The first quarter of 2012 saw a sharp decline in the number of orders for Ferrari and Maserati models. Ferrari sales fell by 50.5 percent and Maserati sales by 70 percent in Italy during this period. One of the main causes, aside from the austerity measures currently in place following the recent economic turmoil, is said to be the unwanted attention these cars attract from the Italian ‘tax police’.
The Guardia di Finanza have launched a number of well-publicised operations specifically targeting owners of luxury cars. One such example was a raid on drivers in Cortina d’Ampezzo, a popular Italian ski resort. Out of 133 Lamborghinis, Ferraris and other high-end vehicles investigated, 42 had declared incomes of less than 22,000 euros (£ 18,000) a year with 16 more declaring less than 50,000 euros a year. A further 118 of these cars were owned by companies.
The net affect of these raids has been hardest felt by the resorts and the owners of luxury cars. Whilst Italy isn’t Ferrari’s largest market, it is its home market which makes the sales figures disappointing news for the company. In the words of Federauto chairman Filippo Pavan Bernacchi, “These figures show how the choices made by the government are literally terrorizing potential clients.”