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June in cars: what happened?



Hey readers, did you enjoy June? Most of the world still isn’t vaccinated, but it’s heartening to see that more arms are being jabbed every day!


We’ve been hard at work serving our customers every day, and time has just zipped by. Can you believe we’re halfway through 2021? Where did the year go?


Lots happened this month, as usual, so here’s our monthly roundup of highlights from last month, updates from our blog, and a few fun reading, watching, and listening links at the end. We are most definitely Olivia Rodrigo fans.


Enjoy!


Car News from the Little Red Dot


Speeding? Don’t play play ah...


Most drivers are probably guilty of speeding on one occasion or another, but it’s more newsworthy when someone famous is caught in the act. Earlier this month, Gurmit Singh (a.k.a. Singapore’s favourite comic contractor) was caught driving at 131kmh along Woodlands Avenue 12, which has a 70kmh speed limit.


He did express remorse for his actions on an Instagram post, and managed to walk away with just an $800 fine and a 3-month ban from driving. It’s better than a 3-month stint in jail!


Latest COE prices drop at the latest June 23 tender


Sky-high COE prices have tumbled following a period of sharp increases. There’s an inverse relationship, it seems, between COE prices and demand––no one wants to pay more than they have to for a high-cost asset, and there’s a limit to what Singaporean consumers are willing to pay.


On the bright side, now is an excellent time to make your move if you’re considering biting the bullet on a car. This is true whether you’re looking for new or secondhand cars. Or you could skip the whole COE faff and just lease a car without the fuss.


They paved paradise, and put up a parking lot...


...well, paradise in this case was an open public park back in the 60s, which eventually became the 31-storey People’s Park Complex building (we love the Chinese name: 珍珠坊 Zhēnzhū fāng). The multi-storey car park taking up levels three to six is now on sale by public tender for an eye-watering total of S$42 million, or around S$57,000 per car park lot.


If you think that’s a lot, consider the price of car parks at Holland Road Shopping Centre at S$360,000 per lot. The prices at PPC suddenly look dirt-cheap by comparison! Also, it’s a pretty low-risk investment with steady income––until there’s a huge overhaul in our attitude towards cars, there’s always going to be demand for parking spaces.


Bare naked, and I just can’t take it


One has to wonder if Jennifer Love Hewitt’s smash hit was going through Yeo Qi Wei’s mind as he rode his motorcycle around town in his birthday suit––without a helmet, no less! We’d argue that the no-helmet is way more dangerous than the no-clothes part of this equation, particularly as he was zooming along at 100kmh along the Pan Island Expressway. Later that day he was also spotted (naked, naturally) climbing on top of a car before jumping off.


He was charged on 12 June, and remanded at the Institute of Mental Health for two weeks for psychiatric observation. We hope he’s okay––riding around with no clothes on seems like a decent way to beat the heat…


Elsewhere in Car News


Volvo’s moonshot goal of a climate-neutral car features… fossil-free steel?

Most steel-making methods today rely heavily on coal, responsible for 7–9% of all direct fossil fuel greenhouse gas emissions (about 1.8 tons of CO2 per 1 ton of steel), and the steel industry itself accounts for around 8% of worldwide carbon emissions. Volvo, however, is aiming for something radical––decarbonizing steel to make a concept car with ‘fossil-free’ steel by 2025.


This ambitious goal is one of the steps they’re taking to become climate-neutral by 2040, an uphill battle considering the carbon emission-heavy foundation of the automotive industry. But we love seeing companies tackle the issue of sustainable supply chains. Let’s hope other companies follow suit.


EVs only? Toyota thinks hybrids still have a future


Honda Motor Co. has pledged a target of 100% electric vehicle sales by 2040––so why isn’t Toyota following the same route? It seems that Toyota is taking a more conservative route, taking a slower approach to EVs and continuing to sell hybrids and fuel-cell vehicles alongside their newer electric models.


One justification is that EVs and batteries are just as, if not more, environmentally damaging when it comes to emissions. Toyota also thinks non-electric cars won’t go away entirely in the global markets. They’re probably not wrong, but we think focusing further on lowering the cost of EV production wouldn’t go amiss.


Subsidies for Kiwis with EVs


We love the Clean Car Discount, a new subsidy by the New Zealand government aiming to make it more affordable to buy low-CO2 emission vehicles. It’ll subsidise up to USD6,000 per EV, including pre-owned EVs, and it also taxes high-emission vehicles. That’s pretty neat.


How does it stack up to Singapore’s EV Early Adoption incentive? Well, our rebates are higher––but cars here also cost a lot more, thanks to all the extras like COEs, RF, and ARF. Either which way, it’s heartening to see more governments taking steps like these.


A Few Things We Wrote This Month


How to buy a car: If you’ve ever googled this phrase, you’re not alone. Buying a car for the first time can be nerve-wracking––so here’s a look into ST Auto’s sales process. It’s straightforward, and our staff will be there to help at every step of the way!


Written in the stars: When you can’t decide on a car, why not let your star sign decide for you? We’ve put together a fun tongue-in-cheek post on the best cars for your zodiac. Did we get yours right?


Squeaky clean, lean and mean: That’s how your car’s going to look when you’ve given it a good clean. But make sure you have the right tools for the job––our post gives you the lowdown on all the equipment you need to make the exterior of your car shine.