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UK revealed as Ferrari’s second biggest market in 2013

Everyone knows that China is a huge, emerging economy that has a taste for expensive cars. That must mean that they buy more Ferraris than anyone else, right? Actually, wrong: the Italian supercar maker has just announced its annual sales results and there is at least one surprise. Ferrari’s number one customer is still the US, which despite recent financial woes bought over 2,000 of these incredibly expensive cars.

Everyone knows that China is a huge, emerging economy that has a taste for expensive cars. That must mean that they buy more Ferraris than anyone else, right? Actually, wrong: the Italian supercar maker has just announced its annual sales results and there is at least one surprise. Ferrari’s number one customer is still the US, which despite recent financial woes bought over 2,000 of these incredibly expensive cars. Surely that would make China second? Wrong again: Ferrari’s second biggest market in 2013 was actually the UK.

This is a surprising statistic. China is the world’s most populous country, with around 1.4 billion people. The UK has around 60 million. We are also bombarded with almost daily news about China’s economic miracle and told how tough things are in the UK, and yet we buy more Ferraris than a country 20 times our size. The UK actually bought 677 Ferraris in 2013, in front of Germany and then China in what was a record year for the Italian marque.

Ferrari has not released any data on which models made up the sales figures, but unofficial sources at the company have pointed to the launch of the F12 Berlinetta as a major factor. This front-engine GT coupe has Ferrari’s V12 engine, which apparently has always been popular in Britain. The Berlinetta is actually Ferrari’s most expensive car, costing around £240,000, which makes its popularity in the UK even more striking. Ferrari has reported a strong rise of around 19% in V12 sales and a contrasting 12% drop in cheaper V8 sales. This is in stark contrast to most of the rest of the world’s car makers, who are nearly all experiencing downsizing in the market. Despite a slight fall in actual number of cars sold, Ferrari recorded a 5% increase in profits to just over £200 million. Decreasing sales were put down to a fall in demand in China, where Ferrari sales slumped by 25% to 375 units. The German market also declined, buying around 100 fewer Ferraris.

With typical Italian aplomb, Ferrari said that the drop in sales was actually a deliberate policy, intended to protect the ‘high level of exclusivity’ traditionally associated with the brand. The power of the brand is evidenced by the fact that nearly a quarter of the firm’s profits now come from merchandising and licensing deals, with everything from shoes to watches and even hairdryers sold with the prancing horse logo. Meanwhile, George Osborne is sure to be pleased about what the level of Ferrari sales in the UK says about the health of our economy.

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