Following a 2016 report that showed Australia has the greatest ratio per capita of new Ferrari owners, the Italian icon plans to almost double its presence down under by the end of 2018.

Australia has even outstripped China and oil-rich Middle Eastern countries when it comes to the percentage of first-time Ferrari buyers.

Just on 61 per cent of Ferraris sold in Australia in 2016 were to first-time buyers of the brand. According to internal Ferrari data this was the highest percentage of any country around the globe.

Ferrari Australasia Chief Executive, Herbert Appleroth, said the brand’s record new car sales in Australia encouraged expansion along the east coast.

“We’ve never seen a point in time where Ferrari sales have been this successful,” he said.

“The market is extremely buoyant and I have no problem saying it’ll be another record from Ferrari this year, a measured year-on-year increase.”

Mr Appleroth said the number of Ferrari dealerships would increase from five showrooms to nine by the end of 2018.

“The first part of our focus with this growth was to redevelop all our facilities and we’ve had every one of them updated or made brand new. We’ve found new partners in some states where we wanted to change the partnership, so every dealership around Australia and New Zealand – six of them – has been updated.

“We’re building new service facilities in South Island, New Zealand, new showrooms – a second one in Sydney and Melbourne – and we’re currently evaluating who the partner will be on the Gold Coast.”

Mr Appleroth said the booming economy was the reason more aspiring owners were keen to join the Ferrari family.

“We obviously closely limit the number of cars coming in, but there has never been as high a popularity in Australia for Ferrari,” he said.

“Nothing helps Ferrari sales more than confidence and the economy is going very, very well, plenty of people are gaining wealth, especially in the property market, in construction; the real estate boom means a lot of people are making a lot of money and people love to celebrate that with a Ferrari.

“We’re not a car manufacturer any more, we’re a dream factory, whether it’s a pre-owned 355, a new modern-day Ferrari or a Ferrari hat as a five-year-old.”

Mr Appleroth said the Australasian increased sales to 167 vehicles in 2015, from a global pool of around 8000. Australia/New Zealand is rising up the ranks.

“We’re growing up the global volume ranking every year. We sold out our entire life cycle of 812 Superfasts, and, thankfully, Ferrari has allowed us to take more volume, to the point we’re now well and truly in the top ten,” he said.

The LaFerrari will only make it to Australia in single digits, and there are regulatory restrictions on the local Ferrari operation Mr Appleroth wants to see changed.

“Our customers are global and with the way taxes and registrations are at the moment in Australia, hopefully regulations will change in the future where our customers can bring left-hand drive cars into the country and drive them,” he said.

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