The local vehicle import market has recorded a 215 percent growth (on value terms), increasing from Rs. 37 billion in 2009 to Rs.117 billion in 2010, according to a publication complied by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce (CCC).
India continues to dominate the Sri Lankan vehicle import market with a share of over 50% followed by Japan accounting for 30%. The demand for small vehicles is robust.
In terms of quantity imported, motor cycles and auto trishaws surpass all other types of vehicles. Each year, Sri Lanka imports over 100,000 motorcycles (of engine capacity 50 cc – 250 cc).
In 2010, the number of motor cycles imported shows an exceptional growth of 97%, and it has been for the first time the number imported exceeded 200,000. Sri Lanka imports nearly 40,000 auto trishaws each year, but in 2010 the numbers grew by 194% with imports exceeding 80,000 auto trishaws (petrol).
There has been an increase in demand for diesel auto trishaws in 2010 as well, which recorded a phenomenal growth of 427%, starting from a low base of over 1000 trishaws in 2009 to over 7000 in 2010.
Small passenger cars (of engine capacity less than 1000 cc) are also in big demand. The number imported in 2010 exceeded 12,000. The demand for small vehicles for the transport of goods (g.v.w. below 5 tonnes) is also on the rise, and in 2010 recorded a growth rate of 480%.
Reflecting the rapid growth in the agriculture sector, the agriculture tractors imported in 2010 recorded a growth of 152%.
India continues to dominate the market for small vehicles. Japan still retains its position when it comes to vehicles with higher engine capacity.
For example, Japan accounts for over 80% of the vehicle market for passenger vehicles with an engine capacity between 1000-1500 cc. However, South Korea has overtaken Japan in supplying passenger vehicles with an engine capacity between 1500 cc to 2000 cc in 2010 accounting for over 60% of imports.
The publication provides a detailed breakdown of vehicle imports to Sri Lanka by type of vehicle, value, number and the country of origin for the period 2005-2010. It gives a valuable insight into the vehicle import market in Sri Lanka, and will be of interest to vehicle importers, insurance companies, leasing companies and banks.