The deepening financial crisis in Europe is hitting Italians where it hurts most, with locals forced to offload their homegrown supercars at a rate triple that of the same time last year.
Data from automotive industry group Unrae reveals the number of second-hand high-performance cars exported from Italy in the first five months of this year increased to 13,633, up from 4923 in the same period in 2011.
Bloomberg reports while old supercars are racing out of the country, demand for new models is also declining. Industry analyst IHS Automotive predicts super-luxury car sales in Italy will fall to less than 600 this year, down almost 50 per cent from 2008, and are not expected to return to pre-global financial crisis levels until at least 2016.
Milan Polytechnic business school associate dean Giuliano Noci, told Bloomberg the country’s fourth recession in 11 years is taking a toll on Italy’s happy-go-lucky lifestyle and intrinsic hunger for sports cars.
"Italy is one of the strongholds of supercars, and those vehicles are now disappearing from the streets," Noci said. "This has a huge symbolic value and shows how deep the crisis is."
The Italian government has recently introduced 20 billion euros ($24 billion) in austerity measures as it aims to combat a debt that has spiralled out to 1.9 trillion euros ($2.2 trillion).
As we reported in April, low sales of high-end vehicles in Italy have been compounded by the government’s introduction of tax fraud spot checks targeting drivers of expensive luxury cars as well as increased vehicle taxes.