Apr 22, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s vehicle registrations rose 4 percent to 26,921 in March 2014 from a year earlier picking up from lull in February with commercial vehicles showing weakness, a research report showed.
More people were buying cars on financing arrangements with the share going up to 57.6 percent from 42.2 percent a year earlier, JB Securities said.
Motor cycle sales were up 19 percent to 15,965 in March from a year earlier. Financing share of motor cycles were also up to 62.3 percent from 56.7 percent a year ealier.
Lease finance rates have eased over the past year with Sri Lanka recovering from a balance of payments crisis, triggered by credit taken by state enterprises from state banks to subsidize energy.
Total registrations fell to 23,199 in February from 27,913 in January with a shorter month and less working days, an analysis of vehicle registry data by J B Securities, a Colombo based brokerage shows.
Motor car registrations were slightly down from a year earlier, with hybrids continuing to lead, and motor cycle sales were up, but many commercial vehicle categories were weak.
Three wheeler sales were down 12 percent to 6,014 in March from a year earlier, though recovering from a slump of 5,264 in February.
JB Securities said financing companies were requiring lower loan to value ratios amid stress in the segment.
Mini trucks (less than one tonne payload) were down 14 percent to 1,000 units from a year earlier, though recovering from 731 units in Febraury, with Indian made products dominating.
There were 527 of Tata Ace units and 416 Mahindra units.
Heavy trucks were down 31 percent to 121. The financing share was down to 67 percent from 80 percent a year earlier. JB Securities said the segment was distressed with a lot of repossessed units in the market dampening sales.
Motor car registrations to 7 percent to 1,694 in March from a year earlier with more than half (894) made up of hybrids. Hybrids were up 88 percent from a year earlier.
Of the total 559 units were Toyota (Aqua and Prius) and 327 units were Honda (Fit).