If you spot four Ferraris on a street in China, chances are a woman is behind the wheel of at least one.
That is because China has become the first country where supercar-maker Ferrari sells more than a quarter of its new and pre-owned vehicles to women, according to people familiar with the matter.
Female buyers on average accounted for 26 percent of the company's sales in China over the last five years, the people said, a figure that does not include Taiwan and Hong Kong. That far exceeds the proportion of Ferraris sold to women in any other country, they said, declining to give a precise figure for comparison.
"In recent years we have seen growing enthusiasm from female clients for our products and experiences," Ferrari CEO Benedetto Vigna said in a statement to Bloomberg. An increase in women signing up for company-sponsored events like race-car training has been pointing to the trend, he said.
The Chinese women snapping up Italian-made supercars include tech industry executives, property entrepreneurs and the super-wealthy, the people said, asking not to be named discussing confidential information.
A Ferrari spokesman declined to comment on specific numbers concerning female Chinese buyers.
Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan accounted for 12 percent of Ferrari's sales last year with almost 1,600 cars, more than double compared with five years ago, according to the company's annual reports. With the country's tariffs on luxury imports weighing on returns, Ferrari is seeking to keep Chinese deliveries to around 10 percent of total shipments.
China is the global no. 2 spot for billionaires, trailing only the U.S., and Chinese citizens dominate the list of Asia's wealthiest women, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
Among them are an unusually high number of self-made female billionaires. Wu Yajun, founder of property developer Longfor Group, Zhou Qunfei, chairman of iPhone supplier Lens Technology, and Gu Xiaoqing, an executive at fast-fashion unicorn Shein, are among the top names.
Social media is also helping drive the trendiness of the signature Italian supercars for Chinese women. Douyin, China's TikTok equivalent, offers a slew of videos featuring young women driving Ferraris, including one clip featuring a driver showcasing her Ferrari F8 test experience.
Ferrari management has long had its eye on rising sales to Chinese female buyers. In 2010, then-CEO Amedeo Felisa was cited as saying that the previous year nearly a fifth of the company's Chinese sales were to women, though shipments in the country at the time were only about one-seventh of today's level.
Luxury spending in China has been recovering since the world's second-largest economy dropped strict Covid controls. Consultancy Bain & Co. estimates that Chinese consumers will account for 20 percent of the global personal luxury goods market this year, rising to 38 percent by 2030.
Ferrari last year reported global sales of about 5.1 billion euros ($5.6 billion) and total shipments of 13,221 units.