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Posts Tagged ‘LTA’

It’s more about financing; car dealers contradicts LTA

In Public Administration on 13/08/2014 at 4:36 am

In the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the Scouring of the Shire was left out. In it Wormtongue (remember him?) turned on Sauron Saruman, killing him, after yrs of being bullied and abused by him.  I was reminded of this episode when I read, The re-classification of Category A Certificates of Entitlement (COEs) may be one reason for the rise in the number of cars with a lower open market value (OMV) registered, but some motor distributors believe the tough loan curbs are having a bigger impact.

They were responding to the letter from the Land Transport Authority (LTA) last week, which credited the introduction of a power cap, in addition to the usual engine-displacement criterion, for the rise in number of cars with lower OMV being registered. .

The LTA had disagreed with a reader who said “the addition of an engine power criterion in Category A has not improved the demarcation between premium and mass-market cars”. BT 6 Aug

[Background: In February, Cat A for cars under 1,600 cc was re-defined to include an engine output limit of 97 kW or 130 hp in a move designed to keep luxury models out of this small-car COE category. S'poreans have been bitching that high-end cars had been blamed for high COE premiums in the past three years.]

The LTA said in its letter: “The additional criterion has resulted in a significant decrease of almost 30 per cent in the median OMV of cars registered in Cat A over the past six months.

“Correspondingly, there are also now more cars with lower OMV of up to $20,000 registered in Cat A.”

But some distributors say the rise in number of cheaper cars sold is more a result of the vehicle-financing restrictions introduced in 2013. Car buyers now need up to a 50 per cent cash downpayment, and to sign up for a maximum repayment period of five years. Before the change, it was possible to borrow 100 per cent of the car price, and pay up the loan over up to 10 years.

The managing director of a volume dealership said: “The loan curbs have not hurt the ability to buy a Cat A model as much as a Cat B model, simply because the latter costs more.”

Someone who can no longer afford a new Cat B model will likely look to a cheaper Cat A car … He moves down the price range to a model that fits his budget … pushing up demand for Cat A cars.”

The sales manager of a luxury dealership conceded that it was true that the re-categorisation had contributed to more lower-OMV cars sold.

“But from what we have seen, the main reason is still the financing restriction,” …  pointed to the Cat A and B COE premiums from the past six months: In the last tender before the recategorisation, that is, the second tender for January this year, a Cat A COE cost S$72,290 and Cat B one, S$79,000.

In the most recent tender two weeks ago, Cat A COEs were S$62,890 apiece, and Cat B, S$65,001 … “Cat A has fallen S$9,400 or 13.0 per cent, but Cat B has dropped by more – S$13,999 or 17.7 per cent. COE supply issues aside, it shows that indirectly, there is now less demand for Cat B, with its more expensive models, than for Cat A.”

The gap between the Cat A and B premiums has narrowed, from S$6,791 in late January to S$2,111 late last month. In the past, when this gap became smaller, most prospective buyers gravitated towards Cat B because they perceived such models to be better value for money; this would then typically push up the big-car premium and widen the gap again …  “So we will have to see in the next few rounds whether that happens. If it does not and the gap stays small, then it implies that demand for Cat B is softening, and that it is probably due to the loan curbs’ impact on affordability.”

When the constructive, nation-building BT is willing to carry a story contradicting LTA’s BS, LTA should realise that its BSing is too much for even brown-nosers.

Related articles

Property * credit

Property & credit II

Property & credit III

LTA, SMRT: Learn from NY & Dubai pls

In Infrastructure on 04/06/2013 at 5:48 pm

“Sponsorship is already used on metro systems across the word in places like Madrid, Dubai and New York,” says a Tory party report, and it suggests “Sponsorship deals to rename London Underground lines and stations should be considered as a way to fund a freeze in fares, Tory politicians have said.”

A report by the Conservative Party on the London Assembly said if £136m was raised in sponsorship it could freeze fares for a year.And it claimed £204m would cap rises at inflation for the next three years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-22745677

“Transport for London (TfL) said the cost of of changing maps and signs made a deal of that kind unfeasible”, and bet you that LTA and SMRT would give the same excuse.

But here’s shumething that SMRT cannot say, “Every penny of this and our other revenue goes towards keeping fares as low as possible”,. because as a listco, controlled by Temasek, it got to pay dividends.

Reason WP quietly ditched its public tpt nationalisation call?

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 09/07/2012 at 7:01 am

(“Trying to serve residents better, WP ditches manifesto call nationalise public tpt?”)

My WP “Morocco Mole”* (the sidekick of  “Secret Squirrel” in the carton series: bit like Yaw to Low) tells me that at July’s parly seating, GG will again keep quiet on the above issue in the debate after the ministerial statement on the major disruption in the MRT system. Tells me no other WP MP will raise the issue of public tpt nationalisation, as this is GG’s responsibility.

