Spare a thought for Hong Kong's rich. The value of their properties has fallen by as much as 70 per cent from their peak of six years ago. Some are now worth little more than $20 million. Shares in their portfolios are picking up, but nothing like the halcyon days of the mid-1990s. And perhaps most insufferably, since the former financial secretary Antony Leung Kam-chung's budget went into effect, they have had to pay a lot more for their favourite wheels. 'This is a Robin Hood tax,' was how one luxury car dealer described his customers' feelings about the first registration tax for private cars when they heard it would be raised to a maximum of 150 per cent. That was in March, shortly before the 'Lexusgate' scandal, in which Mr Leung was found to have bought himself a luxury car before announcing the new tax that was to elicit howls from car owners. Lobbying was duly launched and the government backed down, reducing the tax's top rate to a paltry 100 per cent. But if the government thought it had bought off the ultra-rich, it was wrong. Anecdotal evidence from several distributors (hard statistics are a closely guarded secret) indicates that luxury car sales at the top end of the market are down since the budget was introduced. 'The rich are in revolt,' was how another source described the situation to us. 'They can still afford the cars, but nobody likes being the victim of a punitive tax.' Nobody, that is, except those that simply had to be seen at the Peninsula last night for the launch of the new Ferrari Enzo, a super-cool performance car with an $11 million price tag. Even the fact that this is a left-hand drive model could not dissuade the rich and powerful from showing up. The car must be cool. Or could it be that Hong Kong's car-collecting class is learning more about anger management now that the financial secretary is gone? Whatever the case, it seems patent from last night's display that some people in Hong Kong are weathering the economic downturn better than others. Even distributors of luxury cars cannot be too glum, as most have extended their franchises to the booming mainland. Ferrari, for one, expects to sell more cars across the border than in Hong Kong this year. And Rolls-Royce is scheduled to launch a new model next week. Indeed, if the mainland masses are truly beginning a 'love affair with the car', as many commentators are fond of pointing out, then the gloriously rich obviously have an infatuation with the stretch limo. One can only wonder, given the current crackdown on tax evasion, how many of those will ultimately turn out to be a fatal attraction. But in the meantime, Hong Kong's position as a regional supercar centre seems to be diminishing. Something must be done. Perhaps Cepa can provide some relief.