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Thread: Sports models race to top spot in sales growth for 2007

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    Default Sports models race to top spot in sales growth for 2007

    Published April 16, 2008

    Sports models race to top spot in sales growth for 2007

    Despite less upbeat economy, sales expected to rise further this year

    By SAMUEL EE


    RISING petrol prices and economic uncertainty do not seem to be eating into Singaporeans' appetite for sports cars, with sales growing fastest in the $300,000 price bracket. Last year's strong growth in sales of sporty cars is expected to continue this year.


    Object of desire: Although available only from parallel importers, the Nissan GT-R is one of the most sought after $300,000 sports cars

    In 2007, 2,951 sporty and performance-oriented models were sold by authorised distributors - that is, excluding parallel importers. These models include high-end makes like Porsche and Ferrari, as well as powerful but more affordable cars like the Subaru WRX, Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution and Honda Civic Type R. 2007 volume was up 33 per cent from 2,215 units registered in 2006.

    If this wide classification of sports cars is narrowed down to just the luxury models - that is, those costing $200,000 or more - the spike in sales becomes clearer. In 2007, 659 of these so-called luxury sports cars were sold, up 97 per cent from 334 in 2006.

    But the real drivers of sales in this luxury band are models in the $250,000-$350,000 price bracket. These includes cars such as the Porsche Cayman, BMW 6 Series and M3 and Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class. Last year, 362 such cars were sold - up 134 per cent from the previous year.

    Authorised Porsche distributor Stuttgart Auto last year moved a record 301 units - an 88 per cent jump from 160 in 2006. In the first quarter of 2008 it registered 92 units, 40 per cent of which were Caymans, priced from $246,888 to $297,888.

    'The Cayman combines functionality with elegant aesthetic form and is suitable for day-to-day use,' said a Stuttgart Auto spokeswoman. 'And its pricing is very competitive, which would have contributed to the strong sales.'

    In 2007, Performance Motors sold 122 BMW 6 models. The 335i Coupe and Cabrio models saw sales of another 77 units, plus four M3s. Together, sales of these cars were 39 per cent up from the previous year.

    And 2008 looks like it will be another good year for such cars, which start from $248,800 for the 335i Coupe and go up to $363,800 for the 650i Cabrio.

    'Compared with the first quarter of 2007 we see a highly positive outlook,' said Performance Motors sales and marketing director Alex Yap.

    Despite the less upbeat economy, many dealers expect sales of sporty cars to rise this year, partly because of deep pockets and partly because of excitement over new arrivals such as the iconic Nissan GT-R.

    'Most of my customers are professionals and businessmen who have already made their money,' said Vincent Tan, who runs VinCar, one of the most established parallel importers (PIs) here.

    VinCar has sold 15 GT-Rs since the first one arrived in February. The car costs between $285,000 and $295,000 depending on specifications. It is not yet available from authorised Nissan distributor Tan Chong Motor Sales.

    Mr Tan said his Porsches, BMWs and Mercedes-Benz PI models are also selling well. Last year, these Continental makes comprised 10 per cent of his total sales of 1,500 units.

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    Default Re: Sports models race to top spot in sales growth for 2007

    Published April 16, 2008

    Used luxury models may fuel sports car boom

    Imported ones may be cheaper than those sourced locally


    THE growth in luxury sports cars could be further fuelled this year by a new source - imported used models.


    Hot rods: Porsche 911 (above) and Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG. A dealer says that imported luxury sports cars are a viable alternative as they are usually in immaculate condition


    Some high-end models such as the Porsche 911 can cost substantially less when imported as a used model. For example, a two or three-year specimen may be priced at slightly more than a new Cayman S, which is positioned below the 911.

    In some cases, this may be more cost-efficient than a locally sourced pre-owned 911 while, at the same time, be more attractive because of the lower mileage.

    Other examples include the Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG, which has a list price of over $400,000 here but should fall neatly into the $300,000-plus range when imported as a two-year-old car.

    'The imported luxury sports car is definitely a viable alternative as the cars offered are usually in immaculate condition,' says one dealer. 'This is because we only choose the best cars to bring into Singapore.'

    It is estimated that between 30 and 50 of these cars are sold here each month.

    Imported used cars got a major boost in September last year when the Land Transport Authority allowed such vehicles to be eligible for the Parf benefit. Parf is the preferential additional registration fee and the owner claims the benefit when the car is deregistered.

    Previously, imported used cars were not entitled to this scrap rebate. However, they must still satisfy other requirements before they can be registered here, such as being under three years old and having a used car surcharge of $10,000 imposed on top of the usual registration taxes.

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