“Let them eat cake” has become “Let them commute in McLarens.”
Documentary filmmakers and news reporters have tried time and time again to utilize their respective forms of storytelling to show us how income and wealth inequality has flown off the charts in recent years. GDP continues to grow but somehow the poor are still poor and getting poorer. Surprise surprise, that money is finding its way to the top as if trickle down economic theory was formulated on opposite day. A better way to convey the phenomenon to gearheads, however, comes from a Bloomberg report.
That's because the flow of money can be seen in the way the rich spend theirs: on exotic cars. In case you haven't been keeping up, let us remind you how automakers like Ferrari, McLaren, Lamborghini, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce can't seem to stop customers from infiltrating their dealerships. The hard hitting statistic can be found in how growth in the auto industry has been distributed. In the past five years, the global auto market has blossomed by 23 percent. Impressive, but that doesn't come anywhere near the growth experienced by automakers selling cars costing $200,000 or more. That segment has exploded by 51 percent during the same time frame.
It's not like we have to look hard to see how exotic automakers are celebrating. Expecting more growth to quell the demand, Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, and Lamborghini are going where they've never gone before, debuting SUVs and expanding production caps to ride the wave of growth as best as they can. It's arguable that the explosion in this segment has been what's led McLaren to become the mighty supercar manufacturer it is today, having had a firm place in the ranks of the rookies just a few years back. Correlation might not mean causation, but any detective looking to find why luxury and supercar sales have surged doesn't have to search hard.
They would likely see the 21 percent growth of "ultra high net worth individuals" (those with over $30 million in assets) since 2012 as one reason for the boom. Expect that number, as well as sales of ultra-premium luxury cars and exotics, to increase before they taper off or until social revolution takes place.