Car sales at Car-nival healthy despite rise in COE prices and financing curbs

SINGAPORE - The motoring industry has suffered for the past few months due to rising COE prices and restricted financing for vehicles in Singapore. Despite these, $20 million was transacted at Singapore Press Holdings' (SPH) CATS Classified Car-nival 2013. The annual mega car mart event was held at the Singapore Expo today.

A total of 176 cars were sold today of which 102 were new cars and 74 were pre-owned cars. This is compared to 298 cars sold last year.

Nonetheless, exhibitors were happy with the response received at Car-nival. Eddie Loo, Managing Director of CarTimes Automobile said: "The quality of the crowd this year was better than last year. We sold our first car as early as 11am, while last year we only sold our first car at 1pm. If there were no loan curbs, I am sure that sales would have been much better."

CATS Car-nival remains popular and drew a crowd of 70,000 today. With a wide selection of new and pre-owned cars, and a sprawling spread of motoring accessories and in-car gadgets, the event has once again proven to be a popular one-stop auto and accessories mart.

Car buyers interviewed cited discounts and attractive promotional packages as the main reasons for their purchases.

Mrs Ow, a 52-year-old executive, bought a brand new Honda Accord from the Honda booth for $211,900. She said: "I bought it because it is a very good car and it costs a few thousand dollars cheaper here than in the showroom. They also threw in a lot of goodies as well as a servicing package."

Besides cars, there were the 12 stunning ladies who turned up the heat in the CATS Race Queen Pageant sponsored by Stamford Tyres. Second-time participant Ms Megan Long, 23, impressed the judges with her poise to snag the coveted title of CATS Car-nival Race Queen 2013. A final-year student at James Cook University, Ms Long walked away with the top prize of $3,000 and intends to use the prize money to further her education. Ms Winnie Tan, 20, was crowned Ms Stamford Curvaceous, and walked away with a cash prize of $1,500.

Another highlight of the event was the first ever Fastest Baby-Walker Race sponsored by Motorway, which received 132 registrations. Nine-month old Haziq Nazmin completed the eight-metre race in 26 seconds to beat the other junior speedsters in their walkers, which were decked up to resemble mini racers. His father, Haja Nazimmudeen, 26, used a Pepsi bottle to entice Haziq towards the finish line.