News Local

We're the exotic car capital of North America

By Martin van den Hemel

Vehicles on display at the Luxury & Supercar Weekend at VanDusen Botanical Garden.

Vehicles on display at the Luxury & Supercar Weekend at VanDusen Botanical Garden. SUBMITTED

Spend time on the roads in Richmond, Vancouver and West Vancouver, and you’re bound to see a supercar like a Lamborghini, Ferrari or McLaren.

That’s because Metro Vancouver is the luxury and supercar capital of North America, according to Craig Stowe, founder and president of Luxury & Supercar Weekend (Sept. 10-11 at VanDusen Botanical Garden on Oak Street).

Statistics obtained from the Insurance Corporation of BC back him up.

Stowe receives statistics directly from automakers Lexus, BMW, Ferrari, Rolls Royce and Bentley, among others, and they indicate the local appetite for the exotic is unparalleled in North America.

ICBC’s stats of luxury vehicles worth more than $150,000 (Aston Martin, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Maserati, Maybach, McLaren, Pagani, Rolls-Royce, Ferrari as well as models of the Audi R8, Land Rover Range Rover Autobiography and Sport, and Mercedes SLS), showed West Vancouver has the highest per-capita ownership of supercars, based on 2011 Census population figures.

West Vancouver has one supercar per 142 people, compared to one per 577 people in Richmond, and one per 615 in Vancouver.

Including model years 2011 and newer, Vancouver has 980 of these luxury cars (based on the latest available data to the end of 2014), Richmond has 330, and West Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby have 310, 150, and 130 respectively.

Among the smaller cities, North Vancouver has 64, Coquitlam sits at 48, along with Langley’s 37, Delta’s 24, and Port Moody’s 12.

A number of people move here from around the world, who have made their wealth elsewhere and have come here to enjoy it, Stowe said.

“There’s been a lot of wealth generated because of real estate in this market,” he said. And so purchasing a Ferrari or Lamborghini when you own a $3 million home, is “not as disproportionately as large a purchase,” he said.

Stowe runs charity fundraiser Diamond Rally ( from Vancouver to Whistler on May 14, and will include 130 supercars and luxury cars including 10 Lamborghini Aventadors and 17 McLarens.