The Australian government recently passed a new ‘parallel import’ law, which allows Australian consumers to buy cars in the United Kingdom and Japan and import them into the country themselves. The law has the potential to cut into new car sales in the region, but Ferrari isn’t too worried about the law.
Speaking to Australia’s Drive.com.au, Ferrari Far East CEO Dieter Knechtel said Ferrari is fine with Australian customers importing its cars from other countries. Knechtel also said that Ferrari is used to its customers buying cars in other countries and taking them with them abroad, so the parallel import law isn’t introducing any new ideas to the company.
“We cannot restrict anything; it is a customer’s choice where to buy his car, and that is actually what the government has in mind to allow this freedom. We will not stand against that,” Knechtel said “The customer doesn’t have a dealer tag on him. It doesn’t matter where he lives or what he does, or the dealer that he belongs to, because we have a database about the customer, not about the dealer. It’s not just his [the dealer’s] customer, it’s our customer.”
“It is not at all a new thing for us that a customer buys his car in another country,” he added. “We are tracing and following these flows everywhere in the world.”
“We have so many customers in all parts of the world. We have Singaporean customers who buy their car in Hong Kong and use it in the UAE. We have a customer who buys the car in London and afterwards ships it to Hong Kong.”
Knechtel said that while consumers are free to buy their Ferraris abroad, they might not get the same feeling of “belonging” that comes with buying a car from a local dealership.
“Of course we’re still here; we’re taking care of the car. But, you know, it’s like this feeling of belonging, or attachment to a dealership which is taking care of you I think makes a difference,” he said. “The dealers in Australia deserve to be in a position where they can say to someone; ‘You are in good hands with me because I have done everything to ensure that you find what you need’.”