Matthew Theunissen

Matthew Theunissen is a reporter for the Herald on Sunday.

Flush buyers snap up sports cars

Resurgence of sales of luxury machines evidence of economy regaining strength

Jaguar sales manager Paul Ricketts says most of the 30 F-type coupe series Jaguars allocated to NZ have already sold. Photo / Doug Sherring
Jaguar sales manager Paul Ricketts says most of the 30 F-type coupe series Jaguars allocated to NZ have already sold. Photo / Doug Sherring

Luxury cars are roaring out the doors and are on track for a record year.

The Motor Industry Association says the rate of sales is a surefire sign of economic confidence.

Numerous high-end sports models of Jaguar, BMW and Ferrari are being launched this month, and manufacturers say they are selling well.

Association chief executive David Crawford said sales were a reliable indicator of economic confidence.

"Just before the global financial crisis hit [in 2007-08], sales of luxury brands - BMW, Audi, Mercedes - dived. They dived about six months before everybody realised they were in a financial crisis," he said.

Sales began lifting again last year, with mainstream vehicles following suit in 2014, he said.

"The sorts of people that buy them are the professionals - they know how the market's going," he said.

Luxury car sales are at higher levels than before the financial crisis, he said.

"As long as the New Zealand economy is strong and people are perceiving it to be strong, then I see the trend continuing."

Jaguar has just launched its F-type coupe series, which range from $125,000 to $185,000 for the F-type R. Jaguar sales manager Paul Ricketts said most of the 30 vehicles allocated to New Zealand had been sold already.

"It goes from zero to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, it's a true sports car and it's absolutely gorgeous-looking," he said. BMW has also just launched its $163,000 M3 Sedan and $170,000 M4 Coupe, and spokesman Edward Finn said there was a pent-up demand for the vehicles.

BMW had record sales in 2013 with nearly 2000 new vehicles sold, and was on track to better that this year, he said.

"It's definitely a sign of the times."

Luke Neuberger, from McLaren's Grey Lynn showroom in Auckland, said three McLaren P1 models which sold last year, worth some $1.5 million each, were due to arrive in New Zealand this year.

The company had also sold and delivered numerous MP4-12C Coupé and spider models - costing between $380,000 and $500,000 - and had several new-model 650S sports cars due.

Ferrari is set to reveal its California T at the end of the month, but the company declined to comment ahead of the launch. We're on right road, whatever your car is, p36

- Herald on Sunday

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