Indiaâ€™s Mahindra eyes making small car with Sri Lankaâ€™s Ideal Motors
ECONOMYNEXT – The joint venture assembly plant to be set up by Indian automaker Mahindra and Mahindra Limited (M&M) with Sri Lanka’s Ideal Motors will most likely make a small passenger car for the rural mark, officials said.
Total investment in the project will be around Rs2.5 – 3 billion, said Nalin Welgama, founder and Executive Chairman of Ideal Group, the sole authorized distributor for Mahindra vehicles and motor cycles in Sri Lanka.
The joint venture, in which M&M has said it will invest up to Rs250 million, is in the final stages of deciding on the vehicle which will be designed by M&M.
The plant will be set up in the Kalutara district with production likely to start by November or December this year, Welgama told a news conference.
“The first products might not be an LCV (light commercial vehicle) but a small car,” Welgama said.
“It has to be a small car at an affordable price to the market. Studies show we can sell at least 100 cars a month in the first year,” he said.
Sanjay Jadhav, Mahindra and Mahindra’s Vice President, Head of international operations (South Asia), said sales of their vehicles were good because of the focus on after sales service in their partnership with Ideal Group.
“Ideal Motors has an excellent network across the island to serve customers which is helping us do better. We are now taking this relationship to the next level with the assembly plant.”
With over 65,000 Mahindra vehicles in Sri Lanka, mainly in rural areas, and a good after sales service, the joint venture is confident of being able to sell its new product, Welgama said.
“We should be able to touch those areas, not particularly in the Western province. We are very strong in the after-market – that’s our mainstay, why we reached meteoric gains with our products. We will be catering mainly to the rural sector.
In Sri Lanka, Mahindra through its Bolero Maxi truck dominates the light truck market.
(COLOMBO, April 04, 2018)