Vancouver named supercar capital of North America
Walking around downtown Vancouver, it’s not uncommon to find a Ferrari parked along a curb or a Lamborghini driving down the street. That’s because the city is the supercar capital of North America, according to statistics from ICBC. Over the past few years, there have been an increasing number of fast automobiles to be seen and heard around the city.
“In West Vancouver, one in every 142 people owns a luxury vehicle. In Richmond, it’s one in 577 while in Vancouver it’s one in 615,” stated an article by Global News. That amounts to more supercars per capita than New York, Toronto and even Miami. Over 2,100 automobiles worth $150,000 or higher were registered with ICBC in 2014 alone.
McLaren, a British supercar manufacturer, has been selling cars to the public since 2012. Their vehicles are generally priced from around $300,000 and up. Despite the high price of these cars, automakers are selling more each year and the dealership believes that there will be a continuous increase in the number of supercars roaming Vancouver.
“We are showing growth year over year. We had a sellout year last year, and we anticipate that it will be even better this year,” said Bryan Lam, sales manager at McLaren Vancouver. Despite an increasing number of foreign investors in the city, Lam and his sales team are visited by a wide demographic at their West 2nd Avenue showroom. “You have VPs, you have entrepreneurs, you have venture capitalists and you also have younger students buying supercars in general.”
Oscar Yu, a lot attendant at The BMW Store on Burrard Street, noted that for the foreign buyers of supercars, status plays a big role. “I mean, technically it would make much more sense to buy a brand new Honda,” he said. “It’s more than enough for a commuter.”
Yu pointed out that the supercars are being used as a status symbol and not for their intended purpose, which is to take them to the race track. “More often than not, younger adults coming over from China or Korea have large sums of money and buy something extremely expensive and totally use it for the wrong purpose.”
The trend is something he believes will continue as long as foreign money pours into the city. However, there’s been a spike in homegrown interest as well. One Vancouver startup, Scenic Rush, is capitalizing on the city’s surge in supercar popularity by handing over the keys to its fleet of luxury vehicles for a day of driving on the Sea-to- Sky highway.
The company offers four supercars to choose from, including a Ferrari F430 Spider and Lamborghini Gallardo LP560- 4. For as little as $495, customers can drive the two-hour, 80-kilometre stretch of road from West Vancouver to Porteau Cove, swapping out at various points along the way. Gas and insurance are included in the rental — a bargain considering some luxury car owners pay upwards of $10,000 per year for insurance.
With the rising number of supercars on the road and the desire for current owners to upgrade, the city is likely going to see more used vehicles on the roads as well. “All those supercars five years from today are going to be depreciating in value and there are going to be more in the used car lots, waiting to be sold with the depreciated value,” said Richard Ibarra, a marketing student from BCIT.
With the lower price tag, even more potential buyers will see an opportunity to own their dream car. “I guess the only downside is that it doesn’t have warranty,” he joked. But then again, anyone with $250,000 to spend on their vehicle probably isn’t going to be too worried about missing out on a new muffler or two.
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