Defying the toughened conditions created for vehicle imports, April saw motor car and Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) imports rising, a monthly vehicle registration tracker by a Colombo-based stock brokerage showed.
The motor car registrations consisting of brand new and pre-owned cars – both hybrid and non-hybrid – increased to 3, 618 from 3, 226 in March, but significantly down from 5,116 level seen in April 2015, JB Securities (Pvt) Limited data showed.
Brand new car registrations recorded 1,709 units, up from 1,186 units a month ago yet significantly down from 2,926 units a year ago. Registration of Maruti’s were doubled from 639 in March to 1,142 units in April and 225 units in January, but significantly down from 2,239 units 12 months ago.
Buyers of the relatively cheap Indian-made Maruti are the types stimulated by the Rs.10,000 salary increment received in 2015 January, who remain under pressure from the family or society or both to have any kind four wheels under their garages.
JB Securities Managing Director and economist Murtaza Jafferjee said the precipitous fall in registration numbers seen in January and February might not entirely be explained by a fall in demand but by a go-slow approach adopted by the Department of Motor Traffic.
Therefore, he said part of the pickup in registration numbers in April might be a result of clearing of the previous month’s backlog.
However, the trend, by no mean is encouraging to both the government and the Central Bank, who have set the policies to see a significant reverse in vehicle registration numbers.
The fiscal imprudence followed by monetary stubbornness and populist politics practiced by good governance regime led to an influx of vehicles flooding the Lankan roads, making them almost impassable.