Sri Lanka vehicle registrations slowed in Feb. 2019 on slowing demand

Mar 18, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka recorded total car registrations at 2,347 units in the month of February 2019 significantly down from 3,147 units the previous month and significantly down from 5,024 units 12 months ago, new data shows.

Brand new motor cars recorded 434 units in February marginally up from 429 units the previous month but significantly down from 773 units 12 months ago, data compiled by JB Securities equities research shows.

‘small engine cars accounted for 76.3 percent of volumes,’

‘Indian OEMs are yet to produce cars with Euro 4 compliant engines and dual airbags thus they are excluded from the market. Financing share was 50.2 percent in line with the normal monthly average.’

The new report said pre-owned motor cars recorded 1,913 units in February down from 2,718 units the previous month but significantly down from 4,251 units 12 months ago.

Small engine cars (< 1,000cc) accounted for 90.2 percent of volumes.

Toyota was the segment leader accounting for 890 units (Vitz 740) followed by Suzuki with 799 units (Wagon R 533). Financing share was 56.7 percent in line with the normal monthly average.

Premium motor cars recorded 111 units in Feb marginally down from 113 units the previous month and 188 units 12 months ago.

The new segment accounted for 55 units – Mercedes Benz accounting for 39 units of which 37 units were C class cars that probably are vehicles bought on permits – the lead time from order to delivery was almost 4 months hence the reason why they are appearing in Feb registrations although the permits were suspended in Oct for new L/Cs.

The pre-owned segment accounted for 56 units, BMW accounted for 21 units (3-series 10) followed by Audi for 19 units (A1 7, A3 9) and Mercedes Benz for 15 units.

Amongst notable premium car registrations for the month is a Bentley Continental GT that we estimate to have a cost of Rs 75 mn.

Electric vehicles recorded 7 units in Feb slightly up from 4 units the previous month but down from 23 units 12 months ago.

SUVs recorded 534 units in Feb sharply down from 735 units the previous months but up from 464 units 12 months ago. Brand new units account for 292 units, the balance 242 units are preowned. Of the total for the month 462 units are crossovers with engines less than 1,500cc with the balance being large engine vehicles.

Toyota was the category leader accounting for 148 units (C-HR 88) followed by Honda with 101 units and Mitsubishi with 64 units (Eclipse 31, Expander 33). In the premium segment Audi recorded 39 units (Q2 36) followed by Range Rover with 21 units (Sports 16).

Hybrids recorded 953 units in Feb witnessing a decline from 1,232 units the previous month and a steep decline from 2,685 units 12 months ago. Motor cars accounted for 892 units (brand new 170, preowned 722) down from 1,140 units the previous month – Suzuki accounted for 785 units making up the bulk of them. SUVs recorded 60 units and Vans 1 unit.

Vans recorded 468 units in Feb down from 550 units the previous month and 791 units 12 months ago. Mini vans (engines less than <1,000 cc) account for 84.6 percent. Suzuki is the category leader with a 52.7 percent share. Financing share was 64.1 percent in line with the normal monthly average.

Three-wheelers recorded 1,341 units in Feb down from 1,706 units the previous month and 1,471 units 12 months ago. Bajaj is dominant in the category with a 92.5 percent share. Financing share was 67.7 percent in line with the normal monthly average.

2-wheelers recorded 23,165 units in Feb down from 28,114 units the previous month and 27,812 units 12 months ago. Scooters recorded 15,120 units in Jan down from 18,206 units the previous month. Honda dominated the scooter segment with a 48 percent share and 40.6 percent overall share followed by TVS with 18.7 percent, Yamaha with 16.6 percent and Bajaj with 13.8 percent. Financing share was 74 percent in line with the normal monthly average.

Pickup trucks recorded 134 units in Feb down from 159 units the previous month and 145 units 12 months ago. Tata and Toyota each claimed a segment share of approximately 44 percent. Financing share was 50.7 percent.

Mini trucks recorded 179 units in Feb down from 250 units the previous month and significantly down from 387 units 12 months ago. Tata continued to be the segment leader claiming a 79.3 percent share. Financing share was 79.3 percent in line with the declining trend.

Light trucks recorded 225 units in January down from 302 units the previous month and 241 units 12 months ago. Mahindra was the segment leader with a 86.6 percent share. Financing share was 82.7 percent in line with the normal monthly average.

Medium trucks recorded 164 units in January down from 283 units the previous month and significantly down from 388 units 12 months ago. Isuzu continued to be the market leader accounting for 96 units (58.5 percent segment share). Financing share was 80.5 percent in line with the declining trend.

Heavy trucks recorded 137 units in January down from 219 units the previous month and 328 units 12 months ago. Tata remained the segment leader accounting for 79 units (57.6 percent share). Financing share was 70.8 percent.

Buses recorded 90 units in Feb down from 136 units the previous month and significantly down from 252 units 12 months ago. Financing share was 84.4 percent.

Hand tractors recorded 196 units in Feb down from 354 units the previous month and 219 units 12 months ago. Financing share was 46.9 percent.

Large tractors recorded 217 units in Feb slightly up from 213 units the previous month but significantly down from 344 units 12 months ago. Tafe is the market leader accounting for 97 units (44.7 percent share). Financing share was 75.1 percent.

Ambulances recorded 93 units in Feb slightly down from 137 units the previous month and zero 12 months ago. Ford accounted for 114 units up from 93 units the previous month.

The Ford ambulances have been procured by the health ministry primarily for transport of patients between hospitals, in contrast Suva Seriya ambulances are first responders and use Tata vehicles – an obvious question that comes to mind is would not Tata ambulances that have proven their mettle and have access to an island wide service network be a superior value proposition.

The previous month figure also includes 20 Mercedes Benz sprinter 315 vans configured as ambulances that were a gift from the German government to Sri Lanka.