Sri Lanka vehicle registrations recover in January

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s vehicles registrations recovered in January 2019 from a steep slump in December 2018, but were below last year’s levels, on supply shortages following higher standards imposed by the government, an analysis by an equities research house shows.

There were 3,147 motor car registrations in January 2019, up from 2,669 units in December 2018 but significantly down from 5,318 units 12 months ago, the report by JB Securities, a Colombo-based brokerage, said.

Brand new car registrations rose to 429 units in January, from 352 units in December but significantly down from 837 units 12 months ago.

Small cars continued to dominate imports, with those below the 1,000cc engine capacity accounted for 78.1 percent of the total, JB Securities said.

“The decline in volumes is more to do with a lack of supply than demand,” the report said.

The last budget specified that all new imports have to be Euro 4-compliant and have dual airbags in the front, which India has mandated only from mid-2019.

“Hence, there is a lack of supply from Indian OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) – Maruti, Datsun and Renault – which have accounted for the steep drop in volumes,” the report said.

“A classic case of consequences mattering more than intentions.”
(Colombo/February 25/2019-SB)

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