As the doors open to let the roaring Ferrari in, the parking lot is briefly plunged into darkness. An angel passes. Then powerful loudspeakers thunder with the text of James Bond, which reacts to a skilfully choreographed play of light. “It always has a small effect, even for customers who are used to this small entrance ceremony”, smiles Laurent Buisine, co-founder of The Collection Paris, a 5-star car park located four floors below the very chic place Vendôme, in the 1st arrondissement In Paris. On 8,000 square meters bathed in an atmosphere halfway between the art gallery and the “lounge” bar, 140 exceptional cars are stored.
Parking reserved for exceptional cars
A temple dedicated to mechanical excellence, to die for lovers of V-cylinder engines. “On your left you have the last Formula 1 driven by Kimi Räikkönen, the world champion in 2007. one of our collector customers”, continues the very young quadra who served as sales director for Western Europe at Ferrari before co-founding the company in January last year. At The Collection Paris, we are not in luxury, but in ultra-luxury. Owners of SUVs and sedans – even German brands – please go your way. Ditto for Teslas. But for electric cars, it is primarily the fire hazard – due to the battery – that can put the toy at risk for wealthy adults around them.
To get the chance to stroll through the aisles of The Collection Paris is to visit a kind of Louvre museum for the car. In front of us a hybrid-powered Ferrari with 1,000 horsepower under the hood for 2 million euros. A little further, the Bugatti Chiron: a jewel produced in less than 350 copies, capable of reaching 400 kilometers per hour… An absolute object of fantasy for 4 million euros, making it the most expensive car in the world. The profile of customers who can afford such cars? “They are generally entrepreneurs or very senior managers who usually entrust us with several models,” replies Laurent Buisine. It is rumored that some showbiz stars would be part of the venue’s regulars, but it is impossible to know more…
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“The detail”: a real spa for divas on wheels
Wealthy owners who come for peace of mind – the car park has three levels of security – and tailored service. The Collection Paris thus takes care of the trips to and from the dealership to ensure that the cars are in top shape, but also to transport them to your holiday destination. The parking lot even has a real “spa” service for these divas on wheels. In automotive jardon, we talk about “detailing”: a very advanced process that requires five days of work per vehicle and allow it to be restored to its new glory. “This especially allows the original paint to be kept, because a new paint results in a significant discount on collector cars”, explains Laurent Buisine. Count all the same 2,500 euros for the “detailing”, not to mention the tens of thousands of euros in annual security costs. If they wish, members can invite a few friends or big customers to come and look at the nuggets stored in these places. A champagne bar has even been made available to them. “And if a customer wants to sell his vehicle, we can also put him in touch with experts”, continues the young quadra.
The company has yet to blow out its first candle, but its leaders are already brimming with ideas and ambitions to develop it. “We will open in London in 2023, and then we strive to duplicate our concept in all the world’s largest capitals”, explains Laurent Buisine. At the same time, they hope to be able to establish cross-partnerships with larger luxury houses, who find their regular customers in this ultra-selected car park. Laurent Buisine says that he has made an agreement with a major French luxury house, but refuses to reveal his name.
Metaverse and “supercars”
More surprisingly, the young company has also launched in the metaverse, under the signature The Collection World. 1,000 membership cards that give access to this virtual universe for enthusiasts of beautiful mechanics have been put on sale for the price of one ether (about 1,300 euros at the current price). Each card is an NFT (not fungible tokens) designed by contemporary artist Richard Orlinski. NFTs are tokens that guarantee the authenticity and uniqueness of each of your virtual goods (artwork, clothes, houses, etc.) thanks to blockchain technology.
Members thus have access to a discussion group on the social network Discord, to pilot courses and soon to a lounge area in Paris where they can meet and discuss in the real world. They will also be able to collect virtual “supercars”. It is therefore not necessary to own a Ferrari or a Lamborghini to become a member of this 3.0 club. But the rich customers in the 5-star car park can of course also join. “Essentially, they are businessmen: they are interested in understanding how the metaverse works and seeing how they can develop their activity there”, emphasizes Laurent Buisine. The year 2022 has just seen the main values of what is more broadly called Web 3 being turned off to a large extent. The best time to invest?
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