This is a follow up interview to one we originally conducted with Paul Jaconelli of Romans International back in May of 2015. We wanted to find out what had been happening at the UK’s leading Supercar dealership over the past two years.
- Since we last spoke in May 2015, what has been happening at the dealership? Has there been any significant changes to the day to day running of the business?
I’m amazed it’s been 2 years since our last conversation – time has really flown! We’ve actually had 2 of the best years the company has ever had but we haven’t changed much at all. We’ve tightened and improved every area of the business and despite the political turmoil of last year our business is stronger than ever.
- Are there any cars of a particular distinction that you have you sold since we last spoke.
There has been several. The more recent ones that spring to mind are the Ferrari LaFerrari of which we have sold 2 this year and a delivery mileage unregistered Maserati MC12 with each of those 3 cars costing in excess of £2.5m.
- Given the increase in people (especially HNWI’s) looking for alternative forms of investment to bolster returns on there savings, have you seen an increase in clients looking to purchase your vehicles more for investment purposes as opposed to pleasure?
Yes without a doubt the investment side of cars has become much more prevalent in the last few years. The age old notion that a car loses half the value as soon as you drive it off the forecourt couldn’t be further from the truth at our end of the industry, it obviously depends on the model but in general brand new limited edition supercars today are more often than not worth substantially more than what the original buyer paid for it.
To give you an example, the original list price of a Ferrari F12 TDF (of which there are 799 in the world) was between £350,000 and £400,000 and are now selling at close to £1m.
That is potentially a very handsome profit for the original owner and the key thing to remember is that these gains are completely tax-free, there is no capital gains tax on cars unless of course you are classified as a “dealer” like ourselves. This is one of the reasons why plenty of shrewd investors are turning away from the increasing taxes of the property market and the uncertainty of stocks and shares and investing in cars, plus it’s much more fun owning a collection of supercars!
- Has the Brexit vote effected sales in any way or do you see it having an effect once we leave the EU? (currency fluctuations, overseas buyers etc.)
Brexit has been a funny one for us, there was a period straight after the leave result where we noticed a bit more hesitation from our UK-based customers, but anything we lost out on was gained by the amount of foreign buyers buying from us.
Due to the weak pound, some of our high value supercars suddenly looked great value for overseas buyers and we did end up exporting quite a few cars into Europe and around the world. The hesitation from our UK customers didn’t last long though and confidence definitely appears to have been restored in the UK which in 2017 is where pretty much all of our cars have been selling.
- When we last spoke, you mentioned that your son Tom now worked for the company, however you noted that you had four other children that may well join the business, has that come to pass yet?
The only thing that has changed is there is 1 more child so there are now 6 children in total, but for now Tom remains as the only one involved in the business.
- Moving forward, what does the company have planned for the dealership to enable it to stay ahead of the game?
There are plans to update and extend the showroom which we feel it is probably the right time to do and revamp our website but overall we are going to just keep doing what we are doing and adapt and evolve as best we can.
Thank you for your time once again and all the best for the future!
Read the original interview here: Romans International of Surrey – UK Supercar Dealers