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#1

Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:35 PM

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Up to 70% of C-Class sold in 2011 by C&C are C180Ks.

http://motoring.asia...321-334791.html

Premium brands pick up speed and new buyers in Cat A

By Samuel Ee

The luxury brands are attracting new customers as they steadily gain market share in the Category A COE segment, with Mercedes-Benz being the most successful so far.

A Cat A certificate of entitlement is used to register a car with an engine capacity 1,600cc and below, and costs less than a Cat B COE, which is for cars above 1,600cc.

One reason is because Cat A models are smaller and traditionally considered bread-and-butter models. But not anymore.


With European manufacturers downsizing their engines to reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions, there are now more and more premium models with 1.6-litre engines.

One of them is the Mercedes-Benz C180 Kompressor, with a 1,597cc supercharged engine and five- speed automatic transmission. This is not to be mistaken with the C180 CGI BlueEfficiency, which has a 1.8-litre turbocharged engine mated to a seven- speed auto.

Last year, the C180 K accounted for 68.6 per cent of the total 1,351 units of C-Class cars sold here.

One important advantage it has is affordability - at $177,888 (with COE), the C180 K is currently $20,000 less than the C180 CGI mainly because of the COE premium.

'Of course the OMV is lower,' said a dealer for a competitor, referring to the open market value. 'But it is mostly the gap between the Cat A and Cat B premiums that gives the C180 K its price advantage.'


The Cat A COE premium is currently at $56,552, while Cat B is at $79,304.

The dealer added that this price advantage has also resulted in conquest customers for the brand with the three-pointed star.

'The C180 has attracted many new customers who used to drive two-litre Japanese cars because both now cost about the same,' he explained.

Another German luxury marque which is quietly carving out a niche in Cat A is BMW with its 1 Series five-door hatchback.

'With the launch of the new BMW 1 Series last November, the COE Category A has become a relevant segment to BMW,' said BMW Group Asia managing director Neil Fiorentinos, referring to the 118i and 116i's four-cylinder 1.6-litre TwinPower Turbo petrol engine.

He added that during the 1990s, BMW had a 3 Series with a 1.6-litre engine in the form of a saloon and compact - the 316i.

With the new 3 Series, the BMW 335i and 328i have been launched and the 320i with its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine is due here in the second half of 2012. But according to Mr Fiorentinos, 'there is no confirmation of other model variants at this point in time'.

However, at BMW- owned Mini, all the models from the iconic brand are in Cat A. Mr Fiorentinos said: 'Given the good response to the new BMW 1 Series and the strong trend of Mini, the Cat A segment already plays an important part in BMW Group Asia's product portfolio and we foresee it will continue to do so in the future.'

Over at Volvo, Cat A sales now comprise an average 40 per cent of sales since the first Cat A model was launched in May last year, said general manager Victor Kwan.

Volvo has three Cat A models - the S60 T4, S80 T4, and V60 T4 - and Mr Kwan said most customers are new to the Swedish brand.

'The profile of buyers for the S60 and S80 is somewhat different, but the majority of them are new to the Volvo brand,' he explained, adding that about 30 per cent are from other Continental makes, including premium and mid-tier continental brands, 40 per cent from Japanese makes, and the balance being first- time buyers.

This article was first published in The Business Times.



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#2

Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:39 PM

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kompressor = smelly

#3

Posted 22 March 2012 - 01:56 PM

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kompressor = smelly


Smelly like 'fart'? In what way? laugh.gif
The supercharged engine is supposed to burn at higher A-F ratio, lower compression ratio (vs NA) and is also more efficient than a normal NA engine.
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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:00 PM

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At this rate, i think Cat A will go up further to close the gap between 56k and 82k. By 2nd half this year, i think cat B will reach 100K and cat A will be around 70k.

#5

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:03 PM

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Also by 2015, i'm going to see how many ADs manage to survive thru. They are already bleeding badly now month after month. Some Jap brand only sell a few units in one month.

#6

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:13 PM

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At this rate, i think Cat A will go up further to close the gap between 56k and 82k. By 2nd half this year, i think cat B will reach 100K and cat A will be around 70k.


