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Buying a car? Chances are it will be European.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Click to enlarge.
Source: LTA.

I still remember a time when Toyota was consistently the number one brand in Singapore in terms of sales figures. Imagine it is number three now! It is also the sole Japanese make in the top 5 sellers in Singapore.

Is there really so much wealth in Singapore?

Or is most of it an illusion?

Mind boggling.

See full list at LTA: here.

Related post:
Car dealers unhappy with LTA.


SGYI said...

Hi AK,

No wonder I keep seeing Mercedes and BMW on the road. There is a lot of wealth in Singapore but its all an illusion. Money can flow in but can flow out also.

Once a lot of this money flow out, people will go for the cheaper B.M.W(Bus, MRT, walk) :p

AK71 said...


When asked which is the most popular brand for cars in Singapore, I was still replying "Toyota".

See how out of touch I am with things? -.-"

Anonymous said...

I understand the logic, before the curb, when u just pay few hundred more and u get to drive BMW or Mercedes...

But frankly, think I will be very uncomfortable driving it. It's like saying I arrive, when I am a pauper. To me, all those who drive car are rich people, I drive but is not rich, I already slap myself to look fatter Liao.

If buy BMW, that is akin doing reverse liposuction

AK71 said...

Hi Mike,

Reverse liposuction! Yikes! That sounds really gross! -.-"

Oh, well. At least these people are good for the economy. ;p

Musicwhiz said...

Buying cars using debt is not my idea of being rich.

AK71 said...

Hi MW,

Oh, definitely, unless we mean enriching not only the car seller but also the money lender. ;p

seefei said...

cars in singapore is cheap according to a malaysian friend of mine. for 40K you can have a choice of Altis, Cefiro or BMW series. in malaysia, anything less than RM100K you cant smell BMW or Merz...

AK71 said...

Hi seefei,

$40K for a BMW?! Here in Singapore? Wah! Where in Singapore? -.-"

veronika said...

It is not an illusion.
The money is really there... but not in most people's pockets.

Over the last year ( 2013 ) Certificates available each month for CAT A+B+open was less than 2,500. Each time there were more bids than available certificates.


Out of 2,500 people wanting cars, there is a good 50%, approximately 1,250 people each month (x 12 months = 15,000)
who can afford $90,000 and another $100,000 for a car.

With so many properties being transacted, all you need is 1,000 property agents who make enough commissions over the year to be able to afford.. young and carefree.

the insurance agents -1,000
renovation people - 1,000
indonesians - 1,000
wealth managers - 1,000
stock brokers - 1,000
forex traders -1,000
commodoties brokers -1,000
specialist doctors -1,000
civil service super scale -1,000
lawyers - 1,000
marketing & sales - 1,000
financial officers -1,000
IT managers- 1,000
odd few retiress etc - 1,000

15,000 certificates... not that hard
to understand where the money sits.

The remaining push factor to raise prices is the taxi companies... who will through hell & high water bid to get their certificates.

Leave this game to these people.
I think we got better things to do than to flash a car around orchard road and along expressways.

AK71 said...

Hi Veronika,

A very insightful comment! Thank you.

Hmmm... I think I should get myself into one of those jobs you listed. ;p

E H said...

The eventual aim of Singapore's transport policies is to get everyone to use public transport. They made an error in pandering to FT attraction from 2005-2009 by dishing out COEs and east credit. When they realise that infrastructures would not be able to support the marked increase in vehicles, the painful political decision to cut kicks in. Anyway, if you are a regular commuter, buying some SMRT or SBS shares to receive their dividends could be a good hedge against rising fares.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Public transport definitely makes good sense not just for our pockets but also for the environment.

Singapore's public transport has much room for improvement but, to be fair, it is much better than many places in the world I can think of.

However, to invest in domestic transportation stocks, I will have to think really hard. Fare prices are regulated in Singapore and there is an embedded political agenda. As all the costs go up, I wonder how the bottomlines would be affected and, with it, the EPS of the stocks.

E H said...


Read this.

I see two key phrases. Expanding. Financially sustainable.

The transport authorities build the infrastructure for operators and ensure they won't go out of business.

Quite a win-win situation for operators I must say. But the above policy only mantains if the goverment is still runned by the same party in the long run.

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Hmmm.. To keep the operators from going bust is quite different from ensuring that the operators will continue to see rising EPS.

I am not worried about the operators going bust. I am just wondering if SMRT is a good place to park our money if we are looking for earnings growth, given the headwinds.

E H said...


Recently, I have been contemplating this since I work near home.

Looks spiffy too!

AK71 said...

Hi E H,

Hahaha... You are the second person I know to own a scooter like this if you should get one. Be warned, it is not as easy as it looks. ;)

Apparently, cycling is more comfortable. A folding bike, perhaps? :)

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