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We all know that Singapore is a world class globalised city. Even then some
things about Singapore is still surprising....really surprising!
Everyone knows that Japan is the No. 1 exporter of cars. ...the Japanese brands are ubiquitous Honda, Toyota, Mazda...etc etc. If Japan is the No. 1 exporter of cars, then which country is the No. 2 exporter of cars?! Some of you will say USA or Germany or Korea...right keep guessing.
Which country?......The world's No.2 exporter of cars is SINGAPORE!!!!...how's that for a surprise.
Our unique and wonderful system of car control has led us to be the world's No. 2 exporter of cars. We are ranked so high without a single car factory here in Singapore. Baffled? Read the report below. The COE system has resulted in 100,000 cars being exported overseas.
SINGAPORE : A bumper crop of 100,000 cars are being taken off Singapore roads and exported overseas this year, say car dealers.
Singapore is now the second-largest car exporter in the world, after Japan.
The Automobile Import and Export Association is aiming for Singapore to be a major transshipment hub for used cars.
Thirty-two-year-old Nigerian Edward Anugo, who is working in China, travelled all the way to Singapore to buy not one but two cars for his mother back home.
Said Mr Anugo, "In Singapore, you see variety of cars, very clean and the condition is very good compared to other places. The models are very new, year 2000 models -- that's why I came here."
He is not alone: car dealers from far-flung countries like Libya and even the Caribbean island of Trinidad have been spotted here picking out choice cars for import into their markets.
They say Singapore cars are better kept, and cheaper than their Japanese counterparts.
Prime Leasing, one of the major car exporters here, says export numbers have been rising every year.
This trend is also due to more cars being deregistered or scrapped.
Last year saw a record 85,000 cars deregistered and so far this year, more than 66,000 cars have gone down the same road.
About two out of every three cars deregistered are then sold overseas.
But more importantly, this will also have an impact on Certificates of Entitlement, or COEs.
Said Neo Nam Heng, president of the Automobile Import and Export Association, "More deregistered cars taken off the roads means eventually the number of deregistered cars will be recycled back into the new COE allocation. The number of COEs for coming '05 and '06 will be higher."
COE prices reached record lows earlier this month, and with more motorists replacing their older cars with brand new ones, export numbers are expected to increase further.
Said Mr Neo, "These cars cannot exchange hands easily locally, so exporting is one of the easiest options available for rebates and for the car body to be exported and then, the car can be sold easily overseas."
At one of the 12 Export Processing Zones in Singapore, cars which have already been deregistered off Singapore roads are now on their way to being exported all over the world -- from New Zealand, to Russia, and even North Korea, Cyprus, and Mauritius.
The association is also exploring opportunities to bring Singapore cars to countries in South America; it is working with IE Singapore on this.
So if you are visiting Brazil or Chile anytime soon, don't be surprised if you find your old car on the roads there. - CNA /ct