Italy has left its "Dolce Vita" (wonderful life) far behind these days, with the global downturn continuing to affect the country, which has now entered its fourth recession period since 2001.
The effect this has had on the supercar market is dramatic, with these exotic machines basically disapearing from the streets. Italy's used supercar exports have almost tripled to 13,633 units in the first five months of 2012 (the vehicles are being exported), according to auto industry group Unrae.
At the same time, new supercar sales are expected to drop by 47 percent to 593 units by the end of the current year, IHS Automotive predicts, adding that it doesn't expect these to return to pre-crisis levels sooner than 2016.
However, if we take a look at the 2011 supercar sales figures in Italy, we'll notice that there's no problem of this kind. So what has convinced so many rich people to get rid of their go-fast machines?
There are multiple reasons for this, all being linked with the Italian authorities' determination to cut national budget losses. First of all, we have the taxes on the luxury goods, which have exploded. For example, a Lamborghini Aventador owner can now pay up to four times more than before.
What does that currently translate to? About EUR8,400 (USD10,300) per year. Then, there's the financial hunt for those who don't pay their taxes - Italian prime minister Mario Monti is determined to convince all taxpayers, especially those that come with hefty incomes, to obey the law.
The authorities started raiding Ferrari and Lamborghini owner meeting, checking every individual's financial situation. For example, a 44-year old driver of a Ferrari F40 was arrested during such an event, after it was found out that he hadn't been paying his taxes since 2006 and that he owned the state a total of EUR8 million (USD9.82 million).
And while the upper class in Italy is complaining about the situation, calling it a "rich hunt" (this was the term used by Luca di Montezemolo, Ferrari's chairman, who has been rumored to be considering moving into politics, there are some who take advantage of all this.
We are referring to car dealers in other parts of the world, who now have more units to choose from. The regions that are the most interested in covering this luxurious supercar offer on the Italian market are France, Germany and Eastern Europe.