23rd February 2011, www.dailynews.lk, By Harshini Perera
Ideal Motors will set up a plant to assemble Mahindra three wheelers and motorcycles for the Sri Lankan market.
“We have purchased another one acre property in Ratmalana to set up an assembly plant which will be utilised to assemble three wheelers and motorcycles. Mahindra motorcycles will be launched in the near future,” Ideal Motors, Chairman Nalin Welgama told Daily News Business.
Mahindra Group together with Ideal Motors will put up a technical college in motor mechanism in the near future. Sri Lanka will train young people who expect a career in motor mechanism. Mahindra Group also has shown interest in investing in the IT and tourism sectors of the country in the future.
Ideal Motors has tied up with an Indian tyre giant, ‘Apollo Tyres’ of India as an authorized distributor to import and distribute passenger, commercial and agri tractor tyres as there is a significant expansion in the vehicle market in Sri Lanka. The new tie up with Apollo will be launched in June and Apollo tyres will be available islandwide. Ideal Motors will launch its new product Mahindra Maximo which will be branded in Sri Lanka as ‘Ideal Lokka’ at the end of March. It will be a light commercial vehicle with the latest CRDE technology and expected to sell around 400 units per month at the initial stage.
Though there was a huge boom in the automobile industry after the tax reduction for passenger vehicles, there was no impact on commercial vehicles.
The interest rates are low for borrowings from commercial banks and hence there is a growth in the market. This will increase the affordability of a vehicle through a finance scheme and buying a vehicle will be much more affordable than earlier.
“We had remarkable growth and profitability for nine months during the financial year 2010 and 2011 and it was 35 percent higher than we forecasted. We will concentrate on going for an initial public offering in three to four years time,” Welgama said. “Since the taxes have come down for dual purpose vehicles and vans (double cabs), we are aggressively marketing Mahindra Double cabs ,” he said.
“We expect to increase the sales dealer network to 36 from current sales dealers of 22 and will appoint fresh network for Mahindra motor cycles and three wheelers”.
“We will tie up with Automobiles Association (AA) of Sri Lanka in providing further customer support for new vehicles. Ideal Motors together with Mahindra & Mahindra will provide technical knowledge, training and diagnostics for these customer support unit which will be set up islandwide,” he said. Anand Mahindra in keeping with his pledge will be holding the Mahindra Annual Blue Chip Conference in Sri Lanka in December this year with a delegation in excess of 1,000 overseas participants.
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