‘Our customer might move and find that ‘everyone’ has a Ferrari, that's embarrassing’

Mike Rutherford is in the US and finds that sales of Koenigsegg, Spyker and Rimac cars are booming as customers try to stand out

Opinion - Koenigsegg Regera

Looking for an ‘easy’ yet alluring career in the motor industry? Then get yourself a sharp suit before landing a job selling dream cars costing at least six figures. Positions for such men and, increasingly, women are on the up in the supercar world.

That’s largely thanks to eye-wateringly wealthy buyers in New York City and Los Angeles – because the US still ranks as the most important and influential market for wheels like this. So it was appropriate that the small but perfectly formed Supercar Forum stand at the recent New York Auto Show was considered the most expensive piece of real estate in the city.

On the grounds that I have what the US organisers describe as a “cute Irish accent”, I was the Forum’s appointed moderator. Inevitably, the scene was blessed with Koenigsegg’s presence, and its sales boss, Tariq Ali, confided in me that many of his clients don’t have to be persuaded to purchase his car over a rival. “If they like the Koenigsegg plus the Spyker and Rimac,” he told me, “they’ll order all three.”

Best supercars on sale right now

Victor Mullen agrees that it’s generally “a very easy sell” to shift his Spykers: “A typical customer? When he was young, he bought a Porsche 911. But all his peers had them, too. So he goes for a Ferrari, Bentley or Aston. Then he moves to suburbia and finds that ‘everyone’ has a Ferrari 488. That’s very embarrassing. So that’s when he goes to a boutique brand like Spyker.”

Rimac’s Chief Operating Officer, Monika Mikac, has a very different approach. “I always say to a potential customer, they have to try our car. Then they will love it.” Is it really the case that a supercar manufacturer occasionally deals with a would-be client who argues he could do with an expensive painting or sculpture instead of yet another supercar?

“Yes, that’s true. But I tell the client that if he buys a Rimac he can drive it and position it as a piece of art in the home, on the drive, in the garage or car collection or wherever. A lot of time, effort, passion and money is invested in producing our cars,” the most articulate and convincing saleswoman I’ve ever met in the global auto industry rightly says.

I just pray a giant, wealthy predator like VW Group doesn’t swoop in and grab her impressive but comparatively tiny Croatia-based company. Mind you, she’d probably prove to be a better VW chief than its disgraced and departed chairman, Martin Winterkorn of Dieselgate fame.

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...

Recommended

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021
'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'
Opinion

'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the quirky new Citroen Ami is a true game-changing car
13 Dec 2020
'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'
Opinion

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the switch to an all-electric UK car market hasn't been thought through
29 Nov 2020

Most Popular

UK’s most stolen cars revealed
Most stolen car
Ford Fiesta

UK’s most stolen cars revealed

DVLA data reveals which cars were most commonly stolen in 2020, with the Ford Fiesta topping the list
26 Jan 2021
Revised Mazda CX-5 crossover launched for 2021
Mazda CX-5 2021
Mazda CX-5

Revised Mazda CX-5 crossover launched for 2021

The updated Mazda CX-5 gets a larger displacement version of the brand’s SkyActiv-G petrol engine and a fresh infotainment system
26 Jan 2021
New MINI facelift revealed with updated look and added tech
MINI 3-door hatch facelift - front
MINI MINI

New MINI facelift revealed with updated look and added tech

The MINI range has been revised for 2021, with the hatch, Convertible and Electric models all getting a range of styling tweaks
26 Jan 2021