Just Cruising

Feb13 (LBO) – Luxury car importers DIMO Lanka says a hefty 214 percent tax on high engine capacity vehicle imports has not slowed down sales significantly. Since October 2004 the government has repeatedly increased import duties on motor vehicles, now totalling to 214 percent on a new car with an engine capacity above 1800 CC.

Duties were raised to plug dwindling foreign reserves and curb the country’s excessive fuel usage.

Industry watchers say the taxes have cut sales in mid-range vehicles, but have had little impact on the high-end luxury car market.

Manager Chrysler Jeep Tharanga Gunawardena said Monday that the local agency is selling an average six Cherokee and Grand Cherokee Jeeps that carry a price tag of between Rs. 6.9 million and Rs. 10.3 million.

DIMO on Monday also launched the new Chrysler 300C car, competing with the likes of the Audi A6, Volvo S80 and the Mercedes E Class.

The agency had already sold 20 cars by the launch on Monday, despite the Rs. 9.2 million price tag, said Gunawardena.

Gunawardena added that the Chrysler 300C, which comes fully loaded with the latest technology toys including both automa