A growing number of Sri Lankans are going online to purchase their vehicles, and the number will keep growing, according to a report by online vehicle classifieds platform Carmudi.
“Forty percent of customers start their search online, but in the future, the trend is going to shift. Google search queries have seen a 41 percent yoy growth. This supports our findings,” Carmudi Sri Lanka Managing Director Firaz Markar said.
According to the report, of the 40 percent who search online, 10 percent are using websites of car dealers, while the others use online search engines.
Markar noted that the majority of the 40 percent is the younger population, or older generations asking their children to search for vehicles in their stead.
He said that since the younger generation will in the future become the decision makers and influencers, traditional classified sources such as newspapers would be quickly overtaken.
Markar added that some in the older generations had started their search with print classifieds, but had switched to online sources to compare easily.
The report was named ‘The Booming Automotive Industry in Emerging Markets’, and of the countries analyzed, Sri Lanka was found to have the highest growth of internet penetration, as well as the 2nd highest ratio of car registrations to per capita GDP.
The report also found that 70 percent of car dealers had seen an increase in car sales over the past year, while 20 percent had seen a decrease. It projected that due to recent reduction of rates on small cars, the registrations would increase.
However, experts have recently said that increased vehicle registrations would create congestion on the Sri Lankan roads which have not been improved to handle such volumes, and that the effect could decrease GDP growth.
Markar however opined that the government would regulate the effect by moderating vehicle imports through budgets.Carmudi is a part of Rocket Internet, which also owns Lamudi, and everjobs that operate in Sri Lanka.
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