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Ferrari Aus pushing government on LHD regulation

Left out: The LaFerrari and its Aperta convertible twin (left) are built in left-hand drive only, but the company’s Australian arm is pushing for regulatory change.

LHD LaFerrari Aperta could hit Australian roads if Ferrari Aus boss gets his way

16 Oct 2017

FERRARI Australasia chief executive Herbert Appleroth says he is pushing state and federal government regulators to change the laws relating to vehicle importation in a bid to allow owners of ultra rare left-hand-drive Ferraris to bring their cars Down Under.

Currently federal laws make it difficult to import a left-hand-drive vehicle to Australia, but proposed changes to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act detailed in August could make it far easier.

Left-hand-drive vehicles that fall under the Act’s ‘rarity’ criterion would not require conversion to right-hand drive but will need state or territory agreement for use on their roads, while vehicles originally manufactured in left-hand drive and not available as an originally manufactured right-hand-drive vehicle in another world market would require conversion to right-hand drive for safety reasons.

As part of its 70th anniversary celebrations, Ferrari shipped in a special-edition example of the LHD-only LaFerrari Aperta hybrid convertible hypercar, worth $12 million, for the Motorclassica event held in Melbourne over the weekend.

Under the proposed changes to the Act, if the total worldwide production of the vehicle model is fewer than 1000 units a year, it falls under the ‘rarity’ criterion, and given the Ferrari is only building 200 examples of the LaFerrari Aperta, it could end up on Australian roads.

Speaking with journalists at the classic car show last week, Mr Appleroth confirmed that “a few” LaFerrari Apertas would make it to Australia and New Zealand after being snapped up by collectors.

“Whether they bring them here is another thing,” he said. “Our customers are global, they have homes all over the world. Obviously with the current tax system and current regulations hopefully that will change in the future whereby our collectors can bring left-hand-drive cars here, we hope those changes do go ahead. But there will be a few to Australian and New Zealand collectors.

Mr Appleroth said Ferrari’s local distribution operation was speaking with the federal and various state governments about loosening the laws around importing LHD vehicles.

“There appears to be some changes afoot from a federal point of view, but we want to also make sure that the state governments also relax their laws to allow these cars to be registered. In some form of limited numbers. Not only would we love to bring them into the country we would love to see them on the road. That is the next step.”

Mr Appleroth said he was pushing the case with the governments as he believed buyers should be able to enjoy their exotic cars on the road, not just looking at them in a garage.

“Firstly, state governments would be crazy not to allow these cars to be registered because they are going to be collecting stamp duty. Ferraris are not about just cars sitting in the garage, they are to be enjoyed, they are to be driven. So we want people to be able to collect Ferraris but also drive them on the road. It may be during classic car events or some form of limited registration. It would be great to see them on the road.”

Mr Appleroth added that each state’s regulations were different, with some states “more open to seeing these wonderful cars come into Australia”, but he would not discuss specific governments.

As GoAuto has reported, well-heeled Australian customers were getting around the right-hand-drive regulations by bringing their high-end LHD Ferraris to Australia for use in promotional activities and track days.

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