Outright sale also mulled :
Car Mart looks for strategic investor
Motor giant-Car Mart, General Sales Agents in Sri Lanka for Peugeot,
Mazda and formerly for Volkswagen and a long standing private limited
liability corporate of the Clarence Amarasinghe family, is looking for a
strategic investor, top market sources told Daily News Business
They also said that Car Mart is also mulling an outright sale in the
event of some prospective buyer offering what they described as the
These sources pointed out that the tangible reason for Car Mart’s
search and quest for the strategic partner is the plummeting of the
sales and also over-riding debt which has affected the viability of the
company in the light of the current depressed market conditions which
has affected the premium brands of the company and especially Peugeot.
The drop in sales is also in the context of even the sales of the
cheaper Indian brands falling. A Consultant explained the position of
the company to a team of financial consultants though no finality has
been reached on the strategic partner or an imminent sale. However,
sources point out that the company needs financial injection
However, when contacted by Daily News Business, Car Mart Managing
Director/CEO Senaka Amarasinghe denied the outright sale or the quest
for a strategic partner but conceded that sales were down.
Amarasinghe, who is also the incumbent Chairman of the Colombo Motor
Traders’ Association (CTMA) said that all motor car companies which were
agents were having drawbacks in the sales due to the fuel prices and
also due to extended reasons of global recession. Meanwhile, Car Mart
Sales Manager ( Commercial Vehicles) Manjula Navaratne said that the
sales were normal and that there was no serious drop in the segment he
handles and that the company was to launch the Mazda pick up truck and
model BT - 50 in the local market soon.
However, Car Mart’s Sales Manager (Passenger Car Sales) Charu
Seneviratne said that the prospects were bleak especially for Peugeot in
the current market context with prospective buyers not willing to go for
He said that the Peugeot sales peaked between six and eight per month
for all models but right now had dipped to three or less.
He attributed the dip to a multitude of reasons and especially the
unpractical duty structures. “This is an absurd situation where the CIF
(Cost Insurance and Freight) price of the car is Rs. 1.5 million but
with the duty, the sales price comes to a staggering Rs. 8 million” He
said that albeit Japanese cars (Mazda) being relatively cheaper in price
vis- a- vis the European cars (Peugeot) the appreciation of the Yen had
also hit the Mazda sales.
“We were selling between 15 and 20 Mazda cars per month but the sales
have dropped to around five a month and the picture for the future is
absolutely bleak,” he said.