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Sri Lanka's small cars down by half a million rupees

Nov 13, 2017 18:54 PM GMT+0530 | 0 Comment(s)

ECONOMYNEXT - The latest duty reduction for small cars will see the prices drop by an average of half a million rupees in the Sri Lankan market, an industry association said Monday.

The Vehicle Importers Association of Sri Lanka said the new tariff structure will benefit cars with an engine capacity of less than 1,000 cubic centimetres.

"Something like a 660 CC Suzuki that cost about three million rupees earlier will now be down to about 2.5 million," association's president Ranjan Peiris told a news conference in Colombo.

He said no dealer had cleared cars from the customs since the budget was unveiled on Thursday, but expected the process to begin shortly.

Peiris said he was hopeful that Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera will honour his commitment at a post-budget press conference to address an anomaly in the duty for second-hand electric cars. (see related story here: https://goo.gl/Q8Moc4)

The minister told reporters that his intention was not to discourage used electric cars and he would allow the same concessionary duty rate for both brand-new and used electric cars.

"Once this issue is sorted out about electric cars, we will be able to bring down and sell a brand-new Nissan Leaf for about 2.8 to 3.0 million rupees," Peiris said.

Only authorised dealers can import brand-new cars into Sri Lanka, and what the private dealers import is a “zero mileage” vehicle. It is bought brand new, then registered and deregistered at the same time and shipped as a used vehicle although for all practical purposes it is a new car.

The association said the restructuring of the tariff system was welcome, but noted that the duty on cars within the 1,000 to 1,500 cc category was going up by about 750,000 rupees.

They felt that the minister should have left the duty on that category untouched.

However, they welcome the government's decision to allow only cars meeting the high Euro 4 emission standard to get into the country from January next year.

Most of the Indian and Chinese-made vehicles are not known to meet the Euro 4 emission standard and they also do not have air bags and anti-lock braking which becomes compulsory for all imports from next year.

"With the new duty structure and the new regulations, Sri Lankan consumer will be able to get a better quality vehicle at a lower price," Peiris said. "For that, we are thankful to the government."
(COLOMBO, November 13, 2017)


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