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Sri Lanka Mitsubishi agent launches Mirage compact car
21 Feb, 2013 14:40:19
Feb 21, 2013 (LBO) - United Motors Plc, agents for Mitsubishi in Sri Lanka launched a 1.2 litre engined Mirage car into an auto market that has been dented by a tax-hike, high interest rates and currency depreciation.
"We are not very ambitious with the current taxation and where the yen is," managing director Chanaka Yatawara told LBO.

"The yen is still strong though it has weakened a little bit. So we hope to sell about 150 to 175 units a year."

United Motors Sri Lanka launches Mitsubishi Mirage

Sri Lanka raised car taxes last year after the exchange rate came under pressure due to bank credit taken to manipulate petroleum and power prices.

Registrations of small Maruti/Suzuki cars plunged to 190 in January 2013 from 1,213 a year earlier. But luxury BMW registrations soared 280 percent in the same month, which industry analysts say has been imported with tax-slashed permit given to state workers.

The Mitsubishi Mirage, hatchback which promises 21 kilometres a litre under test conditions and at least 15 kilometres in Sri Lankan driving conditions is priced at 3.5 million rupees.

United Motors says the car, with remotely controlled locks, anti-lock breaking, airbags, safety-focused construction offered with manual and automatic transmission options as well as hybrid is above similar engine sized models and has features found in larger subcompacts.

In the year to March 2012, United Motors made profits of 2.2 billion rupees. In the 9-months to December the firm made 1.58 billion rupees with the December quarter clocking up at 623 million rupees.

"This year is not bad year for us because the first half of the year was good," Yatawara said.

"So I think we would not do better than last year but we would get close even under these difficult circumstances," Yatawara said.

"The next financial year will be a big challenge."

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