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Australian luxury car segment will continue to grow


The first six Ferrari 488s have just landed in Australia. Let's call that $3 million of Christmas cheer.

In the past month, more than a dozen Lamborghini Huracans have been ordered by happy and wealthy Australians. Call that another $5 million.

And a dozen Mercedes-Benz S-Class Maybachs are also on their way from Germany. That's better than $6 million.

So, while most of us are likely to be looking at a $10,000 used car or something small and new in the $20,000 range, or saving for a dream machine like a $50,000 Ford Mustang, there is a gold rush at the top end of the showroom action.

The mining slump in Australia isn't stopping the spending on brands such as Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari and Lamborghini. They are just buying cars in quieter colours, which explains the popularity of silver for the Huracan, though there's the occasional yellow or purple example.

Australia is very much a market that will grow. There is a lot of wealth

The people making these purchases are called High Net Worth Individuals and they are a growing group around the world, especially in China.

"We have data that show (in the next five years) the number of ultra-high net worth individuals will grow by 20 per cent," says Rolls-Royce Asia-Pacific general manager Sven Ritter. "Australia is very much a market that will grow. There is a lot of wealth. It will be driven by Asians coming to set up a business ... but also Australians."

Rolls-Royce has an order bank for its Wraith coupe that stretches for more than a year, despite a starting price of $645,000, and is expecting a similar wait for people with the minimum $749,000 it takes to park the droptop Dawn in their driveway.

"There is no such thing as a cheap Rolls-Royce. We are never going to be cheap," Ritter says. No embarrassment there.

And the gold rush is going to pick up pace from next year as the super luxury brands surf the SUV wave in showrooms.

Bentley is nearly ready to roll its Bentayga out for Australia, with the first cars expected in the first half of next year after customers have put down about $600,000 to get the ultimate in SUVs.

Which luxury car is your dream machine? Let us know in the comments below.