Luxury car boom in B.C. not slowing down anytime soon: experts

WATCH: The sales of high-end vehicles are highest in B.C. Randene Neill tells us why.

British Columbians love their luxury cars like the Tesla and the McLaren.

Last year British Columbians bought more luxury and super luxury cars then anywhere else in Canada. Car buying statistics show that one out of every four BMW X5 Sport Utility Vehicles and one in five Mercedes M-class SUVs sold in Canada were bought in B.C. last year.

Why do drivers in B.C. have such expensive tastes?

“The big driver here is offshore money,” said Globe and Mail car columnist Jeremy Cato.

“The offshore buyer is not necessarily a non-Canadian offshore buyer, but it might be someone with connections to various offshore sources of income and wealth that allows them to buy a car like that in Canada, and enjoy it 12 months of the year in Vancouver.”

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For Autoform Performance’s Mike Wood, he’s loved luxury cars since he was a young child. He’s been in the business for 25 years and says he’s seen an uptick in car sales.

“We definitely noticed a downturn in 2009, 2010,” he said.

“I think those [years] were referred to as carpocalypse in the car business and then in 2011 things began to turn and every single year since 2011, we’ve been looking at stronger sales month over month.”

B.C. led the market in super luxury and luxury cars sales last year. In fact B.C. now outpaces the country in the sale of luxury and super luxury cars.

British Columbians bought more super luxury cars — 70 per cent more — than the national average in 2014. The price tag of a super luxury car? It’s worth more than $200,000.

As for luxury cars, British Columbians bought 60 per cent more than the rest of Canada in 2014.

“BMW’s X-5 [that’s] a $100,000 SUV when you really load it up with the stuff,” Cato says.
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“BMW Canada sold about 1,700 X-5s in British Columbia out of a nationwide sales number of 6,000. It’s an incredible number for a population base like ours.”

Wood says he sees foreign students with parents who are wiring $300,000 for a new Lamborghini because they’re cheap in B.C.

“That $300,000 car here is $6-, $7-, $800,000 over there,” Wood explains.

Auto experts say that trend could continue and actually may increase over the next 15 years.

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