Ideal Motors’ $ 50m vehicle assembly plant opens in June | Sunday Observer

Ideal Motors’ $ 50m vehicle assembly plant opens in June

 MP Kumara Welgama at the wheel while Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema and former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Nazir Ahamed in the back seat of the Treo at the launch. Pic Vipula Amerasinghe
MP Kumara Welgama at the wheel while Development Strategies and International Trade Minister Malik Samarawickrema and former Chief Minister of the Eastern Province, Nazir Ahamed in the back seat of the Treo at the launch. Pic Vipula Amerasinghe

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., a part of the USD 20.7 billion Mahindra Group, with its Sri Lankan partner Ideal Motors Ltd. will commission the country’s first joint venture vehicle assembly plant in Welipenna in June.

The US$ 50 million facility will assemble passenger vehicles. A 65 per cent stake will be held by Ideal Motors and the remaining by Mahendra & Mahendra Ltd.

The joint venture aims at a value addition of around 35 percent targeting the local market initially and the global market thereafter.

“We will strive for over 35 percent value addition from local component manufacturers along with foreign suppliers to cater to the local market first and then the export market,” Founder and Executive Chairman Ideal Group, Nalin Welgama said.

The operators of the assembly plant target to assemble around 100 units per month and will increase the number according to the need of the market.

“We will stick to around 100 units a month even though we have a higher capacity. However, all lines of the plant will be fully operational with the rise in demand from local and international markets,” Welgama said. The facility aims at creating around 100 direct and 1,000 indirect employment opportunities initially.

Mahendra & Mahendra and Ideal Motors launched its range of BS-4 (Bharat Stage Four) emission norms compliant vehicles in the commercial and bus segments in Colombo last week.

Environment-friendly, improved engine performance and fuel efficiency are some of the key features of the BS-4 range of vehicles.

The Euro 4 standard was introduced in Sri Lanka mid last year slapping a ban on import of vehicles below Euro 4 emission standards.

“We have ensured the presence of BS-4 expert technicians across all our sales and service touch points,” Welgama said

The event also marked the launch of its flagship product, the Mahindra Maxximo Heavy Duty (HD) series, in the commercial vehicles segment and Treo, the first electric three-wheeler for the local market.

Around 65,000 Mahendra vehicles ply on Sri Lankan roads since the partnership between Mahendra and Ideal Group was inked a decade ago.

Chief of International Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. Arvind Mathew said that over the past two decades, Mahindra has established a strong presence in Sri Lanka with trusted partners and a range of new age products. One aspiration of the country is to go all-electric.

“Mahindra has been working towards making the EV segment relevant for the masses. Today, we are delighted to be the first automobile company to unveil an all-electric three-wheeler, the Mahindra Treo, a sustainable choice for the last mile commute, in urban Sri Lanka. The product will be available soon in the market,” Mathew said.

Ideal Motors also unveiled its Mobile Technical Centre last week in line with the introduction of the new BS-4 technology to take the technology to the village which will involve familiarising and training youth on the complete technical management aspects of BS-4.

Ideal Motors’ mobile training concept will be rolled out next month and will initially target at training over 1,000 youth in rural areas within six months, with training at their doorsteps.

According Ideal Motors Group Deputy Chairman Aravinda de Silva, the vehicle industry which has enormous potential to contribute to the economy is going through tough times due to the slow pace in decision-making which stifles the growth of the industry and the welfare of those who depend on it.

“Implementation is crucial for any industry. Transportation is a pivotal cog in any economy. Economies have grown as a result of good transportation. The industry has made many investments and commitments but they would not be of any use if there is no clear policy direction,” de Silva said. 

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