Singapore

Fall in COE prices leads to crowds in showrooms

The plunge in the certificate of entitlement (COE) prices at the tender last Thursday lured prospective buyers to car showrooms over the weekend.

There were more than a dozen groups of customers viewing cars in the gallery an hour before closing time when The Straits Times visited the Hyundai and Toyota showrooms yesterday.

Similar crowds were at the showrooms at C&C Mercedes-Benz Center and Honda agent Kah Motor.

Kah Motor general manager Nicholas Wong said that more than a hundred people came by the showroom each day over the weekend. "I would say business has resumed to as before the sharp rise in the COE. Last weekend the whole market was like a ghost town," he added.

COE prices for the last three tenders before the most recent one had seen a steady increase, with the premiums for autos up to 1,600cc and 130bhp rising from $29,159 to $36,704.

Industry players said the higher COE premiums caused fresh sales to pretty much grind to a halt, which in turn led to the sizeable correction at last Thursday's tender.

Then, prices for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp fell 26.4 per cent to $27,000.

Those for cars above 1,600cc and 130bhp slipped 11.3 per cent from $48,010 at the previous tender to $42,564.

The premium for Open COEs dipped by 10.5 per cent from $52,502 to $47,000.

Mr Charles Boey, 56, a client relationship manager, was at the showroom at C&C Mercedes-Benz Center with his son and daughter to compare prices.

"There are quite a lot of people here. It's not just the COE prices dropping. (The companies) are also offering discounts," he said.

Transport