Sri Lanka vehicle registrations fall further in February: JB Securities

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Apr 03, 2017 (LBO) – Sri Lanka vehicle registrations in February fell sharply on the back of measures to tighten credit, with motor car registrations recording 2,148 units, down from 3,079 units the previous month, JB Securities said in a research note.

The figure is off a high of 14,544 in September of 2015.

Three-wheelers recorded 903 units, down from 3,327 units the previous month — the category of vehicles hardest hit because the LTV ratio was reduced to 25 percent. Mini trucks recorded 298 units down from 766 units 12 months ago after a tripling of excise duty in the budget.

In the brand new segment of motor cars, registrations were 786 units down from 1,149 units the previous month.

Maruti cars recorded 213 units down from 525 units 12 months ago, compared with a high in Sep 2015 of 8,029 units.

Datsun only posted 33 units down from 84 units and Renault posted 25 units down from 76 units the previous month – both these cars are manufactured at the same plant in Chennai.

Micro posted 166 units claiming the second highest share for the month. Financing share was 51.5% down from 67.1% clearly indicative of the 50% LTV rule coming into full force.

Pre-owned motor car registrations recorded 1,362 units down from 1,831 units 12-months ago.

Toyota was the market leader recording 727 units down from 1,060 units the previous month followed by Suzuki with 373 units and Honda with 202 units. Financing share was 49.2% way below the previous months 61.4%.

Premium motor cars recorded 54 new units and 17 pre-owned units for the month down from 67 and 35 units in comparison with the previous month respectively. Except for a Mercedes Benz C180s an entry level prestige car almost all other brands have recorded meagre numbers.

Electric cars recorded 26 units in the month down from 40 units the previous month and significantly down from 156 units 12 months ago. Nissan Leaf recorded 20 units down from 26 units the previous month.

SUVs recorded 361 units in the month down from 434 units the previous month. Honda was the market leader recording 191 mainly through its crossover Vezel followed by Toyota recording 59 units – 32 Prados and 19 Toyota Land cruisers probably imported on MP permits.

Hybrids recorded 1,303 units down from 1,856 units the previous month. In the car segment Toyota recorded 492 units (Aqua – 168 units, Axio – 293 units and Prius 22) followed by Suzuki with 360 units (Wagon R – 280) and Honda with 201 units (Grace 95, Fit 96).

Vans recorded 519 units down from 627 units the previous month but up from 364 units 12 months ago. Suzuki through its mini van recorded 318 units followed by Toyota with 85 units and Nissan with 57 units. Financing share was 67.1%.

Two-wheelers recorded 23,319 units, down from 31,158 units the previous month, but up from 21,646 units 12 months ago.

Honda is the brand leader claiming an overall share of 36.2% (61.5% Scooter share) followed by Bajaj with 22.5% (0% scooter share), TVS with 13.7% (14.3% scooter share), Hero with 11.8% (12.78% scooter share) and Yamaha with 9.6% share (10.8% scooter share). There are no imposed LTV ceilings on 2-wheelers.

Pickups recorded 195 units down from 373 units the previous month. Tata is the market leader claiming 50.8% share followed by Toyota with 20%.

Mini trucks recorded 298 units down from 559 units the previous month and 766 units 12 months ago.

In the budget of 2017 a minimum excise tax of Rs 1 million was imposed on goods vehicles — the previous duty was 45% (works out to around Rs 315,000) thus duties tripled — the selling price jumped from Rs 1 million to around Rs 1.8 million which has killed demand.

Financing share was 89.6% in line with its monthly average – there are no LTV restriction on goods vehicles.

Light trucks recorded 267 units down from 509 units 12 months ago. The minimum excise tax of Rs 1 million would also have been a damper on demand.

Medium trucks recorded 167 units slightly up from 155 units the previous month and 138 units 12 months ago. The excise duty is charged on the higher of Rs 1 million or 45% x 1.1 x CIF value, the latter would be higher thus the minimum charge would not have impacted the price, the research note said.

Heavy trucks recorded 134 units slightly up from 129 units the previous month and 123 units 12 months ago. Tata is the market leader accounting for 53.4% share followed by Ashok Leyland with 31.6%.

Buses recorded 339 units up from 330 units the previous month and significantly up from 193 units 12 months ago.

There has been an uptick in used buses namely Mitsubishi Canter and Toyota Coaster which are being used for the tourism industry.