Motorcar registrations which slipped during the holiday-packed April, paralysed further by Easter bombings, which brought almost all sectors of the economy to an abrupt halt for almost a month.
According to the vehicle registrations data compiled by Colombo-based stock brokerage and research house, JB Securities, Sri Lanka has registered 2,120 units of motor cars down from 2,961 units in March and 6, 160 units 12 month ago.
“Vehicle registrations were down in almost every category in April due to the New Year and Easter holidays and subsequent turmoil in the country post Easter Sunday bombings”, JB Securities Managing Director Murtaza Jafferjee said.
Sri Lanka revised excise duties and slapped a heavy luxury tax on vehicles from the second week of March.
Any impact on the registration numbers from the new taxes could not be ascertained clearly due to the April blip.
However, prices of pre-owned vehicles moved little in the aftermath of the tax hike as dealers attempted to clear their stocks offering prices little changed from earlier.
Pre-owned car registrations stood at1, 811 units in April compared to 2, 539 units in March and 5, 294 units 12 months ago.
The brand-new motorcar registrations recorded 309 units in April down from 422 units in March and 866 units 12 months ago.
Premium cars recorded 69 units in April significantly down from 160 units in March and 189 units 12 months ago.
Meanwhile, there were two electric cars registered in April unchanged from March and down from 9 units a year ago.
There were 432 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) registered in April, up from 408 units a month ago.
As incomes increase, people shift to more spacious SUVs often with four-wheel drive and high ground clearance.
At the same time, people are also shunning sedans to hatchbacks due to their fuel efficiency and compactness making efficient use of the space.
The most popular hatchback in the present day in Sri Lanka is the Toyota Vitz, of which 986 units were registered in April followed by 336 units of Suzuki Wagon R.
Meanwhile, the month of April also saw the registration of 1, 068 three-wheelers and 22, 753 two-wheelers down from 2,192 units and 26,851 units respectively in March.
Sri Lanka needs a comprehensive, multi-modal and pragmatic public transport system linking all suburbs with the city centre complemented by rigorous implementation of road rules with tougher penalties for errant road users to bring sanity into its road network.