He asked, “Why so cock, when the Commission of Inquiry’s findings  that SMRT was skimping on maintenance can be used to support WP’s election manifesto call to nationalise public transport? Also shows WP can think better than PAP.”

I referred him to this ST report, where it was reported that MPs are lobbying LTA  for better bus services in their wards: all because the $1.1 bn subsidy.

I told him since WP has appointed Ah Huat (remember him?) to co-ordinate its efforts for more buses to serve Hougang and Aljunied, it would be most awkward for him (and WP) to beg LTA, and SMRT and SBS to improve services in WP areas if the WP is publicly proposing to destroy their staffs’ rice bowls. It would have no leg to stand on.

His response, “Tan kuku. Even if Sylvia, Glenda and Angela (remember her?) perform [expletive deleted] on the LTA, SBS and SMRT male managers, and Show Mao [expletive deleted] the female managers, think that they will improve services in WP areas? Why WP so cock?” 

He has a point. SIGH (Victor Hugo: “A traitor always pays for his betrayal in the end.”)

Related post: http://atans1.wordpress.com/2012/05/28/hougang-only-up-to-a-point-lucky/

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*Moley is a WP cadre but not on the Central Executive Council,. He is ex-Barisan. He early last week told me that the WP had tabled only one question abt public transport (abt the release of the COI report). He is right. Which makes WP’s silence on this issue more deafening. Look at the topics raised: what the public wants raised for the most.

Seeing the funny side of SMRT’s woes (Part II)

In Infrastructure, Political governance on 19/04/2012 at 7:19 pm

(Part I)

I also had a laugh when despite Second Solicitor-General Lionel Yee pointing out from the start that the inquiry looking into the December 2011 breakdowns “is not an adversarial proceeding but a fact-finding one”, the lawyers for LTA and SMRT put the blame on each other’s client.

(Leading to a Voice to comment, “Since it has been stated upfront that the proceedings are non-adversarial, why is there a need to hire expensive senior counsel, some at the expense of taxpayers? … SMRT Corp and the Land Transport Authority must have competent senior officials who are capable of assisting the COI with the investigations.”)

I can understand SMRT wanting to evade responsibility for commercial reasons. It could be fined heavily, and made to spend more on maintenance, depriving it of revenue to pay management bonuses and shareholder dividends. But should be so be so aggressive trying to pin the blame on SMRT. Scared of showing LTA was less than competent?

LTA’s lawyer Andrew Yeo, from Allen & Gledhill, took issue with the SMRT’s maintenance regime which could be improved, although it was “comprehensive and satisfactory”.

Citing a report by the transport operator’s internal investigation team, Mr Yeo said: “SMRT’s maintenance expenditure and manpower headcount for the maintenance of trains and trackways has not been increasing in recent years, at the same rate as the increase in kilometres travelled per train,” said Mr Yeo.

According to Mr Yeo, SMRT records showed that there has been a reduction in the number of wheel-profiling works between 2009 and last year even though there has been an increase in incidents of wheel defects over the same period. He also said that SMRT’s maintenance budget had not kept pace with the increasing ridership.

SMRT also “could do better” in terms of record-keeping, especially in the tracking of defects. “That would in turn enable any lapses or deficiencies in maintenance work to be easily detected and rectified,” Mr Yeo added.

Mr Yeo’s comments drew a response from SMRT’s lawyer Cavinder Bull. The Senior Counsel from Drew & Napier asked: “Whose duty is it to do what?”

He pointed out that the infrastructure was technically owned by the LTA. Also, any modifications to the infrastructure “must be submitted to the LTA for their review and approval”, Mr Bull said.

Alluding to findings from a team of experts, Mr Bull said that the SMRT has acted with “appropriate due diligence” in terms of its maintenance and engineering regimes.

Mr Bull added that any wheel defects or third rail gauge variation – which may have contributed to the higher vibrations, which in turn may have contributed to the dislodgement of claws – “did not occur due to a lack of maintenance”.

In fact, he said, the SMRT’s maintenance regime has been more stringent than what is recommended by the manufacturers: The various checks on the third rail are done every three or six months, which is more than the yearly inspection which manufacturers recommended.

Mr Bull also stressed that the dislodgement of the multiple claws which led to the breakdowns was caused by “a rare confluence of factors, none of which individually could have resulted in the incidents”.

Reiterating that it was not the SMRT’s intent “to shirk its responsibilities”, Mr Bull said that after discussions with the LTA, SMRT intends to change all the claws to “fifth generation” ones, which are installed on the Circle Line, as well as the Changi Airport and Boon Lay Extensions. Today article

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