Mahindra and Mahindra confident of growth in Sri Lanka | Sunday Observer

Mahindra and Mahindra confident of growth in Sri Lanka

6 October, 2019
Mahindra XUV500 in the press and body shop at the Chakan plant in Pune
Mahindra XUV500 in the press and body shop at the Chakan plant in Pune

Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., a part of the US$ 20.7 billion Mahindra Group, is upbeat about the Sri Lankan market which has grown remarkably over the years both in the passenger and commercial vehicle segments, with potential for a promising future export market, a top official of the Mahindra Group told journalists during a media tour to the Mahindra facilities in Mumbai last week.

“We are confident of a strong market in Sri Lanka and a steady growth momentum in all our segments of vehicles which has been maintaining a satisfactory market share in the country,” Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., Chief of International Operations, Arvind Mathew said.

Mahindra, a leading automotive player locally and internationally recently set up its assembling facility at Welipenna with its local partner Ideal Motors. The facility in the South will shortly roll out the KUV 100, petrol K6+ variant, to be followed by other variants and brands in the future.

The Indian automotive major opened its US$ 50 million assembly plant in the South in August with an eye on the export market.

On the potential for an export market Mathew said if the Sri Lankan market though not immediately makes financial sense and is cost effective we will certainly go for exports from Sri Lanka.

“We are optimistic about our operations in Sri Lanka having all the support from Ideal Motors which has helped Mahindra to expand its local foot print across the country.

The market in Sri Lanka is looking bright and we are ready to invest more as and when the market requires invites us to do as we invested in an assembly facility at Welipenna,” Mathew said.

Mahindra has been present in Sri Lanka for nearly two decades with its partners such as Ideal Motors for auto and Dimo for tractors with a range of new age products.

Its operations comprise automotives, farm, finance and leisure business. The Group set up its office in Colombo in 2017.

“Our focus in Sri Lanka is not to confine operations to assembly as we already have some assemblers in the country but to help Sri Lanka to get into manufacturing for export that will bring in the foreign exchange the country requires that will enable more employment creation in the future,” Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., Vice President, Head of International Operations, South Asia, Sanjay Jadhav said. The Indian vehicle manufacture is also keen on expanding the electric vehicles segment in to Sri Lanka by offering more to the local market which it considers the future of the automotive industry in the country.

“We have been offering electric cars to the Sri Lankan market for the past two years and have launched the electrical three wheeler to the market as well. We are confident the electric three wheelers will create an impact in promoting electric mobility and environment friendly vehicles in Sri Lanka,” Jadhav said.

Mahindra has been in the forefront in Euro Four migration in Sri Lanka offering Euro 4 compliant vehicles.

“We have developed capacity for the Euro Six standard vehicles and are geared to meet any environmental regulation and standards of any country,” Jadhav said adding that Mahindra has always supported Sri Lanka’s vision towards ‘Green’ automation.

The company is today working towards making the Electric Vehicle segment adoptable for masses and it is the first automobile entity to launch an all-electric three wheeler Mahindra Trio, a sustainable choice for last mile commute in urban Sri Lanka.

Mahindra is also the leader in the Pick-up segment and its small commercial vehicle range comprise Maximo HD and Bolero Pick-up. In the heavy vehicle segment the company recently launched its truck Blazo X.

Today the Mahindra family in Sri Lanka comprise over 75,000 end users and stakeholders. Responding to apprehensions over Indian origin vehicles official of Mahindra said in the commercial space over 90 percent of the vehicles in Sri Lanka are Indian and the market has been recording a steady growth.

However, officials of the Indian automobile manufacturer expressed concerns over lack of stability, clarity and consistency of policy in Sri Lanka which is a stumbling block for growth in the automobile industry in Sri Lanka.

‘Stability and visibility are key factors to any market. However, when we go global we don’t worry too much about the political situation in countries but rather the market potential for automobiles,’ Jadhav said. Since its founding in 1945, the company today enjoys strong presence in agribusiness, aerospace, commercial vehicles, components, defense, logistics, real estate, renewable energy, speedboats and steal.

The company manufactures around 600 units of all its vehicle segments and exports to over 40 countries. Currently its number of employees exceed 2,40, 000 across 100 countries.