Bling Bang Boom!

bling bang boom

Auto Motor und Sport reports supercar sales jumped 45 percent between 2002 and 2007, to a record 165k units per year. The German buff book details a study by the Instituts für Automobilwirtschaft (IFA) at the Hochschule für Wirtschaft und Umwelt (HfWU) in Nürtingen-Geislingen. It estimates supercar sales will increase by another 20 percent to 200k units by 2015. The IFA says much of this growth will be driven by newly wealthy [s]criminals and dictators[/s] status-seekers in emerging economies like Russia and China. It also credits (blames?) "the spiral of exclusivity." "Many premium manufacturers have lost exclusivity by widening their model ranges. The small-volume firms can offer the exclusivity that is so important for supercar buyers." So although the horsepower wars of the 1990s may have reached their zenith with the 1001 hp Veyron, we can expect a steady stream of four-wheeled unobtainium– with carbon tax surcharges greater than the GNP of Belize.

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  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Aug 14, 2008
    You think that lack of a middle class has anything to do with a lack of political freedom? It certainly does. The educated, empowered middle class is an historical aberration, and its definitely a barrier to the exertion of power. Weaken it, usually through fear or disenchantment, and it's a lot easier to get things done. The poor, as long as you don't push them to desperation, can be marginalized or bought, the rich are players. The middle class, though, has the time and resources to meddle. One of the reasons communism ought to work (but doesn't) is because of this theory: everyone is bourgeousie, and everyone has both a voice and the time/resources to exercise it. The reason it doesn't is because, practically, every communist state is really a cabal of rich, powerful people, and a lot of poor ones who barely scrape by. China is the worst example of this: a supposedly communist state with state-sponsored robber barons. Driving Maybachs, no less.

  • Vega Vega on Aug 15, 2008

    @NickR: While political freedoms are still sadly lacking, Chinese middle class is grwoing at an astonishing rate. Just witness the increase in car ownership. The number of chinese people crossing the 10,000$ a year threshold (pretty middle class by Chinese standards) in the coming years is expected to be above 300m. It's really interesting that the only ones lamenting inequalities in developing countries due to globalisation are people living in wealthy western countries who feel threatened by new competition. Ask any chinese migrant worker if he would like to go back into his village, living hand-in-mouth and starving any time a bad harvest comes along, you would get a blank stare. @RFortier1796: Angry maybe, but so precise...

  • 66Nova 66Nova on Aug 15, 2008
    Of course those full order books and higher build rates make the cars less exclusive. They’re selling thousands of Ferraris a year now. Yeah, nobody buys those cars anymore--there are too many of them (with apologies to Yogi Berra)

  • Nick Nick on Aug 15, 2008
    It’s really interesting that the only ones lamenting inequalities in developing countries due to globalisation are people living in wealthy western countries who feel threatened by new competition. Actually, I feel threatened by China's determination to devour every living thing on the planet.

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