Two-wheelers and 3-wheelers continue to drive vehicle imports to Sri Lanka, which is already plagued with congested roads, unruly drivers and equally bad pedestrians, the latest data available for the month of April, showed.
According to a compilation of monthly vehicle registrations by JB Securities, a Colombo-based stock brokerage and research house, the total number of vehicles registered in April declined to 33,500 units from 40,000 units in March and 36,000 units from a year ago.
Much of it has been driven by 3-wheelers and 2-wheeler registrations. Three-wheeler registrations clocked 1, 452 units, an increase from 1, 299 units a month ago and, 3,327 units in January before the higher down payments were enforced.
From February onwards, a potential buyer is required to place a down payment of 75 percent of the value of the 3-wheeler to own one while only the balance could be borrowed or leased.
This was brought in as a targeted deterrent to crush the three-wheeler imports, which is said to have caused many socio-economic issues in
In April, last year, 4,000 three wheelers were registered while two years ago, the 3-wheeler registrations were over 10,000 a month.
Meanwhile, 26,089 2-wheelers were registered this April, which was about 5,000 units less than in March.
During the last three years, 2-wheeler registrations averaged over 25,000 units a month.
Motor car registrations more or less remained unchanged in April with 2,552 units being registered, slightly less than 2,960 units in March.
In January, before the 50 percent down payment requirement was brought in, 3,079 motor cars were registered.
Brand new car registrations in April were 812 units, slightly down from 936 units in March.
“Toyota Wigo’s momentum slowed down followed by a sharp drop in Perodua’s AG1GZ1 model. Small car segment share jumped to 93 percent from 58 percent in the previous month”, J B Securities said.
Pre-owned registration in April clocked at 1,740 units, down from 2,024 units in March.
Toyota led the pack followed by Suzuki and Honda.
Meanwhile, electric car registration in April fell almost 50 percent compared to March. Successive Sri Lankan governments have used vehicle import duties as a political tool by slashing such taxes during their re-election bids.