In February, the introduction of a tiered Additional Registration Fee sent jitters across the car industry. For cars worth more than $50,000, that meant a raise of 180 per cent, resulting in a 20 to 30 per cent increase in price for the same set of wheels.
Indeed, according to the head honcho of Motorway Group, which specialises in selling luxury cars, sales were slow. “But, overall, the market for luxury cars is coming back, especially last month,” says Michael Lim.
His company’s recent success with the Swedish Koenigsegg Agera S is a case in point. Ringing up $5.3 million at the till, it’s the most expensive car in Singapore. What’s more, Lim is in talks with potential buyers eyeing the same make.
“Ten years ago, selling even one car for one million was difficult,” he says, adding that the business is harder now because every company can do it. To stay ahead, he zeroed in on super luxury vehicles like Lamborghini, Ferrari and Bentley.
“These days, many people have moved from millionaire to multi-millionaire, like in property,” says Lim. “If a project is worth a hundred million dollars, what’s three to five million?”
Citing increased production by luxury carmakers like Koenigsegg for growing Asian markets, he intends to keep meeting this demand, despite price increases.
“Most people buy a car but don’t even drive it,” he says of the appeal. “Some have 10 that they keep, just to look at.”
So, will we one day see a car being sold for $10 million?
“Maybe,” he says. “Sometimes, the more expensive it is, the more people will like it.”