Sri Lanka Full Year 2015: Maruti Alto leads booming market

Suzuki Alto K10 Sri Lanka 2015. Picture courtesy topspeed.inThe Maruti Alto is the best-selling car in Sri Lanka in 2015

* See more detail about the Sri Lankan market by clicking on the title *

After a three-year absence, Sri Lanka is back on BSCB as 2015 marks a milestone year for the local market. Duties have been significantly reduced for smaller and hybrid cars as well as leasing, resulting in the Sri Lankan new car market booming to all-time record levels in 2015. The duty situation is a constantly changing one, as the government is adjusting its measures to a fast-moving market, one of its latest decisions being changing the way the import duty on used cars is calculated and an increase on the duty on hybrid cars. Anticipation of these duty increases has sent the market further up to benefit from low duties before they end.

In 2015 the Sri Lankan market beat its monthly new car registrations volume record twice, lifting it from 4.500 sales during a credit bubble in 2011 to successively 5.999 in May 2015 (+205% year-on-year) then 9.427 in September. October (6.225) and November (6.682) are now the third and second best monthly scores in the history of the Sri Lankan market. At 5.015, December sales places 5th all-time and are up a whopping 159% on the 1.939 units registered in December 2014. It is reported that small cars (< 1,000 cc) account for 95% of new cars registered in December. The total new car market in Sri Lanka is estimated at around 52.000 units in 2015, up from a mere 19.000 in 2014.

Micro Panda Sri Lanka February 2013Micro Panda

Maruti dominates the Sri Lankan market with over 40% share and over 90% of its volume comes from the Alto, the clear favourite in the country as it is in neighbour India. Local publications note that Though theAlto is the country’s best-selling car, observers say they are not very visible on the roads of Colombo, indicating that owners are relatively less well-off and are keeping them home for weekend use. Illustrating the sudden surge of the local market, Maruti sales went from 325 in November 2014 to 1.100 in December 2014, 1.363 in January 2015 and 2.512 in May (41.8% share).

Of note is the local company Micro Motors Limited, which rebadges a range of Chinese models as we detailed in our last Sri Lankan report. The Micro (Geely) Panda sold 325 units in April and 384 in May. Other successful nameplates in Sri Lanka include the Honda Vezel (1.263 sales in January but down to 308 in May). Local analysts report Colombo’s traffic jams packed with hybrids, which are used by relatively well-off people including executives with vehicle and petrol allowances. The Toyota Aqua imported as used from Japan is particularly successful.

Full December 2015 detail with best-sellers by category (small cars, premium, SUV, van, pickup and trucks) below.

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Sri Lanka February 2013: Maruti and Micro on top

Suzuki Alto K10The Maruti Alto should be the best-selling car in Sri Lanka

* See the Top 4 best-selling brands by clicking on the title! Many thanks to Andrea *

Latest overall sales figures for Sri Lanka dated back to 2011, but that was up to today because thanks to Andrea I can now share with you for the very first time on BSCB official info by brand for this country. Exciting times! And even better: the data is very recent. In February 2013, Maruti is the most popular carmaker in the country, however with just 145 sales it is down 24% on January and an embarrassing 89% on February 2012. The Sri Lankan car market seems to indeed have taken a pretty harsh beating over the last 12 months.

Micro MX7 Sri Lanka February 2013bSri Lankan ad for the Micro MX7 (aka Geely MK-2)

In 2nd place with 114 sales, down from 293 in January and from 210 in February 2012, we find the Sri Lankan brand Micro, which I will assume is unknown to most of you dear readers. So a little bit of background. Micro was founded in 1995 and has been assembling CKD kits imported from China and South Korea. For a while the main model in the Micro range was the Trend, launched in 2003 which is in fact a Hafei Brio.

Micro Panda Sri Lanka February 2013Micro Panda

Micro currently sells Geely, Great Wall, Jinbei and SsangYong models as you can see on their website: the MX7 is a Geely MK-2 while the Panda and Panda Cross have kept their Chinese name. We also have the Rexton, Korando, Actyon Sports and Haval H5 while the Great Wall Steed has become the Micro Sports Cab and the Jinbei H2L (aka Toyota Hiace) is assembled and sold as the Micro Tourer.

Other available figures for February 2013 indicate Tata is down 93% year-on-year to 22 registrations and Perodua is down 82% to 69 sales. Overall, Indian vehicles have a 36% market share in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan cars are at 24% and Malaysian vehicles at 15%. German brands are on the up, now holding 14% of the market, with BMW up a whopping 171% year-on-year in February to 46 units.

Previous post: Sri Lanka: One of the Top 10 ‘Emerging engines of growth’

Full February 2013 Top 4 brands Ranking Table below.

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Sri Lanka: One of the Top 10 ‘Emerging engines of growth’

Tata Nano

After Iraq and Myanmar, we continue exploring the ‘Top 10 emerging engines of growth’ as nominated by Business Monitor International and now land in Sri Lanka. My previous Sri Lankan article was based on the observation of the streets of the capital city Colombo through recent YouTube videos and focused on the domination of the Nissan Sunny and the success of the Maruti Alto similarly to neighbouring India.

Honda Brio

I can now share with you overall car sales figures for Sri Lanka over the last few years and the growth is absolutely spectacular: down to 7,000 units in 2009, the Sri Lankan car market is up to 22,000 sales in 2010 and almost 60,000 in 2011! BMI says successful models in the country include the Tata Nano and that the Honda Brio should fit the local consumer’s tastes perfectly when it is launched there next year. BMI also reported that Chinese manufacturer Geely is thinking about a microcar alliance with the local Sri Lankan automotive industry, using the country as an export hub…

Check out more on the BMI website below.

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Sri Lanka: Nissan Sunny continues long-term domination

* Click on title for street scenes! *

The observation of the streets of Colombo through YouTube videos shows a Sri Lankan market inspired by its neighbour India (Maruti Alto definitely in the Top 3), but with strong specificities: the Nissan Sunny seems to have been by far the best selling car in the country for many years.

Other specificities include the Honda Civic, Toyota Vios and Toyota Avanza likely to be in the Top 5. One Indian trait is the Tata Indica also looking like being pretty successful in Sri Lanka.

More pictures below.

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