terse & at large

GRRRRR. Arrrgh. And sometimes a travel log.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Exploding Lemons

Could it be because they burst into flames on the expressways once in a while, as did the one I saw on the PIE between the Toa Payoh and Thomson exits?

(Latest news on today's ST)

Oct 27, 2004
Fewer Mercs on S'pore roads now

SINGAPORE'S favourite luxury car, the Mercedes-Benz, is becoming less visible on the roads.

In the last five years, its numbers have shrunk by 30 per cent, a reduction that mirrors the decline in the population of European cars, including BMW, Volvo and Audi.

Today, out of 415,000 passenger cars on the road, only about 85,000, or 20 per cent, are non-Japanese or non-Asian. In 1999, the continentals - mainly German - accounted for 110,000, or nearly 30 per cent, of 380,000 cars here.

The wane of the continentals is typified by Mercedes' retreat - from a 1999 peak of more than 43,000 to an estimated 30,000 today.

Its slide has been accelerated by the fall in new car prices and, consequently, the collapse of the local second-hand market.

As a result, many used Mercedes were exported. And the sale of new cars has not kept up with the pace of exports in recent years, said Mr Neo Nam Heng, president of the Automotive Importers and Exporters Association.

And car dealers do not foresee a revival in the popularity of Mercedes, or other continentals, any time soon.

Besides the costly euro and improvement in the quality of Japanese cars, branded wheels also seem to be less of a driving force with most car buyers these days.


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