I can't see how people bought them. the price being so low
Italy Busts Ring Building Fake Ferraris
Published: 2/28/08, 3:25 PM EDT
By COLLEEN BARRY
MILAN, Italy (AP) - Italian financial police have busted a ring of counterfeiters who built fake Ferraris and sold them for as little as $30,000 a car, officials said Thursday.
Authorities have confiscated 14 fake Ferrari Modena 360s - seven sold and seven under construction - in an operation reaching from Palermo to Milan, said Guido Geremia, head of the Palermo unit that led the investigation.
Investigators do not know how many of the cars have been sold in the past - but Geremia said the buyers knew the cars were fakes and were clearly seeking to impress unknowing neighbors with the sleek-bodied speed machines.
"That is the only reason," he said.
Eight people are under investigation, authorities said. The ring used mostly Pontiacs as their base, but also Mercedes and Toyotas, building a copy of a Ferrari body over the original car's engine.
"It was done very well - they were very skilled," Geremia said.
The financial police, who lead Italy's fight against the counterfeiters who cash in on the peninsula's reputation for quality in everything from handbags to prosciutto, launched the Ferrari investigation six months ago. Geremia said they were helped by Internet sites where the cars were offered up for sale.
The 360 Modena went out of production in 2004, and was priced at the time at $215,000, said Ferrari spokeswoman Mariella Mengozzi. The current suggested retail price by Italy's consumer auto magazine for a 2004 model is around $150,000.
Mengozzi said it is not the first time the Ferrari brand has been copied and that the automaker, which is owned by the Fiat Group, monitors Web sites for evidence of fakes.
"Ferrari is a product that maintains its value over time and of course we try to protect our clients who buy the real thing," Mengozzi said.