29 Oct 2014

Sales of Parallel-import Cars Accelerate Due to Popularity of Japanese Models

Parallel-imported (PI) cars, particularly the mass market brands, have been reported to be gaining popularity among consumers. From Jan to Sep 2014, 1,239 PI cars were registered – an increase in 40.3% from the same period in 2013.

Since 2008, popularity of PI cars has been shrinking, possibly due to fewer COEs available. Sales of PI cars were generally from the luxury brands.

Toyota and Mercedes now occupy the top 2 positions of PI cars in terms of registration. Honda is currently 3rd, pushing BMW to 4th. Porsche is at 5th.

Toyota is observed to have extended its lead through strong sales from its new model – Harrier. The model’s popularity can be attributed to it being new on the market with an attractive price tag of approximately $150,000. It is also equipped with a smaller 2.0 engine as compared to the 2.4 engine in the previous model, positioning it to be more road tax friendly.

The popularity of Honda, on the other hand, is due to the newly-launched Honda Fit this year.

At present, PI car sales account for 6.2% of total car sales, up from 2013 at 5.2%. This is a stark contrast as compared to 2008 when PI cars accounted for over 20% in total car sales.

*Source : The Business Times