When Your Lamborghini Doesn't Hold All Your School Supplies…

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
when your lamborghini doesn t hold all your school supplies

That’s the sound of a sad trombone playing.

Dodgy offshore tax havens get a lot of press lately, but what about mass movements of capital to friendlier shores that hide in plain sight? The New York Times has a heartbreaking story today of young Chinese adults in Vancouver, Canada who just can’t figure out what to do with all that cash their fathers earned.

They do know one thing it’s good for: obscene quantities of ultra-high-end cars.

Like a lawyer talking about his new watch (which costs more than your friggin’ car, maggot!), these kids know how to show off their coin. Designer clothes and electronics are nice, but this People’s Privilege Army knows that a Lamborghini, Bentley or Rolls-Royce in your university parking spot makes a bigger splash.

The west coast city — or living bank vault, whatever you prefer — has become the go-to place for affluent Chinese businessmen and officials to dump their money — and kids — into high-end real estate. Foreign ownership of new condos rose 95 percent in Vancouver over the past five years, according to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation.

Tossing your money across the Pacific means the all-seeing Communist government back home can’t confiscate (or discover) their earnings, but the trade-off is a city where an average home sells for $1.2 million (USD) and there are 18 year olds in Aventadors and Continental GTs revving at every stoplight.

They’re known as “fuerdai” — a Mandarin word that essentially means “young and affluenza-afflicted” — and they’re pushing registrations of super-luxury vehicles through the roof.

The members of a local six-figure car club are 90 percent Chinese, and young enough to be carded at any bar.

“They don’t work,” Vancouver Dynamic Auto Club founder David Dai told the Times. “They just spend their parents’ money.”

Ground Zero for all the rolling excess seems to be the campus of the University of British Columbia (one needs an education to take over daddy’s job once he retires/gets arrested/croaks, you see). Student parking lots are normally filled with rustbuckets and wheezy hand-me-downs, but this campus boasts enough glitz to put a Monaco yacht convention to shame.

There’s even a Tumblr page that documents the sightings. Cheekily titled “The University of Beautiful Cars,” the social media outlet carries the tagline “Struggling Vancouver students need new Porsche.”

One of the student commuter cars pictured on the Tumblr page clearly belongs to someone interviewed in the article. Jin Qiao, a 20-year-old student who couldn’t say what his father does for a living, boasted about his two Mercedes-Benz SUVs and Lamborghini Aventador Roadster Galaxy, the latter done up in an interstellar-themed wrap job.

Well, that’s gotta be it at the top of the page. The photographer pointed out that the Lambo carried a “new driver” sticker and had a parking ticket under the wiper. Bummer on getting dinged by the parking cops, man.

Money can’t buy you happiness or fulfillment, but it can buy a gigantic pile of nice stuff. And European luxury automakers need to put food on the table like anyone else.

This song goes out to the fuerdai:

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7 of 78 comments
  • Stryker1 Stryker1 on Apr 13, 2016

    If I was a young, Ferrari driving, affluent Chinese expat student, I wouldn't do anything except walk around the university, tell middle class white students to "check their privilege", and then watch the cognitive dissonance literally kill them.

  • VenomV12 VenomV12 on Apr 13, 2016

    That's what I don't understand about these vapid, cultureless rich kids like the Chinese and Arabs, they spend all their time on social media buying and showing off their expensive stuff and it doesn't really make sense. If you and all your friends have the same big houses, the same expensive cars, the same expensive clothes, etc etc, who the hell are you impressing? How many Rolexes, or Chanel bags can you buy or own before you have bought everything and are bored to death? At least do something helpful in life and decent like Bill Gates does and Sean Parker just did and do something to help and better mankind before you die instead of just being a useless, superficial twat who just buys expensive sh!t all day.

    • See 3 previous
    • Ronnie Schreiber Ronnie Schreiber on Apr 14, 2016

      @Lou_BC Compared to the cost of a Gulfstream, a 100'+ yacht, or another home, $300,000 for an exotic car is almost an impulse purchase. That's what's driven the explosive growth in the $100,000+ car market. Fifteen or twenty years ago the high-end car market used to be about 3,000 units a year. BMW (Rolls-Royce) and VW (Bentley and Lamborghini) figured out that there are a lot more than 3,000 people in this world who can easily afford a big buck car. Ferrari alone sells about 7,000 cars a year these days. McLaren has capacity for 4,000 units and they expect to be at capacity once the 570S/540S goes on sale. That's one reason why I'm not sure that I'd characterize Koenigseggs and Paganis as production cars. They build about a dozen Koenigseggs a year. I bet the Metalcrafters shop that makes concept cars for auto manufacturers makes more than a dozen complete cars a year.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