The number of vehicles registered in Sri Lanka during December 2017 fell to the second lowest level in 2017, with the only noteworthy positive development coming from the small hybrid car segment due to recent tax revisions in the budget.
According to JB Securities (Pvt) Ltd. 33,925 vehicles were registered during the month, a decline from 45,218 units year-on-year (YoY) and 37,488 registrations in November and sitting just ahead of the lowest registration levels for the year witnessed in February.
In the motor car segment, 3,432 registrations were recorded compared to 3,487 units YoY and 2,468 units in November. Of this, 763 cars were brand new, with Maruti/Suzuki leading the market with 289 car registrations, of which the small hybrid Wagon R fell just short of the total Maruti/Suzuki models registered.
Of the pre-owned cars, which amounted to 2,669 registrations, Wagon R units made up 1,578 of the total.
There were just six electric vehicle registrations in December despite the easing of electric vehicle taxes, down from 29 registrations YoY, but up one unit from a month earlier. All six were Nissan Leafs.
In the premium segment, 49 vehicles were registered, flat YoY, but down from 82 registrations in November. The brand new premium segment recorded 17 registrations, of which 13 were Mercedes Benz units, eight of which were E-Class and four were C-Class.
Just over half of the 32 pre-owned premium vehicles were BMWs with seven of them in the 5-Series. Eight pre-owned Mercedes Benz registrations were also observed.
In the SUV and crossover segment, 447 registrations were witnessed in December, up from 415 YoY but falling from 576 registrations in the previous month.
Just 131 registrations were for brand new vehicles.
Of the total SUV and crossover registrations, 170 were Hondas, with nearly all of them Vezels, while 152 were Toyotas, of which just over a third were Prados.
The budget introduced higher taxes for premium vehicles and those with higher engine capacities such as SUVs.
Of the total registrations in December, 2,586 were hybrids, up from 1,527 YoY and 2,039 in November. Suzuki Wagon Rs dominated the hybrid category.
The month also saw 654 vans being registered, up from 199 YoY and 575 a month earlier and 372 of the December registrations were Suzuki Every mini vans, while 104 units were Toyotas and 101 were Nissans.
The 3-wheeler segment, which had 1,235 registrations, falling from 6,057 YoY and 2,270 in November due to strict loan-to-value ratios, was led by Bajaj, which had an 88.9 percent market share.
Bajaj however had the second place in the brand new 2-wheeler market with an 18.5 percent market share. The 2-wheeler segment fell to 24,931 registrations in December, from 31,015 YoY and 28,334 in November. Nearly 99 percent of the registrations were brand new.
Honda was the market leader in this segment with a 39.9 percent market share. In the 2-wheeler segment, 14,774 were scooters, with Honda enjoying a 60.8 percent market share in scooters. There were 47 electric 2-wheeler registrations, up from both 12 months ago, and from November.