This is my feel too, but only 65k for CAT A.


#7

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:18 PM

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Also by 2015, i'm going to see how many ADs manage to survive thru. They are already bleeding badly now month after month. Some Jap brand only sell a few units in one month.


The irony of it is that VW - being a true B&B conti car, is not selling more than it should in Cat A, vs Merc and BMW combined!

This is peculiar only to the Singapore car market ... determined by our COE system and the fact that we may have far too many millionaires per capita, vs any other country in the world.
Isn't this a strange phenomenon, for a tiny dot of an island-country?

Of course the rich will buy the Cat A Merc and BMWs, as their 3rd, 4th or more car, for their wives, children and mistresses!

Edited by W210k, 22 March 2012 - 02:22 PM.

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#8

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:19 PM

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no wonder cat A so strong...
how is the sales from volvo?
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#9

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:20 PM

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At this rate, i think Cat A will go up further to close the gap between 56k and 82k. By 2nd half this year, i think cat B will reach 100K and cat A will be around 70k.


That could be a possibility - cos I think peoples' perceived threshold in buying an entry-level Merc or BMW would be around $200K or so.
This means that the current Cat A COE has room to 'grow' by another $30K or so, based on the current list prices.
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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:24 PM

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170k is way big time $$ for entry exec car

#11

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:30 PM

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The irony of it is that VW - being a true B&B conti car, is not selling more than it should in Cat A, vs Merc and BMW combined!

This is peculiar only to the Singapore car market ... determined by our COE system and the fact that we may have far too many millionaires per capita, vs any other country in the world.
Isn't this a strange phenomenon, for a tiny dot of an island-country?

Of course the rich will buy the Cat A Merc and BMWs, as their 3rd, 4th or more car, for their wives, children and mistresses!


The bull run in stock market and property for the past few yrs has created so much wealth to many people. Just in this forum, u can easy count how many ppl are sitting with cash and ready to buy 2nd property.

#12

Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:31 PM

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no wonder cat A so strong...
how is the sales from volvo?


Yah, I think a lot of people still think that Cat A is segregated for the 'less rich' people / market, bidding for COEs to buy the B&B cars from Toyota, KIA, Hyundai, and the various other Jepun and conti makes.

But it looks like the top-4 Cat A makes from Merc, BMW, Audi and Volvo are certainly NOT from this pre-conceived group of 'entry-level' buyers.

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:34 PM

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170k is way big time $$ for entry exec car


I think those who had bought the C180K in Jan/Feb 2012 had gotten it at $150K-net-net.
That's why it helped Merc skyrocket to pole position in the Dec11-Feb12 sales ranking list.
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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:35 PM

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Yah, I think a lot of people still think that Cat A is segregated for the 'less rich' people / market, bidding for COEs to buy the B&B cars from Toyota, KIA, Hyundai, and the various other Jepun and conti makes.

But it looks like the top-4 Cat A makes from Merc, BMW, Audi and Volvo are certainly NOT from this pre-conceived group of 'entry-level' buyers.

saw someone test drive the new Hyundai Veloster...
look at specs, what a turn off....

today saw someone driving off a new camry....
at sliproad, rev the camry so hard (he look like a car salesman)....
but nevertheless, y camry????
AR 159 cost S$3K less than camry.

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:41 PM

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I think those who had bought the C180K in Jan/Feb 2012 had gotten it at $150K-net-net.
That's why it helped Merc skyrocket to pole position in the Dec11-Feb12 sales ranking list.


Both my wife and I are paying $2.4K montly instalment for my 7yrs+ BMW and her 4yrs+ Jap SUV. I have thoughts of consolidating into a 1 car since I don't usually drive everyday. If Cnc drop their price to $150K for the c180K, think I'll go signed on the spot, most likely wishful thinking on my part. Have owned quite a few bimmer b4, never had a Merc, think next car should go for one and defintely not Volvo, don't want to have the same car as my bro. 2 yrs back, I was offered pre-launch new BMW F10 for $186K, was abit hesitant as the OMV then was $37K to $38K for the 1st batch of 5 series F10.

