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Sales of Ferraris in Taiwan have doubled in the past four years, bolstered by the growing wealth of the country’s chip entrepreneurs and a return of capital as global supply chains diversify away from China.

Ferrari’s chief executive Benedetto Vigna said demand in Taiwan was growing faster than in China or Hong Kong because of a sharp rise in supercar sales to the country’s increasingly wealthy citizens.

“China is growing but . . . less than Taiwan,” he told the Financial Times. “In Taiwan you have more entrepreneurs, and the chip industry is booming”. He added: “You have a lot of people that are making a lot of money.” 

Ferrari last month reported record annual earnings, driven by customers paying for personalised add-ons. Although the bulk of its sales come from Europe and the US, the carmaker said shipments to mainland China and Taiwan increased from 5 per cent of the total in 2020 to almost 11 per cent last year.

Ferrari is tapping into a surge in private wealth that has made the island the fifth-richest country in the world, with €141,600 per capita, according to last year’s Allianz Global Wealth Report. The uptick in wealthy citizens has been driven in part by a booming industry for semiconductors, a sector dominated by Taiwan.

But it has also been boosted by Taiwanese manufacturers shifting their operations away from China, which has brought many entrepreneurs and wealthy executives back home.

“We have won a lot of new customers over the past four years,” said Vincent Liu, general manager of Modena Motori Taiwan, Ferrari’s official dealer in the country. “Ferrari played a major role in the growth of the supercar market here, which grew 30 per cent to 1,300 units last year,” he said, adding the brand now held 40 per cent of the two-door segment.

Along with the US, Taiwan has long had the highest ratio of private wealth to the size of its economy in the world. The country’s net financial assets increased 45 per cent between 2018 and 2022, according to the Allianz report, the latest year for which figures are available.

According to Modena Motori, 70 to 80 per cent of Ferrari buyers in Taiwan are entrepreneurs.

“The exotic car scene has really taken off here,” said Ryan Yeh, owner of a Ferrari Pista and one of only three Ferrari 360 Modenas in Taiwan. Yeh runs a car club and frequently participates in street races in the mountains that dominate the island’s geography.

“[For] my generation who have some financial freedom, these brands are much more recognisable [compared with] our parents’ [generation], where anyone who was successful would just buy a Benz or BMW,” he said. “I guess this generation is flashier, more keen on displaying wealth. And there is no better way of displaying wealth than driving that kind of car.”

Jeff Hsu, a board member of satellite company Aerkomm, who bought an Aston Martin four years ago, his first luxury car, said: “It’s very simple: Taiwanese are rich, and there’s only so many places you can put your money: you can buy property and you can buy cars.”

Goratty Zhang, a marketing manager at Gama, Lamborghini’s dealer in Taiwan, said Lamborghini sales in the country had greatly expanded since the brand’s launch of SUVs in 2017 broadened its appeal to a larger group of buyers.

The worldwide growth of wealthy motorists has also led to pockets of expansion for Ferrari in countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic, according to Vigna. He added that the brand had still only tapped a tiny portion of its potential global buyers.

In order to retain its luxury status, Ferrari suppresses production, often forcing buyers to wait for several years for its cars. This drives scarcity and increases both its prices and the resale value of its cars, helping the company enjoy the best margins in the auto industry. Last year, Ferrari reported €1.26bn of net profits on car sales of just 13,663. 

The company has sold only 300,000 vehicles in its history — the same number produced by Volkswagen’s Porsche brand every year.

Read More: World News | Entertainment News | Celeb News
FT

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