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Sunday, Feb 05, 2023

The EV Transition Is Making Supercars More Valuable Than Cash in Japan

The EV Transition Is Making Supercars More Valuable Than Cash in Japan

Supercars are going through a bit of a boom period in Japan as the wealthy emerge from pandemic lockdowns to a weaker yen and a competitive used-car market. Ferraris and Lamborghinis are highly sought after in the country not only as marvels of engineering but as lucrative investments, too, according to Bloomberg.
Supercars are going through a bit of a boom period in Japan as the wealthy emerge from pandemic lockdowns to a weaker yen and a competitive used-car market. Ferraris and Lamborghinis are highly sought after in the country not only as marvels of engineering but as lucrative investments, too, according to Bloomberg.

But pandemic restrictions lifting and the scarcity of new cars due to supply chain issues aren’t the only things driving the sales boom of supercars: the EV transition is also partially to blame for the recent spike in supercar sales. Well-heeled buyers in Japan are wary of the imminent switch from ICE-powered cars to EVs, and wealthy collectors are scrambling to buy supercars from Ferrari and Lamborghini.

After more than two years of Covid-related restrictions, drivers are spending money on new cars, while the global shift toward electric vehicles is sparking interest in supercars and the growl of their engines, according to Yasuhiro Suyama, president of the Japan Supercar Association.

“If you don’t drive them now, then when?” Suyama said.

That mentality is reflected in the number of new registrations for cars priced over a certain threshold, which analysts in Japan associate with the sale of supercars. Registrations jumped by 64 percent this year, after having jumped by 75 percent last year. It’s unclear how many of those registrations will sadly end in a weather-sealed warehouse that’ll house Lambos and Ferraris the same way that a bank vault houses coins and currency. Auto sales analysts take the idea even further, saying that it’s “better to invest in ultra-luxury cars for their resale value rather than holding cash.”

Again, that has as much to do with the global pandemic generating more wealth for the wealthy as it does with any impending transition to EVs. And now that executive salaries are up while the Japanese Yen is down, the stars have aligned for the market. 

But Japan’s unprecedented sales of supercars is more or less similar to the renewed interest in cars with manual transmissions; the advent of EVs has brought with it a few side-effects we didn’t expect. While it’s not exactly surprising, it’s still funny that the concept of the last hurrah applies to most things that involve people. I can’t say I’ll miss supercars because I’m hardly a prospective buyer — as a plebeian and Millennial — but I will miss the manuals. All I can do is hope the resurgence of stick shifts will convince auto makers to find an alternative.
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