HIGH END OF TOWN

Australia’s strong appetite for pricey cars

Dan DeGasperi

THEY say it’ not easy being at the top, but with one month of 2018 remaining it certainly appears a cinch to sell expensive products in Australia this year.

Let’ start with the Lamborghini Urus and its 13 sales for the year, then the Bentley Bentayga bringing in 86 units. Between them, the Volkswagen Group this year added almost 100 sales of SUVs priced over $350K; for context, three years ago Lambo and Bentley between them only shifted 204 vehicles. And here’ the kicker – the beefy, brutal Italian Stallion has only been on sale for three months.

Obviously, then, the super well-heeled are just leaving the passenger car segment, right? Not so fast, because the $200K-plus sports car market is level with last year. Okay, Bentley and Lambo are down 19.8 and 4.5 per cent respectively, but the former has been waiting for Continental GT stock to arrive, and the latter has little news with its coupes.

Aston Martin certainly does, though, with its new Vantage and DB11 hauling in 136 YTD sales, up 11 per cent, while Ferrari has gone boom with 222 YTD sales, an increase of 25 per cent. Tellingly, both have SUVs in development. Watch this space.

Just for good measure, a couple of extra Rolls-Royce models have been sold this year, 13 versus 11, even before the Cullinan SUV lobs, while the perennial Mercedes-Benz S-Class has more than doubled its 110 sales at this time last year, to 267 now. Even the Maserati Quattroporte moved from 32 to 37 sales, despite that the brand’ Levante is doing quite well.

Absorb all of the above, then note that the market is actually down 1.9 per cent this year. The rich get richer, and all that... – Dan DeGasperi