HIGH END OF TOWN

Aus­tralia’s strong ap­petite for pricey cars

Motor (Australia) - - HOT SOURCE. FAST CAR GUIDE -

THEY say it’s not easy be­ing at the top, but with one month of 2018 re­main­ing it cer­tainly ap­pears a cinch to sell ex­pen­sive prod­ucts in Aus­tralia this year. Let’s start with the Lam­borgh­ini Urus and its 13 sales for the year, then the Bent­ley Ben­tayga bring­ing in 86 units. Be­tween them, the Volk­swa­gen Group this year added al­most 100 sales of SUVs priced over $350K; for con­text, three years ago Lambo and Bent­ley be­tween them only shifted 204 ve­hi­cles. And here’s the kicker – the beefy, bru­tal Ital­ian Stal­lion has only been on sale for three months. Ob­vi­ously, then, the su­per well-heeled are just leav­ing the pas­sen­ger car seg­ment, right? Not so fast, be­cause the $200K-plus sports car mar­ket is level with last year. Okay, Bent­ley and Lambo are down 19.8 and 4.5 per cent re­spec­tively, but the for­mer has been wait­ing for Con­ti­nen­tal GT stock to ar­rive, and the lat­ter has lit­tle news with its coupes. As­ton Martin cer­tainly does, though, with its new Van­tage and DB11 haul­ing in 136 YTD sales, up 11 per cent, while Fer­rari has gone boom with 222 YTD sales, an in­crease of 25 per cent. Tellingly, both have SUVs in de­vel­op­ment. Watch this space. Just for good mea­sure, a cou­ple of ex­tra Rolls-Royce mod­els have been sold this year, 13 ver­sus 11, even be­fore the Cul­li­nan SUV lobs, while the peren­nial Mer­cedes-Benz S-Class has more than dou­bled its 110 sales at this time last year, to 267 now. Even the Maserati Qu­at­tro­porte moved from 32 to 37 sales, de­spite that the brand’s Le­vante is do­ing quite well. Ab­sorb all of the above, then note that the mar­ket is ac­tu­ally down 1.9 per cent this year. The rich get richer, and all that... – Dan DeGasperi

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