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Owners of Wagon R cards in Sri Lanka may have to drive without mirrors

Sri Lanka's low forex reserves hits car spare part market

Amid an acute financial crisis in Sri Lanka, demand for side mirrors of Suzuki’s Wagor R is on the rise. But as the cash strapped island nation imposed bans on imports of several non essential items, spare parts of cars have become scarce.

"Everyone is looking for Wagon R parts," Reuters quoted Supun Deshak, a salesperson engaged with a dealer selling reconditioned spare parts as saying.

The fuel efficient yet humble Wagon R is among the most popular cars in Sri Lanka. About 30,000 Wagon Rs have been sold in Sri Lanka in the last four years.

Also read: Covid batters Sri Lanka–drop in tourism, expat remittances force Colombo to seek the IMF's 'advice'

 The scramble highlights rising economic risks for the South Asian country as imports slump, foreign exchange reserves plummet and a potential sovereign default looms, Reuters said in its report.

According to the Ceylon Motor Trader Association, imports of spare parts for cars could drop by almost 30 per cent in value terms during the current financial year.

Sri Lanka’s depleting foreign exchange reserves has become a cause for concern among the global investors. Colombo will have to make a $1 billion bond repayment in July. While the island nation would be required to pay about $7 billion this year comprising interest and debt repayments, its foreign reserves are currently around $3 billion.