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Why Ferrari and Other Supercar Makers Blacklist Certain Buyers

You might think the rich just run out to a dealer and buy a luxury car like a Ferrari or Bugatti. But, the reality is one must be approved to get one of these dream machines.

Several prestigious car manufacturers have gained notoriety for their selective approach to clientele, sometimes going as far as restricting or even banning certain individuals from purchasing their most exclusive models.

This practice, while controversial, has become a hallmark of the ultra-luxury car market.

The Ferrari Factor

At the forefront of this exclusive club is Ferrari, the iconic Italian sports car manufacturer. Ferrari has long been known for its stringent vetting process, particularly when it comes to limited-edition models.

The company maintains a VIP client list, giving preferential treatment to loyal customers and high-profile individuals. Ferrari reserves the right to decide who can purchase their special editions, effectively creating an inner circle of Ferrari owners.

Beyond the Prancing Horse

While Ferrari may be the most notorious, other luxury brands have adopted similar practices:

1. Porsche: Known for allocating limited-run models to preferred customers.
2. McLaren: Carefully selects buyers for their most exclusive vehicles.
3. Bugatti: Maintains strict control over who can purchase their multi-million dollar Bugatti hyper-cars.

Many car dealers do not take well to exporters either. This is a great read on someone who was buying cars to ship to China. Sidenote: we don’t recommend you do that!

Reasons for Restrictions

Car manufacturers cite several reasons for their selective approach:

– Preventing “flipping”: Brands aim to deter buyers from immediately reselling cars for profit.
– Brand image protection: Companies want to ensure their cars are associated with individuals who align with their brand values.
– Maintaining exclusivity: Limiting access helps preserve the prestige and rarity of certain models.
– Contractual obligations: Some brands include clauses in sales agreements that restrict resale for a specified period.

Rumors of unofficial “blacklists” circulate in the luxury car world. Individuals who have fallen out of favor with a brand – perhaps due to reselling practices, distasteful modifications, or negative publicity – may find themselves excluded from future limited-edition purchases or VIP status.

Legal and Ethical Considerations

While these practices have become somewhat accepted in the ultra-luxury car market, they raise questions about fairness and legality. Critics argue that such policies can be discriminatory, while supporters contend that brands have the right to protect their image and maintain exclusivity.

Celebrities Banned From Owning Certain Car Brands

While some celebrities are preemptively barred from buying certain luxury cars, others have faced bans after already owning and misusing their prized vehicles.

These cases highlight how seriously brands take their image and customer expectations:

1. Justin Bieber’s Ferrari Fiasco

Pop star Justin Bieber found himself on Ferrari’s blacklist after purchasing and modifying a 458 Italia. His offenses included:

1. Changing the car’s color to electric blue
2. Installing a Liberty Walk widebody kit
3. Modifying the steering wheel logo
4. Auctioning the car without Ferrari’s permission

These alterations and the subsequent sale violated Ferrari’s strict guidelines for owners, resulting in Bieber being banned from future purchases.

2. Floyd Mayweather’s Quick Flip

Boxing legend Floyd “Money” Mayweather ran afoul of both Ferrari and Bugatti’s policies. He was found to be selling his luxury cars shortly after purchase, violating the brands’ requirements to keep vehicles for a minimum period (typically one year).

This practice of quickly reselling for profit, known as “flipping,” is strongly discouraged by high-end automakers.

3. Flo Rida’s PR Nightmare

Rapper Flo Rida found himself banned by Bugatti after a serious incident. In 2011, he was charged with drunk driving while behind the wheel of his Bugatti Veyron. This event was seen as extremely negative publicity for the brand, leading to his addition to Bugatti’s blacklist.

4. Tom Cruise’s Red Carpet Mishap

Even A-list actor Tom Cruise wasn’t immune to Bugatti’s strict standards. At the “Mission Impossible III” premiere, Cruise struggled to open the door of his Bugatti Veyron for several attempts.

Despite speculation that the door may have been locked from the inside, the incident was embarrassing enough for Bugatti to reportedly blacklist the actor.

These cases demonstrate that owning a luxury supercar comes with responsibilities beyond just affording the purchase price. Brands expect their elite clientele to maintain the prestige and integrity of their vehicles, and they’re not afraid to cut ties with even the biggest names in entertainment if those expectations aren’t met.

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