Sixteen months after Mahindra & Mahindra entered into a JV with Ideal Motors of Sri Lanka, a Mahindra vehicle distributor for nearly a decade, to assemble automobiles in that country, the company today inaugurated its first automotive assembly plant in Sri Lanka, at Welipenna, near Colombo, Sri Lanka.
Christened Mahindra Ideal Lanka, this assembly plant is in collaboration with Ideal Motors of Sri Lanka. The assembly plant today rolled out its first product, the KUV100 SUV and will roll out a slew of products over the next 3 years.
Mahindra is one of the leading automotive players in the Sri Lankan market and has been present in the country for over 10 years. Mahindra Ideal Lanka will initially assemble the KUV100 (petrol K6+ variant), followed by other variants, with a production capacity of 5,000 units per annum. Mahindra Ideal Lanka will localise 4 components: battery, tyres, seats and exhaust. The plant is expected to provide employment to around 200 people directly and indirectly over the next couple of years. Mahindra says it has an on-ground team to focus on the needs of Sri Lankan consumers with a local office in Colombo.
The CKD assembly plant was inaugurated in the presence of Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe, his Cabinet of Ministers, Malik Samarawickrama, Indian High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Dr. Pawan Goenka, Managing Director, M&M Ltd, Arvind Mathew, Chief of International Operations, M&M Ltd and other dignitaries.
Assembly operation of the KUV100 begins at Mahindra Sri Lanka.
Image: Nalin Welgama/Twitter
Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Pawan Goenka, MD, Mahindra & Mahindra, said, “Inauguration of this automotive assembly plant is a significant milestone for Mahindra’s foray into the Sri Lanka market. Sri Lanka is a key strategic market for us and we are now fully equipped to deliver products customised to local needs, on time. I would like to thank the government of Sri Lanka for their unstinted support and am very optimistic that this new assembly plant will not only add to industrial growth in the country but will also generate significant employment opportunities at our plant and at the supplier’s end."
Arvind Mathew, Chief of International Operations, Mahindra & Mahindra, added, “Our partnership with Ideal Motors over the years has gone from strength to strength as we draw upon mutual synergies for a win-win association. I am confident that this new assembly plant will further maximise industrial activities, speed up operational effectiveness and enable us to serve our customers better in Sri Lanka”.
Nalin Welgama, chairman of Ideal Motors, said, “Ideal Motors and Mahindra have been partnering each other for a decade to deliver value to the customers of Sri Lanka. Today’s inauguration signals the epitome of our dream and ambition, which was to assemble a passenger vehicle locally, by partnering with an auto major like Mahindra known for its tough and rugged DNA. This new partnership will enable Sri Lanka to ‘Rise’ and manifest its glory through the ‘Made in Sri Lanka’ route”
“We in Sri Lanka can now proudly join an elite list of recognised car assemblers around the world,” said deputy vhairman Ideal Motors, Aravinda de Silva. "With this local assembly unit, we will now be able to deliver products in reduced time and at more affordable prices. This plant, a project of national importance will definitely encourage investment in manufacturing and development, to further the country’s economic upliftment”.
Ideal Motors retails several Mahindra products ranging from two- and four-wheelers through to trucks and buses. It even has a Mahindra Training Centre.
Ideal Motors even has a Mahindra Technical Training Centre, equipped with modern training equipment and tools. Image courtesy: Ideal Motors