by Leow Ju-Len
WE ALL KNOW that predicting COE results is a bit like sitting down for a poo and trying to foresee how many logs fall out: you have to rely on some vague gut feel, and no matter what, the end result stinks.
Anyway, as much as it’s a fool’s game, we hear tell that tomorrow’s COE auction could end with something of a whimper for Category A COEs.
Now only for cars up to 1.6 litres, and no longer for taxis, the Cat A market has apparently seen little buying action so far.
One source says some in the motor trade believe that the entire industry’s sales haven’t been able to fill tomorrow’s Cat A quota of 399 COEs.
What’s to blame? The school holidays have apparently sent potential car buyers overseas, while the weekend’s COMEX fair is believed to have taken people out of car showrooms.
There’s also a wait-and-see mood to the market at the moment. “If COEs can crash by six grand last time, what’s to stop another crash this week?” goes the thinking.
Against that, there’s also a belief that some car dealers will take advantage of a quiet market to mop up a few COEs.
With the end of the year coming, some dealerships will be in a hurry to register a few cars to add to their fleets and re-sell as used cars later.
Why? Because dealers promise car companies that they will sell X number of cars, and get into trouble if they don’t fulfill X. Sometimes they are promised cash or other incentives by the manufacturers for hitting a target, and find it more worthwhile to bulk up their registration numbers than to miss out.
Of course, there is the good’ol rankings game. Brand A may want to close A.D.2012 above Brand B on the sales charts for bragging rights or, well, or else.
So, what is our bet in the fool’s game of predicting COEs? Based on market sentiment, a fall tomorrow for Cat A. But based on the registration games that dealers have to play, a small fall.
We’ll find out tomorrow if gut feel counts for anything.