Edited by Amazon777, 22 March 2012 - 02:48 PM.


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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:44 PM

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saw someone test drive the new Hyundai Veloster...
look at specs, what a turn off....

today saw someone driving off a new camry....
at sliproad, rev the camry so hard (he look like a car salesman)....
but nevertheless, y camry????
AR 159 cost S$3K less than camry.


Hehe ... even the new Hyundai Elantra looks a bit 'iffy' to me. Notchback / fastback design?

For Camry, I guess people who buy it either trust the Toyota brand completely and nothing less will do, or they just want the largest real estate space for the money laugh.gif
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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:50 PM

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Both my wife and I are paying $2.4K montly instalment for my 7yrs+ BMW and her 4yrs+ Jap SUV. I have thoughts of consolidating into a 1 car since I don't usually drive everyday. If Cnc drop their price to $150K for the c180K, think I'll go signed on the spot, most likely wishful thinking on my part. Have owned quite a few bimmer b4, never had a Merc, think next car should go for one and defintely not Volvo, don't want to have the same car as my bro


Well, it was indeed possible to get a C180K for $150K net ... but I think you are about a month too late.

I can confirm that, since my wife signed on the spot then, when she was looking to change her car. It was too good a deal to walk away from.
At the point of signing, Cat A COE was only $51K. A few days after signing, the 1H Feb COE bidding pushed it up to $57,009!
So about $5-6K went straight to her new car's paper value ... just like that. Call it serendipity!


Because of the spike in COE, I understood that C&C has stopped giving the high discounts and overtrade like they did in Jan/Feb.
Although they increased its list price from $176,888 by only $1K to $177,888.

Like I said, you're just a tad too late pal sad.gif

Edited by W210k, 22 March 2012 - 02:52 PM.

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 02:55 PM

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Well, it was indeed possible to get a C180K for $150K net ... but I think you are about a month too late.

I can confirm that, since my wife signed on the spot then, when she was looking to change her car. It was too good a deal to walk away from.
At the point of signing, Cat A COE was only $51K. A few days after signing, the 1H Feb COE bidding pushed it up to $57,009!
So about $5-6K went straight to her new car's paper value ... just like that. Call it serendipity!


Because of the spike in COE, I understood that C&C has stopped giving the high discounts and overtrade like they did in Jan/Feb.
Although they increased its list price from $176,888 by only $1K to $177,888.

Like I said, you're just a tad too late pal sad.gif


That's should explain why when my bro went to Cnc last week, they have this take it or leave it attitude for their c180K @ list price minus just a little discount only. But with such a hype, is there anyone still going to sign on dotted line for a c180K now @ list price? When the orders are met, I think Cnc may just launch another super sale hopefully, matter of how much profit margin.

Edited by Amazon777, 22 March 2012 - 02:58 PM.


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Posted 22 March 2012 - 03:18 PM

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But with such a hype, is there anyone still going to sign on dotted line for a c180K now @ list price? When the orders are met, I think Cnc may just launch another super sale hopefully, matter of how much profit margin.


I think its all about employing psychology to the business.

Since the last significant Cat A COE spike, C&C had only increased the list price of the C180K by $1K ... or at least that will be what the buying public perceives.
Compared to C&C's direct competitor, PML on the other hand, had increased its 1-er models by about $4-5K, to correspond to the COE spike.

The latter would be the typical strategy employed by most of the Japanese ADs.

So for the un-informed, who so happen have been monitoring list price trends in (say) sgcarmart would see C&C's price increase of the C180K (by $1K) to be more palatable than PML's increase of the 116i (by $4-5K).
Thus the front-end psychological game has already been part-won!
The rest is up to the sales person to convince the buyer, when he steps into the showroom. wink.gif

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

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Much as i love BMW, to choose between a C Class body and a 1 series body, both with the small 1.6L forced induction engines, is a no-brainer to me. Perhaps because i am a family man and some semblance of practicality (ie 4 doors, a proper boot, realistic seating space at the back) is important to me.

But if practicality is top priority for me and badge is of secondary priority, i wouldn't even look at the two. I would choose the Skoda.


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