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The Ferrari is the first to go

business Updated: Oct 12, 2008 21:57 IST

AFP
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Luxury car dealer Normal Elkordi has never seen it this bad — financial high-flyers feeling the pinch of the global economic meltdown scrambling to sell their Ferraris for a loss.

“We're not talking Holdens or Fords here, we're talking Aston Martins, we're talking Ferraris,” he said.“I've never seen it like this before.”

As anxiety grips world financial markets and stock prices crash, the Sydney-based dealer is seeing increasing numbers of young executives come into his showroom, hoping to offload their near-new prestige autos.“These blokes have probably lost a lot of money in shares, their bonuses come on shares. Their expenses are through the roof,” Elkordi said.

“A lot of them are upfront. I'm not saying they can't make the repayments and they are going to get repossessed, it's just they have to get rid of that debt.”Indications are that the mood will also infect Asia, a significant market for luxury cars, as the full impact of the financial turmoil stemming from the United States is felt.

“I would say it (the crisis) has not reached Asia... as it has reached America or Europe, but it will,” a figure in the regional luxury car industry, who asked not to be named, said. “The question is: will it be as big here?”

Luxury makes have been targeting Chinese customers both in Hong Kong and mainland China over the past few years with spectacular results, but there are signs the crisis is beginning to bite.Hong Kong has more Rolls-Royce cars per capita than anywhere else in the world, but the super-rich have stayed away in the past few weeks, a period which is normally busy for the famous marque.