Ferrari again bets on special editions as $2 million Aperta sells out before launch

Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:22pm EDT
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By Agnieszka Flak

PARIS (Reuters) - Ferrari's 1.86 million euro ($2 million) LaFerrari Aperta sports car had sold out before its official debut at the Paris auto show on Thursday - in a sign the super rich still clamour for any special edition of the luxury brand.

Only 200 of the hybrid convertible sports cars (RACE.N: Quote) (RACE.MI: Quote) will be produced for carefully selected clients, with an additional nine made for use by the company during its 70th anniversary celebrations next year.

"For us a limited edition is a way to reward our most dedicated clients," sales and marketing head Enrico Galliera said at Thursday's launch. "These 200 customers bought the car without having seen it; they went with faith."

Limited editions are routinely used by high-end sports car makers to showcase new technology, maintain exclusivity - and prices - and are a major source of profit for Ferrari and Volkswagen-owned ultra-luxury peers Bugatti and Lamborghini.

Some analysts estimate they could make up around 10 percent of Ferrari's revenues this year.

"They're hugely important to the mystique of the brand and their ability to continue to generate the sales that they need and that the markets demands of them now," said Ian Fletcher, an analyst at IHS Automotive.

Getting invited to purchase one of the vehicles is not easy, and being one of the growing number of super rich is not enough.

Interested parties have to show they are passionate about Ferrari - by owning several of the $250,000 regular models and maybe another special one already - and by cultivating a relationship with the brand, for example by attending Ferrari events. The company also makes sure nobody buys them just to make a quick buck by selling them on.   Continued...

The new Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta is displayed on media day at the Paris auto show in Paris, France, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier