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COE premiums higher across the board
AS expected, certificate of entitlement (COE) premiums rose strongly in Wednesday's bidding exercise, with most dealers having reported good sales during the two-week period since the previous tender.
All categories were higher across the board, with Category A, for cars below 1,600cc and 130 hp, jumping S$3,199 to S$59,200; Cat B, for cars above 1,600cc or 130 hp, spiked by S$3,602 to S$61,103.
Cat E, the open category which currently tracks Cat B, climbed S$1,330 to S$62,019.
Meanwhile, Cat C for goods vehicles went up by S$2,081 to S$45,890, while Cat D for motorcycles appreciated S$590 to S$6,502.
Dealers said they had expected passenger car COE premiums to strengthen after TheCars@Expo two weekends ago.
The Singapore Press Holdings-organised vehicle-sales event at the Singapore Expo was particularly successful at attracting car buyers with its promotions, such as special interest rates, free servicing and immediate registrations.
Most buyers were said to have zeroed in on models transacted below the psychological S$100,000 mark, such as the Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Almera, Volkswagen Polo, Suzuki Swift and even the Honda Jazz. Mazda dealer Eurokars was said to have garnered more than 200 orders that weekend alone.
As a result, no one was surprised by the 5.7 per cent surge in the Cat A COE premium.
Cat B cars were equally popular among TheCars@Expo buyers, as many models were priced at around S$120,000 or just below that.
Some of the sub-S$120,000 examples were compact MPVs such as the Mazda5 and Kia Carens, while other popular models such as the Toyota Wish, Nissan X-Trail and Mazda6 were a few thousand dollars higher.
The sales manager of a Japanese dealership said: "Most authorised distributors were able to get very strong orders that weekend because of the attractive deals.
"Not only was it the last chance for all the brands to register cars before the year ends, but also for buyers to get a new car for the Chinese New Year in early February."
With the distributors' strong order bank, the sales manager expects COE premiums to either stay at the current level or continue inching up towards year-end.
He said: "I don't see them falling in the next couple of months."