Sri Lanka hybrid car registrations down in Feb 2015, Maruti up

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Registrations of hybrid cars dropped sharply in February following a tax hike in January while small car imports continued to climb helped by lower taxes and financing costs, an analysis by an equities research unit shows.

JB Securities, analysing Sri Lanka’s vehicle registry data said registrations of motor cars dropped to 4.055 in February 2015 from 4,940 led by hybrids.

Hybrid registrations fell to 2,704 units in February 2015 from a peak of 4,320 figure in January but was still higher than the 765 units registered a year earlier.

So-called re-conditioned or used cars imported from Japan, where most of the hybrids are included, fell to 2,209 from 3,072 but was up 1,022 a year earier.

Sales of Indian-made Maruti cars went up to 1,445 in February from 1,363 following helped by a 15 percentage point cut in taxes. The Maruti is a smaller and cheaper car which improves the mobility of less-affluent Sri Lankan citizens.

Sales of Micro brand cars dropped to 120 from 135 in January. Micro branded cars peaked at 386 in December. Some micro cars which are assembled in Sri Lanka have resulted in tax losses to the state.
Electric cars recorded 13 units in Feb marginally down from 11 units recorded in Jan and up from 6 units recorded 12 months ago.

Motor cycle registrations dropped to 24,738 in February from 29,156 a year earlier but was higher than the 13,717 a year earlier.

Total vehicle registrations dropped to 41,188 in February from 48,618 in January, though the number was much higher than the 23,199 recorded a year earlier. February is a shorter month which also contributes to reduced registrations.

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