A campaign by the Italian government targeting against tax evaders has affected sales of Lamborghini in the country, chief executive Stephan Winkelmann told Automotive News Europe. Italian finance police are particularly hunting people driving supercars. They report their supercar sightings to their headquarters, which in turn notifies tax authorities, who will then verify that the supercar owners' tax filings show that they can afford such a high-priced vehicle.
Winkelmann told Automotive News Europe that some of their customers have been flagged by cops while driving, which make them feel hunted. Winkelmann remarked that the crackdown on tax evaders during a time of financial crisis sends the wrong message, “especially against a high-end luxury icon that brings the ‘Made in Italy’ label around the world."
Winkelmann said things could change under the government of new Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who took office Feb. 22, 2014. He told Automotive News Europe that they have been told that the new government plans to provide some tax relief.
The new government recently said last week that it is selling off 170 upscale models used to transport state officials to work and other places – among them nine Maserati Quattroporte of the defense ministry.