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Q1 pick-up in supercar, ultra luxe limo sales
THE economic gloom has yet to lift, but sales of super high-end cars are picking up and they are largely being driven by high net worth and ultra high net worth individuals, say dealers.
Despite progressive taxes and the sluggish economy, super sports cars and ultra-luxury limousine sales have climbed 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same period a year ago (See table).
Aston Martin leads the gains, surging 150 per cent with 10 units registered between January and March this year.
Rolls-Royce has powered ahead too, climbing 100 per cent to eight units with mostly the "entry-level'' Ghost limousine finding favour.
Also accelerating forward is Bentley, with 55 per cent in gains to 17 units in Q1.
Only those of supercar makes Ferrari and Lamborghini seem to have slowed down in the first quarter.
The prancing horse's year-to-date number of 12 units and the fighting bull's four units are both down a third from a year ago.
The numbers from the Land Transport Authority include both authorised and parallel imports.
For Aston Martin, all 10 units registered in the first quarter were of the new DB11 sports coupe, which Wearnes Automotive began delivering in January and which managing director Pang Cheong Yan said there is a "very healthy level of interest'' in.
"We are working with the principal to secure more stock,'' he added.
The DB11 currently starts from S$860,000 before options and COE.
Since Wearnes officially took over the Aston Martin franchise in August 2015, confidence in the brand has returned and registration numbers have soared.
Mr Pang said: "Aston Martin is a highly desirable global brand. The DB11 is a game changer, having received global accolades.
"While our customers are more selective in today's climate, they still appreciate a great product.''
At another high-end dealership, a director noted that sentiment is "improving slightly'' among high net worth individuals as they come to terms with the "current market situation''. "Things are not going to change soon but since the money is in the bank, they feel they may as well spend it after holding back from acquiring luxury items for more than a year now,'' the director said of his clientele, some of whom are SME owners. According to him, the "very wealthy will always be very wealthy''.
"But those in the oil and gas sector, or those without reserves and are highly leveraged, have been most affected by this economic slowdown,'' he added.