Motorcar registrations in January saw a rebound after a sharp fall in December, but still significantly lower in registrations in January 2018, a vehicle registrations tracker by Colombo-based stock broking and research house JB Securities showed.
Motorcar registrations recorded 3,147 units in January up from 2,669 units in December, but were significantly down from 5,318 units 12 months ago.
Brand new car registrations recorded 429 units in January up from 352 units in December, but significantly down from 837 units 12 months ago. Small cars with 1, 000cc engines or below accounted for 78.1 percent of the total. JB Securities noted that the decline in volumes is more to do with lack of supply than demand.The last budget specified that all new imports have to be Euro 4-compliant and have dual airbags in the front.
“India has mandated this only from mid-2019, hence there is a lack of supply from Indian OEMs – Maruti, Datsun and Renault which have accounted for the steep drop in volumes. A classic case of consequences mattering more than intensions,” JB Securities said.
Pre-owned or reconditioned car registrations recorded 2,718 units in January up from 2,317 units in the previous month, but significantly down from 4,481 units 12 months ago.
Small cars accounted for 88.8 percent of the volumes. Toyota accounted for 1,317 units – Vitz 1,054 units, Premio 127 and Suzuki accounted for 1,108 units – Wagon R 729 units, Alto 116.
Financing share was 51.3 percent in line with the normal monthly average.
Premium cars recorded 113 units in January slightly up from 97 units in the previous month, but significantly down from 206 units 12 months ago.
JB Securities assumes that most of these cars may have come under permits for L/Cs opened before government slapped restrictions on permits.
A notable premium car registration during January was Bentley Flying Spur V8, which is estimated to have cost around Rs.72-75 million. Electric car registrations recorded 4 units down from 5 units the previous month and significantly down from 18 units 12 months ago. Nissan Leaf accounted for 3 of these units.
“The unit rate based on the power of the motor significantly increased the tax burden, which killed the market.
The CIF value of most electric cars are 30-40 percent more expensive than the ordinary internal combustion or hybrid cars, thus coupled with the higher taxes, prices them out of the market,” JB Securities said.
SUV registrations recorded 735 units in January down from 854 in December, but up from 583 units 12 months ago.
Hybrid vehicle registrations recorded 1,232 units in January up from 1,057 units the previous month, but significantly down from 2,980 units 12 months ago.
Meanwhile three-wheeler registrations recorded 1,706 units in January up from 1,332 units the previous month and 1,544 units 12 months ago. Bajaj is the segment leader with a 92.2 percent share.
Financing share was 68.1 percent in line with prior months, but down from the 85-90 percent levels that existed before the imposition of 25 percent LTV limits.
Two-wheeler registrations recorded 28,114 units in January, significantly up from 22,942 units the previous month, but down from 31,694 units 12 months ago.
Scooters accounted for 18,206, which is 65 percent of the total volume.
In total, Sri Lanka registered 36, 895 vehicles in January higher from 30, 327 a month ago, and significantly down from 43, 232 units 12 months ago.