Singaporeans born in the 1960s.
SINGAPORE has come a long way since 1965. So has the nation’s motor trade, which has been supplying the cars to keep motorists on the move in the Lion City for the past 50 years. Back in the 1960s, there were car showrooms in Orchard Road, selling brands such as Volkswagen, Rover, Land Rover, Toyota and Fiat. Two of the showrooms were located where today’s Lucky Plaza and Wisma Atria stand, while the anchor tenant at Liat Towers was a spacious Mercedes-Benz dealership. There was even a company called Orchard Motors (under Inchcape), which represented Vauxhall cars. In the present day, Orchard Road is the pure shopping belt it’s meant to be, while Singapore’s motor trade zones are parked in Leng Kee and Ubi. In the spirit of SG50, we asked three Singaporean motor traders born in the 1960s to share some of their motoring memories and wishes.
RAMESH DIVYANATHAN – 1967 DIRECTOR, SALES CHANNEL DEVELOPMENT BMW ASIA
“I miss the old winding roads without speed bumps and regulating strips. Old Upper Thomson Road used to be a great place to test your car’s handling – within the speed limit, of course. Having lived in Jakarta for five years, I can safely say that we should really cherish our transport system – roads, buses, MRT and traffi c management. My wish is for Singapore to have an emission-free zone within its inner city – the CBD and Orchard Road, for example. To achieve this, it’ll require the widespread adoption of electric vehicles. Zero tailpipe emissions would also mean that roads can be built underground and more trees can be planted on the surface.”
ALVYN ANG – 1969 DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS CYCLE & CARRIAGE – KIA, CITROEN, MITSUBISHI
“I miss compact kei cars such as the Pajero Mini and Toppo Town Bee. They’re fun to drive around town, and make a lot of sense in a small country like Singapore. I hope the use of green automotive technology will be better integrated with our transport system, especially for last-mile travelling. Electric-car sharing and alternative motorised vehicles like e-scooters are good considerations.”
NICHOLAS WONG – 1966 GENERAL MANAGER KAH MOTOR – HONDA
“I miss jam-free roads and low-cost car ownership! But today’s traffi c jams are still manageable for small, densely populated Singapore. Otherwise, we would have to face the same woes as some of our neighbouring countries. My wish is for the Government to stabilise the COE system and not make too many changes that are disruptive for both the industry and the motoring public. There should be a well-balanced transport system that’s friendly to businesses and consumers.”