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 Car showrooms see crowds; dealers wary of possible COE quota cut

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PostSubject: Car showrooms see crowds; dealers wary of possible COE quota cut   Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:07 pm



SINGAPORE: With COE prices for small cars plunging to a historic low of S$2, showrooms are seeing a 10-fold increase in visitors. However, while the showrooms are packed with people, most of them are just browsing.

But car dealers said many of them are actually sitting down and crunching numbers and dealers believe they will be back next week once they figure out which car suits them.

Those in the vehicle import and export industry have said they will petition the government to reduce the number of COEs available. But car dealers are against such a move.

Vincent Ng, product manager, Honda, said: "If there's any reason to cut the COE quota system, it should be because the government feels the number of cars being taken off the road is getting lesser and below their own projections. Under any other circumstances, if the COE is artificially cut, then I think it doesn't make sense."

Dr Olaf Duebel, managing director, Volkswagen Singapore, said: "The government should look a little bit more next week and see what happens and after that you should make a decision on what to do. So far, I would say it's a little bit too early, just because of the drop to S$2 COE, there's a discussion to cut COEs."

Some say the S$2 COE price is a fluke and will never happen again, but if the Japanese yen becomes stronger, it will lead to higher base prices of cars. And according to one car dealer, that will lead to fewer bidders in the COE system leading to another single digit COE price in January.

Dealers expect the COE price for small cars to go up to S$6,000 or more at the next bidding, which will be in a fortnight's time. It will also depend on the Japanese yen's strength against the Singapore dollar, which is a factor when it comes to the price of Japanese cars here. - CNA/vm



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I am wary of this too.

It could be $2 for now, but later when we own the car.. let's say 1/2 year or 1 year or more later, COE hike again???! Mmmmm..

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