More new motorbikes registered last year
Despite overall dip in last 10 years, more than 12,000 new motorcycles were registered in 2018, an increase from 10,408 in 2008
While the total motorcycle population in Singapore has dipped in the last 10 years, there were more motorcycles registered here last year.
Figures from the Land Transport Authority show that more than 12,000 new motorcycles were registered in 2018, an increase from 10,408 in 2008.
With the current certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums staying within the $3,000 bracket, some distributors are hopeful about increased sales.
Mr Nicholas Wong, general manager of Boon Siew Singapore (BSS), hopes that COE premiums will remain stable.
He told The New Paper: "The overall market has expanded in terms of total registrations and COEs available. We hope that COEs will continue to stay low for this year with more deregistration of old bikes."
BSS has had a good run as Singapore's Honda motorcycle distributor.
Figures show that Honda was in second place behind Yamaha with 4,896 units registered last year (inclusive of Honda motorcycles sold by parallel importers), with its bestseller being the Honda RS150R, a sporty commuter bike.
In 2017, 3,125 Honda motorcycles were registered in Singapore.
Part of the reason for the better business is the reduced pressure from the demand for COEs.
In addition, more riders were deciding to deregister their motorcycles, said Mr Eugene Mah, managing director of multi-brand motorcycle distributor Mah Pte Ltd.
"Consumers in Singapore have always been price sensitive, whether to the overall price of a motorcycle or COE premiums," said Mr Mah.
"If they (COE premiums) remain stable, we might be able to see decent growth."
Last year was a record year for motorcycle deregistrations, with about 16,500 motorcycles deregistered compared with about 8,500 in 2008.
It is also believed that the National Environment Agency's cash-for-deregistration scheme, targeting older "pollutive" motorcycles registered before July 2003, may have helped to free up some COEs. About 27,000 motorcycles fall into this category.
More motorcycle deregistrations mean an increased supply of COE quotas which would re-enter the COE pool and inevitably drop COE premiums.
In the latest bidding exercise, motorcycle or Category D COE premiums stood at $3,709 (for this month's first bidding).
This is a much rosier picture than the early part of last year. Back then, potential bikers were faced with COE premiums that stayed between the $7,000 and 8,000 bracket.
However, COE premiums may go up because from now, there will be about 500 fewer bike COEs each month.
This is due to the average monthly quota for February to April being reduced to 1,651 from 2,207 for the last quarter (November 2018 to January 2019).
Still, the rise in COE premiums is not expected to be astronomical, said Mr Mah.
Despite a tiered Additional Registration Fee imposed on luxury or pricier motorcycles in 2017, Ducati Singapore had a great year in 2018 with a 72 per cent year-on-year-growth, said its spokesman Tiffany Pan.
She added: "Wearnes Automotive Singapore expects Ducati to continue the strong growth trend this year with the launch of the new Hypermotard, Diavel and Panigale V4 R."