Singapore

Parallel-imported car sales fall 13.8% in first 9 months this year

The sale of parallel-imported cars slowed in the first nine months of the year as demand from private-hire operators dried up.

Heightened competition from authorised agents and negative publicity also sank in.

According to Land Transport Authority figures, 13,312 parallel-imported cars were registered from January to September, 13.8 per cent fewer than the 15,448 registered in the same period last year.

MARKET SHARE

The market share of these cars - which are sourced from overseas dealers instead of directly from car manufacturers - fell to 19.9 per cent, down from 23.6 per cent last year.

Honda remained the most popular parallel import, with 6,992 cars - mostly Vezels - sold in the first nine months of the year. Toyota followed with 4,866 units, mostly the Harrier.

These numbers are lower than those in the same period last year, when 9,442 Hondas and 5,435 Toyotas were delivered.

Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of authorised Honda agent Kah Motor, attributed the drop to weakened demand from private-hire operators such as Uber and Grab.

Flooded with thousands of unhired cars, private-hire players have put the brakes on new purchases.

Observers said heightened competition from authorised agents and negative publicity may also have affected sales of parallel imports.

According to the Consumers Association of Singapore, the motor industry had the highest amount of reported losses at $2.74 million - accounting for more than three-quarters of the total amount consumers lost in non-delivery of goods and services last year.

CONSUMER ISSUES