Luxury car sales in Singapore hit new highs last year

15:06, January 28, 2011      

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Luxury and sports cars sales in Singapore hit new highs last year as people felt flush on a strong economic rebound and new models were launched.

However, overall car sales plunged to about 42,000 last year, less than half the annual average of the previous five years, local daily the Straits Times reported on Friday.

The fall in overall car sales was partly due to a shrinking quota for the certificate of entitlement, which is required to own a car. Prices for the certificates have been running high as more consumers bid to drive.

Practically all high-end cars posted record sales last year. The biggest winner was Rolls-Royce, which sold 37 cars, more than three times its 2009 sales. The price for the brand is well over 1 million Singapore dollars (0.78 million U.S. dollars) apiece.

Ferrari finished second with a sale of 69 units, more than doubling its sales in the previous year.

Prices for the certificates of entitlement "form a smaller percentage of the total price of a premium car, so buyers of such cars still perceive them to be reasonably well worth purchasing," said motoring writer Winston Lee.

The number of millionaires in Singapore increased by one-third last year as the stock market rebounded, "resulting in more earnings among the well-heeled," said Denneis Toh, a lecturer who specializes in consumer behavior at Temasek Polytechnic.

Land Rover, Porsche, Aston Martin, Audi and BMW also posted big gains.

Players in the industry were mixed about the outlook for this year.

"I don't think this year will be better than last year. I will be happy with about the same number of sales," said Karsono Kwee, executive chairman of the Eurokars Group, whose brands include Rolls-Royce, Porsche and Mini.

The recent measures to cool the property market may mean fewer people making fast cash, Kwee added.

Ferrari agent Ital Auto said it expected a still better year ahead.

"There is definitely room to grow. We expect a 10 to 15 percent year-on-year increase in deliveries over the next few years," a spokesman said.

Source: Xinhua
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