 09:30 GMT

Maserati amargou queda de 74% nas vendas

Sales of high performance cars have fallen in Italy showing that even the rich are beginning to feel the effect of the recession.

Reportagem: Mark Duff

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Italians' love for fast cars is legendary. But glamour is, it would seem, no defence against the current economic gloom.

New figures from the Italian motor dealers' federation show that the country's best known luxury sports cars, Ferrari and Maserati, have seen their sales in Italy plummet over the past year; Ferrari's by more than 56%, Maserati's by 72%.

The actual number of vehicles sold is, of course, tiny. Just 248 Italians forked out for a Ferrari last year, not surprising, perhaps, when each car costs the equivalent of up to $300,000.

The head of the motor traders' federation blamed high taxes for the fall in sales.

However, while poorer Italians may register an uncharacteristic flicker ofschadenfreude at the news that their richer compatriots are cutting back, they won't have much time to gloat.

Official figures recently showed that almost a third of Italians are on the verge of poverty, while the average Italian family is bracing itself for an extra €585 of government taxes.

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legendary famous, very well known

economic gloom financial recession

plummet fall very quickly

forked out for paid a large amount of money for

register an uncharacteristic flicker of have a small emotion that is not typical

schadenfreude a good feeling when something bad happens to someone else

compatriots people of the same nationality

to gloat to feel or show pleasure at someone else's bad luck

on the verge of very close to

bracing itself for preparing itself (for bad news)

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