Sri Lanka KIA dealer expects pick up in market

ECONOMYNEXT – KIA Motors (Lanka) Limited, agents for Korea’s Kia vehicles said it was expecting a pick up in vehicle sales as it launched the a new 2020 Kia Niro model targeting executive and middle-aged customers.

“We are expecting the sales to be consistently reasonable, because it’s still expensive, I don’t see huge numbers being sold,” Kia Motors (Lanka) Managing Director MahenThambiah said.

“We have to wait and see what government policy and taxation will be like.”

He said the market was sluggish over the past year year and Kia did not bring down any new models until Kia Niro, is bringing down two more new models in the coming months.

But in 2020 it is hoping to sell 100 units of Niro. Niro is a 1600 cc hybrid car, priced at 9.5 million rupees inclusive of tax.

Sri Lanka slapped restriction on car imports after the country’s soft-peg came under pressure from targeting overnight rates with excess liquidity.

High margins on letters of credit have now been lifted. There were also changes to a luxury car tax.

The luxury tax will be applicable to petrol and diesel cars and jeeps valued (CIF) over 3.5 million rupees, hybrids over 4.0 million rupees and electric vehicles over 6.0 million rupees.

The tax will no longer be charged on the engine size for vehicles below the capacity of 1,800cc, for petrol, 2,300cc for diesel and a 200-kiloWatt motor will not apply from November 01.

“The current tax system is better than a year ago where there was a unit rate…with the recent tax review, it is slightly better, Thambiah said. (Colombo/Dec29/2019)