Lamborghini SpA, the Italian ultra-luxury sports cars maker said industry sales of high performance vehicles may slow as signs that China’s economy is weakening puts off some buyers.
“If you look at the economy right now, there may be some uncertainty to make people wait a little,” Christian Mastro, Lamborghini’s Asia Pacific general manager told Bloomberg.
“The number of people able to spend this kind of money is limited, it’s not unlimited.”
Growth in China cooled to the slowest pace in more than two years in the fourth quarter and the trade ministry described the export outlook as “grim” last week. Lamborghini’s sales jumped about 70 percent in the country last year as rising incomes pushed up the number of Chinese millionaires and stoked demand for luxury goods.
In the first eight months of 2011, the company sold close to 200 of its powerful super sports cars in China,equal to the total for last year, when sales skyrocketed 150 percent year-on-year.
According to the 2011 World Wealth Report by Capgemini SA and Bank of America Corp, thenumber of millionaires in China grew by 12 percent to 534,500 this year, ranking the country fourthbehind the US, Japan and Germany.
But data for January came in below market expectations, with exports contracting 0.5 percent from a year earlier and money supply growth falling to 12.4 percent from the previous month’s 13.6 percent, which analysts said argued for more easing.
“The growth implications of the below-normal lending in January are dire, should that lending pace be continued,” said Paul Markowski, President of New York-based MES Advisers, a long-time investment adviser to China’s monetary authorities, who calculates lending was on a 7.9 percent growth path.
China’s economy is likely to slow to an annual growth rate of 8.2 percent in the first quarter from 8.9 percent in the previous quarter, according to the latest Reuters poll.
With annual consumer inflation having ticked back up to 4. 5 percent in January from 4.1 percent in December, the PBOC is expected to remain cautious about aggressive monetary easing in the near term.