With Italy suffering its fourth recession since 2001, local automakers -- especially those producing sporty and super cars – are also feeling the heat as local demand for such luxury vehicles continues to dip. Additionally, owners of these luxurious items have begun exporting their cars abroad, no thanks to domestic austerity measures and a crackdown on luxury goods. Giuliano Noci, the associate dean of Milan Polytechnic's business school, noted that while Italy is one of the strongholds of supercars, those vehicles are now “disappearing from the streets.” He further remarked that this has a “huge symbolic value” and shows how deep the crisis is.
According to auto industry group Unrae, the number of second-hand high-performance vehicles exported from Italy nearly tripled to 13,633 vehicles in the first five months of 2012, from just 4,923 units in the same period in 2011. The numbers are a solid proof that the overall demand for supercars in Italy is steadily getting weaker.
It is expected that the sales of super-luxury cars in Italy will drop 47 percent to 593 vehicles in 2012 from 1,116 in 2008, according to IHS Automotive, which further forecasts that the figure would not return to pre-crisis levels before 2016. The current Italian government headed by Prime Minister Mario Monti is implementing EUR20 billion ($25 billion) in austerity measures as Italy tries to cope with around EUR1.9 trillion of debt. The country’s economy has shrunk for four straight quarters, with the unemployment levels nearing a 13-year high.