Sri Lanka’s vehicle registrations in May have rebounded recording a strong growth over April due to month-on-month increase in two wheelers, three wheelers and mini trucks but motor car registrations edged down, a monthly vehicle registration tracker by a leading stock brokerage showed.
This phenomena has pushed the total vehicle registrations in May to 46, 486 units, up from 36, 107 a month ago, but little down from 48, 659 a year ago. During May, 32, 244 two wheelers and 5,732 three wheelers were registered with Department of Motor Vehicles, jumping from 24,188 and 4,206 units, respectively, from a month ago, data compiled by JB Securities (Pvt) Limited showed.
Interestingly, two wheeler registrations during the same month in 2015 – the year which saw a record number of vehicle imports in the history – were only 25, 580. But the corresponding figure for three wheelers was 10, 995.
Two wheelers and three wheelers are considered as common man’s popular private transportation modes in Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka has migrated to a lower middle income country with a per capita income of little under US $ 4, 000. But the recent hike in taxes, interest rates and inflation hit this group the hardest, thrashing their dreams of owning a motor car and these figures is presumed to be an indication of people resorting to two wheelers and threewheelers, who earlier may have aspired to buy an Indianmade Maruti Alto.
Thus the motor car registrations slipped to 3, 657 units from 3, 664 units a month ago but virtually halved from 6, 018 a year ago. Brand new car registrations were at 1, 766 units, marginally up from 1, 754 but significantly down from 3, 228 units a year ago. Marutis were down to 1, 037 units from 2, 539 units a year ago. “The slight dip in small car registrations in May could be attributable to the April numbers being boosted by the clearing up of the back log emanating from the RMV’s go slow in February and March,” JB Securities Managing Director Murtaza Jafferjee said. Pre-owned car registrations recorded 1, 891 units in May, marginally down from 1, 910 units in April and, significantly down from 2, 790 units a year ago. Another highlight during May was the registration of 82 premium branded cars, significantly higher than 46 units in April but slightly lower than 93 units a year ago. Out of these premium branded cars,
“Audi recorded 38 brand new cars - a majority of these cars plus a quantum of SUVs were acquired by Drumin Transporters, who are providing premium cars for the Cinnamon city hotels,” Jafferjee added. Electric cars recorded 85 units in May, unchanged from a month ago, of which 80 units are Nissan Leafs.
There were 361 electric cars registered in the same month last year. The recently increased tariffs are expected to further have a dent in electric car imports. Meanwhile, the SUV registrations recorded 752 units, slightly up from 709 units a month ago and 695 units a year ago with ‘Nissan Hybrid X Trail 314’ accounting for 328 units in May.
Further, there had been 2, 256 units of hybrid vehicles registered, marginally down from 2, 259 in April and 2, 709 units a year ago. Also, there had been 319 units of vans in May, up from 301 units in April but down from 914 units a year ago. Mini-trucks, which shot up in May recorded 1,121 units up from 792 units in April but little down from 1, 315 a year ago.