Hue and cry

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Confidential - Twit­ter: @PaulWardGover

MORE than $25 mil­lion is rid­ing on red in Australia. It’s not a roulette game but the dollar value of the or­der bank for the new Fer­rari F488 GTB.

Ac­tu­ally, it’s prob­a­bly more than that fig­ure as no one at Fer­rari will give ex­act num­bers for the queue to drive the red­hot suc­ces­sor to the 458 Italia. Or the price.

“The wait­ing list is prob­a­bly around a year-and-a-half. And those or­ders came within the first two weeks of the pho­to­graphs of the car be­ing re­leased,” says Fer­rari Australia boss Her­bert Ap­pleroth.

“We’re not ex­pect­ing de­liv­er­ies to com­mence un­til right at the end of the year. So we’re talk­ing into 2017.”

The suc­cess of the F488 is good news for Fer­rari and its fans as well as a pointer to the health of Australia’s econ­omy.

Top-end brands all re­port big buyer in­ter­est and there are wait­ing lists for popular mod­els from the likes of Lam­borgh­ini, Porsche and Mercedes-AMG.

“We have not seen this level of in­ter­est since 2007, be­fore the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis,” says Ap­pleroth. “We can safely as­sume the su­per­car mar­ket is back to its pre­vi­ous glory. Well, it is for Fer­rari.” The fi­nan­cial up­swing has also trig­gered a change in colour choices. Rosso Corsa, or Fer­rari red, is back on top with a clear pref­er­ence for the 488 among buy­ers.

“In Australia, red was less im­por­tant from 2008 un­til now. That’s be­cause peo­ple wanted to play con­ser­va­tive. Af­ter the GFC they still wanted to live their dream, but not flaunt it.

“But there is very strong de­mand for red again. This could be our clients be­ing more con­fi­dent things are go­ing well.”

They will def­i­nitely be do­ing well to af­ford a 488. The 458 is $525,000, with most own­ers splash­ing at least an­other $100,000 on bling, and that will in­crease with the new model.

“Glob­ally, the price of the car is 2.5 per cent more than the 458 Italia,” says Ap­pleroth. So the bot­tom line is go­ing to rise by more than $13,000, with­out think­ing about op­tions and on­road costs.

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