July 17, 2012 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s new vehicle registrations plunged 46 percent to 21,587 in June 2012 from a year earlier, with new three wheelers falling 64 percent an analysis by an equities research unit has shown. An analysis of new vehicle registrations by JB Stockbrokers said new car registrations fell 66 percent to 1,454 in June 2012, from 4,397 a year earlier.
Motor bicycle registrations fell 46 percent to 11,634 in June from 21,833 a year earlier and three wheelers fell 64 percent to 4,134 from 11.630.
Sri Lanka raised taxes on vehicles in February 2012 to prohibitive levels to discourage imports.
Analysts had warned that the move will hit tax revenues widening a budget deficit and putting further pressure on interest rates, the credit system and dollar peg, and delay a recovery from a balance of payments crisis, which is a monetary phenomenon.
To stop currency depreciation authorities have to stop printing money to monetize debt or sterilize foreign exchange sales by raising interest rates.
Lorries (trucks), whose taxes were cut held up better growing 8.96 percent to 2,542 from a year earlier. Lorries were also down from a March peak of 3,425.
Sales of Maruti/Suzuki, who make