Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Rich Elite

While millions live in crushing poverty a tiny elite that make up the super-rich across Africa.

About 200 Nigerians own the luxury cars, each costing up to $180,000, Porsche brand manager Michael Wagner said. Porsche is already planning a showroom in the Angolan capital, Luanda, similarly awash with petrodollars and ranked the world's most expensive city 10 years Over in the Ivory Coast city of Abidjan, once nicknamed the "Paris of Africa", billboards advertise French perfumes and Rolex watches. The city is home to a glass-front luxury brand-only boutique, Zino's. "Ninety per cent of our customers can walk in and spend $35,000 in one visit without thinking about it," store director Jean Miguel Darde said.

Shortly after officials revved the latest Carrera model for reporters and thrilled onlookers, posing for photographs in front of the gleaming black car. In the sticky heat outside, an employee said owning one of the personalised Porsches he was washing would be "a dream. But I only earn $120 a month," he shrugged.

Most of Nigeria's Porsche sales will come from Abuja, the makers believe. In the moneyed capital city, where wedding-cake mansions overlook smooth cloverleaf highways, wealth is a more conspicuous status symbol.
"There's a big market here. For example, I have a Bentley, a Porsche and a Ferrari, so I can easily buy another brand-new one," said one businessman from Abuja who sponsors golf tournaments as a hobby. But he added: "People don't travel by road anymore, they go by air. So the Ferrari in the garage hasn't done 500 miles in three years."

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