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Old 16th January 2013, 09:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Fewer car COEs in next six months

Fewer car COEs in next six months

by Sumita Sreedharan
04:45 AM Jan 16, 2013


SINGAPORE - Car buyers will have to vie for fewer Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) in the coming six months, as the Land Transport Authority yesterday announced cuts in three categories which would mean an overall 11 per cent reduction in the number on offer each month.

Although the cuts were lower than expected, industry players noted that pent-up demand could drive COE premiums higher in the coming months.

The small cars category (1,600cc and below) witnessed the most severe cut and buyers will have about 15 per cent fewer COEs to bid for in the coming six months.

There will be 667 Category A COEs each month between February and July, compared to 786 COEs each month between August last year and January this year.

This is likely to send COE premiums - which hit an all-time high of S$92,100 last Wednesday - further north in this category, industry players say.

Starting next month, the number of COEs for big cars (1,601cc and above) will also be cut by about 14 per cent, with only 605 available monthly in the coming six months.

A modest 2-per-cent cut will be made in the number of COEs in the Open category, where certificates can be used for any vehicle but end up mostly for big cars, with 476 available monthly, compared to the 485 available monthly for the last six months.

But even as the number of car COEs is cut back in the next six months, the number of COEs for goods and commercial vehicles and motorcycles will be increased.

Goods and commercial vehicles will see 91 more COEs monthly, while there will be 118 more for motorcycles each month.

COEs are the tool through which the Government controls the number of new cars allowed on Singapore's road network and the LTA releases the quotas allowed for the various classes of vehicles every six months.

Yesterday's figures were determined by a 0.5-per-cent vehicle growth rate, the number of vehicles taken off the road between July and December, last year, and adjustments for the change in taxi population and expired COEs.

Mr Ron Lim, General Manager of Nissan agent Tan Chong Motor, said that although the cuts were not as aggressive as expected, they would still impact prices going forward.

In particular, he noted that there were 150 unsuccessful bidders in the small cars category during the last bidding exercise and at least 200 bookings did not play a part in the last tender, which would signal a backlog that will take a longer time to be absorbed. "It is not likely that we will see a correction in this situation so soon," he added.

Mr Raymond Tang, Honorary Secretary of Singapore Vehicle Traders Association, cautioned against the assumption that COE premiums would continue to surge. "I think factors, such as the economy as well as the number of units exporters have in hand, will play a part," he said.

Source: http://www.todayonline.com/Singapore...ext-six-months

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