Jan 18, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new vehicle registrations fell 44.8 percent to 25,308 in December 2012, with new registrations of small Maruti and Suzuki cars down 64 percent and BMW cars up 161 percent, data compiled by JB Securities equities research shows. BMWs are believed to be imported on tax-slashed permits given to state workers. There is an active secondary market it tax slashed permits.
New motor car registrations were down 54 percent to 1,464 in December from a year earlier, but were up from the low of 1,073 hit in September.
Three wheeler registrations were down 44 percent to 7,000 units. After falling as low as 3,533 units in May 2012, 3-wheeler registrations recovered to 8,060 in November.
Small (hand) tractor sales were down 56 percent to 886.
New light truck ownership were back at levels seen in 2011, before a balance of payments crisis hit Sri Lanka’s monetary system.
Light truck registrations were down 6 percent to 1,780 in December from a year earlier.
Sri Lanka ran into a balance of payments crisis in mid 2011 when large volumes of credit taken to manipulate energy tariffs were accommodated with central bank credit.
In February 2012, energy tariffs and interest rates were hiked and the rupee was floated