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Q1 car registrations surge 12.1%
THE growing supply of certificates of entitlement (COEs) boosted the number of new cars registered in the first three months by 12.1 per cent to 22,315 units compared to the same period last year.
From January to March 2017, Singapore's top make was Honda with 4,893 units, according to data from the Land Transport Authority (See table). The registrations include both official and parallel imports.
Honda has retained its lead thus far in 2017 after overtaking Toyota in 2016, while the latter remains in runner-up position with 4,286 units.
The big surprise, however, is that luxury marque Mercedes-Benz has moved up two positions from end-2016 to third place in the year-to-date tally. The brand with the three-pointed star notched up 2,127 registrations, breezing past Mazda (1,948) and Nissan (1,684).
They were followed by BMW, which registered 1,223 cars in Q1, Mitsubishi with 1,088 and Subaru with 726. The trio hung on to their sixth, seventh and eighth spots respectively from end-2016.
But two other brands did not. Volkswagen and Hyundai slipped out of last year's Top 10. VW and Hyundai were ninth and 10th respectively last year, but have been replaced by Kia and Audi.
Kia, which is now No 9 with 612 registrations, used to be No 12 just three months ago, while Audi is No 10, up one spot from No 11. Kia's strong performance is thanks to its pretty K3 compact sedan, which notched up 427 registrations or seven out of every 10 Kia cars delivered so far this year. It also means Kia is once again among Singapore's bestselling models.
But it is uncertain which model - among authorised distributors - is Singapore's most popular.
The top model for the last three years - 2016, 2015 and 2014 - was the Toyota Corolla Altis.
Prior to that, in the early 2000s, before parallel imports were commonplace, Borneo Motors Singapore's reliable compact Japanese sedan with the rock solid reputation was the Republic's all-time favourite model by far.
But registration figures for this evergreen model are no longer available from Borneo Motors, the authorised Toyota distributor .
So for the first quarter of 2017, the No 1 model is the Mazda3 with 1,347 registrations. The Mazda3, sold by the Eurokars group, had ended the last two years as the Republic's second most popular car.
In second position now is the Nissan Qashqai with 1,031 units, while third place goes to the Mitsubishi Attrage with 592 units, followed by the Mercedes-Benz E-Class with 450 units.
Also missing from the Top 10 models is the former fourth-placed Toyota Wish and 10th-place Toyota Camry.
Last year's No 5 model, the Hyundai Elantra has dropped down the rankings with just 228 units registered in the first three months of the year. So have the Nissan X-Trail and Nissan Sylphy.