AFP reports that Italian Motors Ltd. has celebrated ten years of business in China with a parade of Ferraris through the streets of central Beijing, as company officials predicted China's luxury car market will grow in coming years.

"China is a country which is developing its economy very fast. For luxury cars or sports cars like Ferrari, this is the right moment to be in the market because many Chinese customers love Ferrari and they're ready to buy," Piero Ferrari, son of Ferrari founder Enzo Ferrari, told AFP.

"We're looking with a lot of interest to this country. I think the market can be a very important market for Ferrari."

The lavish celebration at the Great Hall of the People, the setting for top-level official meetings, also marked the launch in China of the Maserati Quattroporte, a new high-performance sedan combining sports car functions with luxury sedan features.

The AFP report said that since Italian Motors first introduced the top-tier sports car brand to the Chinese market in 1993, close to seventy Ferraris have been sold to mainland Chinese owners, company officials said.

And nearly thirty Maseratis have been purchased by Chinese in the past 10 years.

"Most of the cars have been sold in the last four years. It's because of China's rapid economic growth," Robert Yang, a sales manager for Ferrari's China distributor told AFP.

The AFP report said that mainland Chinese owners were reluctant to be interviewed and that most of the participants in the parade were Hong Kong owners. Ferrari officials hesitated to point mainlanders out.

"Of course they don't want their money to be seen," said a Hong Kong Ferrari owner surnamed Feng, speaking to AFP. "In the mainland, you can't be sure how the money was made."

The AFP report added that some of China's wealthiest men have been jailed for tax evasion and illegal business practices after becoming high profile.

In a stark display of the huge gap between the rich and poor in China, crowds of onlookers gaped as some two dozen shiny black, red and yellow Ferraris parked outside the Great Hall, AFP said.

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