Top Marques Monaco Sets Sights on China’s Avid Supercar Collectors

The Vulcano Titanium by Italian automaker Icona, which designed the model out of its Shanghai office. (Courtesy Photo)

The Vulcano Titanium by Italian automaker Icona, which designed the model out of its Shanghai office. (Courtesy Photo)

From Lamborghini and McLaren to Aston Martin and Ferrari, the world’s most exclusive auto brands will gather to show off some serious supercars at the upcoming Top Marques Monaco car show this spring. Now in its 12th year, the show that is expecting a growing number of visitors from China as its super-rich maintain their love for ultra-expensive cars and supercar brands seek out Chinese investment.

Taking place from April 14 to 17, the show functions as a veritable playground for the world’s ultra-wealthy, featuring an exhibition of supercar models with prices that reach up into the millions of dollars, as well as displays of superyacht brands, watches, jewels, and more. The event saw over 42,000 visitors last year and was host to more than €200 million in sales.

Despite a slowdown in China’s luxury auto market, the country’s rich maintain an avid interest in supercar collection, says Manoj Bairstow, the managing director of Top Marques Monaco. “We know that memberships to supercar clubs in China are increasing all the time,” he says. “Supercars are especially popular with the younger generation, as they are in the Middle East.” China’s supercar clubs are especially famous for their extravagant requirements, with a $220,000 Porsche SE 911 considered an “entry-level” model for admittance into the Beijing club.

The global market for collectible luxury automobiles is on the rise, with sellers intently focused on China. Worth $2 billion and growing, the segment is increasingly important to auction house Sotheby’s, which acquired 25 percent ownership in top auto auction brand RM Auctions in February last year. Auction house Bonhams is also upping its activity in car auctions with a particular focus on China, and recently displayed classic car models at the Bund Classic car show in Shanghai this October.

Top Marques Monaco previously held a Macau show to get its name out to China’s ultra-rich, who Bairstow says are especially interested in purchasing limited-edition models with a focus on both investment and personal enjoyment. At the show, automakers vying for their attention will include supercar brands such as Mazzanti Automobili, which is presenting its Evantra that can go over 220 miles per hour and reach 0-100 in three seconds.

One of the show’s main highlights will be the China-designed, Italian-built Vulcano Titanium by design house Icona, which houses offices in Shanghai. The world’s first supercar made out of titanium, the car can reach over 220 mph and can go from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and 120 mph in 8.8 seconds. Its predecessor, the Vulcano, is of the world’s most expensive automobiles with a valuation of around $3.8 million and made waves in the supercar world when it was first introduced at the Shanghai Auto Show in 2013.

It’s not just Icona that is increasingly feeling China’s influence on the supercar industry on the business side as supercar brands seek out Chinese investors. “Until now, many of the supercars which have been to Top Marques have now been taken over by Chinese investors, but the cars are still made in Europe,” says Bairstow. “I personally know of at least four brands who have sought investment in Chinese in the last two year. It is a growing trend in the supercar industry.”

One thing that is for certain is that the Chinese millionaires and billionaires in attendance on the lookout for limited-edition models will have their wishes fulfilled. Additional highlights include the Donkervoort D8 GTO, one of the fastest street-legal cars in the world with an acceleration of 0-100 kmh in 2.8 seconds, and one of 499 limited-edition Ferrari LaFerraris, which reach 230 mph and sell for more than €3.5 million.

 

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