Brisk sales as COE premiums fall
Car showrooms report large crowds following the latest certificate of entitlement results along with release of new models
Car showrooms were packed over the weekend with buyers drawn to the seven-year low premium for the certificate of entitlement (COE) for smaller cars.
Tan Chong Motors, the authorised Nissan distributor, saw sales jump threefold, compared with two weekends ago.
Komoco Motors, the authorised dealer for Hyundai, saw more than 100 people at its showroom on Saturday afternoon and sales of new cars doubling, Chinese evening daily Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday.
Kah Motor, the official Honda distributor, had to mobilise all its sales staff and saw a 30 per cent increase in sales compared with the figures after last month's COE results.
Last week, the COE premiums for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp plunged 16.1 per cent to $36,001, the lowest since November 2010. COE for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp closed 3.9 per cent lower than last month's at $49,000.
Open COE, which can be used for any vehicle type except motorcycles, closed 4 per cent lower at $48,005.
Car dealers observed that most people at the showrooms were looking for smaller cars.
Mr Ron Lim, general manager of Tan Chong Motors, told Lianhe Wanbao that the release of new models, along with lower COE premiums, contributed to the large crowds. One of its best-selling models is the Nissan Pulsar 1.2 L DIG-T.
"We have no more stock, and the three models on display are already reserved," said Mr Lim.
Mr Jeffrey Low of Komoco Motors told Lianhe Wanbao that its best-selling models were the Hyundai Elantra sedan and Tucson sport utility vehicle. And as of 3pm on Saturday, more than 40 new cars were reserved.
Observers have noted that this month's low COE premiums was the result of the new Euro 6 emission standard, which kicked in this month, as well as a slowdown in bidding from private-hire firms Grab and Uber.
New cars of popular models such as Honda Accord, Toyota Camry and Nissan Teana, as well as budget sedans such as the Nissan Almera and Toyota Vios, will no longer be allowed here because of the more stringent requirements.
The car dealers told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that they do not think COE premiums will fall any further at the next tender on Sept 20.
But some potential car buyers told the newspaper that they are hopeful COE premiums will continue to decline.
A 27-year-old engineer, who was at the showroom on Saturday to check out the car models and prices, said: "The demand from the private-hire car industry has fallen, so the COE prices will go down further. I am going to observe first and decide again when the next results are out."