COE premium for smaller cars at low­est since March 2010

The New Paper - - NEWS -

Cer­tifi­cate of en­ti­tle­ment (COE) prices ended mostly lower in the lat­est ten­der yes­ter­day as de­mand re­mained luke­warm in the face of weak con­sumer sen­ti­ment.

The COE premium for cars up to 1,600cc and 130bhp closed 5.7 per cent lower at $23,568 – its low­est level since March 2010.

COE prices for cars above 1,600cc or 130bhp fin­ished 0.3 per cent lower at $31,001. The price for the Open COE, which can be used for any ve­hi­cle type ex­cept mo­tor­cy­cles, but which ends up mostly for big­ger cars, also closed 0.3 per cent lower at $30,851.

The COE price for com­mer­cial ve­hi­cles fin­ished 1.8 per cent lower at $27,009.

The mo­tor­cy­cle premium bucked the trend to end 13.7 per cent higher at $3,399 as slid­ing prices brought new buy­ers in from the side­lines.

But car deal­ers said soft pre­mi­ums had less of an im­pact on their cus­tomers.

WEAK MAR­KET

Mr Ron Lim, head of sales and mar­ket­ing at Nis­san agent Tan Chong Mo­tor, said: “The mar­ket has been very weak. I think buy­ers are ap­pre­hen­sive of the un­cer­tain eco­nomic out­look for 2019.”

He said Cat­e­gory A buy­ers (cars up to 1,600cc) are “more sen­si­tive to this kind of sen­ti­ment”.

Cat­e­gory B (cars above 1,600cc) is not much bet­ter but has been held up by de­mand for cars on the back of In­done­sian ride-hail­ing firm Go­jek’s ar­rival.

It is un­der­stood that although Go­jek does not sub­scribe to an as­set-own­ing strat­egy (un­like Uber, which has since ex­ited the mar­ket), its dealer part­ners have had to buy a size­able fleet of hy­brid cars.

Hy­brid cars, which are typ­i­cally Cat­e­gory B mod­els, are favoured by driv­ers be­cause of their su­pe­rior fuel ef­fi­ciency.

Mr Lim noted the mar­ket now is “very buyer-driven”.

“If buy­ers still do not find the cur­rent prices at­trac­tive, pre­mi­ums will fall fur­ther,” he said. – CHRISTO­PHER TAN

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