Update: Car showrooms open from June 19 – confirmed

Retail businesses resume this Friday in Singapore, and that means car showrooms too – it also means COE bidding will restart soon

This is a breaking story and will be updated.

UPDATE June 16: MTI’s list of allowed businesses now includes retail and showrooms

The start of Phase 2 begins on June 19, 2020, and with the resumption of retail businesses, car showrooms look set to reopen then too.

And while there is no official word from the LTA on the situation, it also means we can expect Certificate of Entitlement (COE) bidding to resume.

Following statements via two official channels (ST and CNA), “Most businesses and social activities will be allowed to resume from Friday, June 19.”

Included in the news is the fact that most retail businesses will now be allowed to open their physical storefronts.

UPDATE: It’s official . The MTI’s list of approved businesses now includes code 47 – retail showrooms for the car trade are a sub-set of that under code 473. CarBuyer has also received confirmation from various brands that their showrooms will be open on Friday, June 19, 2020.

While the Ministry of Trade and Industry’s comprehensive list of allowed businesses currently hasn’t been updated (it still shows Phase 1 rules) most of the car brands CarBuyer spoke to said they expected showrooms to reopen this Friday.

Phase 2 comes a good 10-plus days before the previous timeline of four weeks from June 2, reportedly previously by the Straits Times. Based on that information, CarBuyer’s previous report expected showrooms to reopen in July, earliest, but we’re very glad to be wrong this time.

And since showrooms will reopen on Friday, it could also mean we will see COE bidding resume soon, as per the LTA’s own words: ‘COE bidding will only resume after motor dealerships and showrooms are allowed to reopen. The Land Transport Authority (LTA) is monitoring the situation closely and will update on subsequent bidding exercises in due course.’

When will it happen?

COE bidding happens on the first and third Monday of each month – June’s first Monday was June 1, and the third Monday was June 15. Could the next COE auction kick off on July 6?

If so, that would give the car industry plenty of time to collect orders and ensure a healthy slug of demand — healthy enough to ensure that the COE market is reflated strongly, with prices accordingly high. The would be the cynical view, but is ultimately only a guess — keep checking back as we’ll be updating with confirmed facts soon.

In any case, even if retail showrooms are a-go, nowadays you can have a test car sent to your doorstep, book the car online, and even have it remotely delivered to you – all without ever setting foot in a showroom.

COVID-19 Automotive Timeline
– April 6, 2020: COE bidding is suspended
– April 8, 2020: Singapore goes into circuit breaker/lockdown. Showrooms close and only essential repairs are allowed.
– May 22, 2020: Phase 1 announced
– April – May, 2020: Car brands offer online promos to build up orders for when COEs resume.
– June 2, 2020: Phase 1 begins. Regular car service and repairs are allowed, but car showrooms remain closed.
– June 15, 2020: Phase 2 announced for June 19, 2020.


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CarBuyer Team
CarBuyer Singapore / CarBuyer.com.sg brings the most relevant, accurate and useful car news to Singaporeans in both print and online formats.