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.
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“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.”
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.