Vehicle prices to increase by 10 - 15 % next year: Importers

The prices of vehicles would increase next year by 10 to 15 percent, the Vehicle Importers Association said.

“The present vehicle sales have come down by 60 percent due to unpredictable market bahaviour in the country,” Vehicle Importers
Association Lanka (VIAL) President Indika Sampath Merenchige said.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror due to the significant depreciation of the Sri Lankan Rupee against the US Dollar and the unstable political situation, the vehicle prices would increase in at a higher rate, he said.

“We cannot make predictions but with the Rupee depreciation vehicle prices cannot be controlled by whoever comes to office,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Ceylon Motor Trader Association (CMTA) President Sheran Fernando said due to the uncertainty of the budget, they were facing significant problem of how to proceed in terms of the commitments they had given to their principals.

The CMTA mainly consists of brand new vehicles, while the VIAL imports mostly reconditioned vehicles.

He said their membership with the vehicle manufacturers was facing difficulty due to the uncertainty prevalent at the present time.

“Initially the 200 percent of cash deposit on Letter of Credit and the significant depreciation of the rupee caused a huge downfall of the vehicle imports,” Fernando said.

VIASL Chairman Ranjan Peiris said the total vehicle sales in the country had come down by 60 percent.

“People seem to be hoping the new Government’s moves would bring vehicle prices,” he said.

“We were used to import vehicles from Japan, UK, Australia and Thailand. Depending on the exchange rate fluctuation the vehicle prices would be increased,” he said. (Chaturanga Samarawickrama)