Here's a fact though about Ferrari manufacturing its demand in the U.S. A buddy of mine was in the market in April of this year for a California. He's a Lexus hybrid driver who decided to buy his first Ferrari (I take most of the blame for talking him into it!). He called the Fort Lauderdale dealer asking for a red California. They said there was a long wait list, but he made a deposit and got in line. They proceeded to call him about every other week with a different California that had just come available, but they weren't red. Finally, after several calls, he asked them only to call when they had a red car. They called him within two days with a red one and a story about why it was available. Ferrari is better at masking their parking lot of inventory than the other manufacturers.
Here's the interesting part, that is amazing for Ferrari. They wouldn't dicker on the price at all. My friend thought for sure (against my opinion) he'd get a discount. I began to wonder as well, based on how many cars they must have had available for him. But they held their ground and he paid full sticker. If he'd gotten a discount and the word got out, their whole charade would collapse b/c they would be like every other manufacturer who discounts.
Brian, what were the production numbers you mention for both Ferrari and Lamborghini. I'm curious to hear what levels of production they had. I hadn't heard Lamborghini was any worse off than any other exotic manufacturer. Do you know production for Bentley or Aston Martin too?
I was in Beijing, China in 2007 and stayed at the hotel right next to the Ferrari/Lamborghini/Rolls-Royce dealer. Even if China isn't buying a ton of exotics just yet, they will soon. We shouldn't underestimate China's wealth or insatiable desire to flaunt success. Nothing says "I'm more successful than you" than a red Ferrari (which is one reason why Ferrari sales are down now in the U.S. It is just distasteful to flaunt wealth right now in this economy).
Driving in China has been a rare privilege until now. That means the rich had drivers. Now that they can get Ferraris, they will be buying them. Wrecked Exotics.com will have a bunch of mangled cars to display since no one there will be tremendously skilled (including the other drivers/pedestrians/bikers/mopeds/rickshaws) at dealing with high speed sports cars, but believe me, the dealership is world class. The affluent just have to get their driver's licenses and sales will spike.
1982 308 GTSi; red/tan
1983 308 GTSi QV; red/tan
1997 F355 Spider; 6-speed; red/tan
2006 F430 coupe; 6-speed; red/tan