FERRARIS, Lamborghinis and other supercars are seeing an unprecedented sales boom in Japan, fuelled by pent-up demand from wealthy buyers after years of Covid-related restrictions, who also see the vehicles as good investments amid a weakening yen and soaring used-car prices.
New registrations of automobiles costing more than ¥20 million (RM642,245) rose 64% to 5,462 vehicles this year through October compared to the same period a year earlier, when registrations also jumped 75%, data from the Japan Automobile Importers Association show. Despite those gains, total sales of imported cars fell 11% to 193,026 units in the period.
After more than two years of Covid-related restrictions, drivers are spending money on new cars, while the global shift toward electric vehicles is sparking interest in supercars and the growl of their engines, according to Yasuhiro Suyama, president of the Japan Supercar Association.
“If you don’t drive them now, then when?” Suyama said.
Supercar registration numbers also reflect some orders that were placed a while ago, said Ken Miyao, an analyst at automobile research company Carnorama. While prices will rise due to inflation and the weaker yen, “the number of people who want to buy is definitely increasing, and demand for supercars won’t fall,” he said.
Income for the wealthy has been on the rise despite a slowdown in economic activity, according to Tokyo Shoko Research. The number of company executives with compensation of more than ¥100 million rose 22% to 663 people during the fiscal year through March, according to the firm.
The availability of super-cars will probably continue to be limited because of the ongoing chip shortage in the global auto industry, helping to support used-card prices.
“It is better to invest in ultra-luxury cars for their resale value rather than holding cash,” Miyao said. — Bloomberg
- This article first appeared in The Malaysian Reserve weekly print edition