After the government instituted measures that would tackle the nation’s growing social inequality, sales of supercars in Singapore have tumbled by up to 90 %, registering their lowest levels in years.
As carmakers including Maserati, Lamborghini and McLaren (who just last year opened its first showroom there) flocked to the Asian state because of growing population of billionaires, the local government grew unsettled and tired to close the gap between the rich and poor with measures that saw luxury cars less easy to buy.
The first measure saw the proportion of cash down payment that drivers require to buy cars using loans raised, while the other increased the upfront tax on vehicles.
Dan Balmer, general manager, Asia Pacific at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars, said that high taxes took their toll on a “luxury retail industry that is already suffering. Taxing people who are pillars of economic growth, jobs and services who are highly mobile has the result of slowing down business, not attracting ultra wealthy individuals to the country, and subsequently not generating tax dollars for the government.”
Ferrari sales went down 92 % in the second half of last year, only 8 McLaren cars were sold during the same time – a 53 % fall, while Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Rolls-Royce were down 85, 88 and 91%.
Meanwhile, according to the government’s Land Transport Authority, such policies aimed at tempering car usage in Singapore started as early as the late 1960s “to moderate the growth of our vehicle population at a rate that can be supported by our road network.”
Via Financial Times
by Aurel Niculescu
) - Friday, February 7th, 2014 - filed under Industry
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