Mahindra opens first assembly unit in Sri Lanka

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Goenka observed that achieving a turnaround was crucial for India's automotive industry during the ongoing festive season

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd., the automotive arm of the Mahindra Group, has started operations at its first assembling plant in Sri Lanka, jointly with local firm Ideal Motors.

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) claims it is the first major passenger vehicle assembly unit in Sri Lanka with local sourcing.

The plant will initially produce KUV100 mini SUVs, but the production line could be re-jigged to assemble other models as well Ideal Motors Deputy Chairman Aravida de Silva had said. "Sri Lanka is a key strategic market for us and we are now fully equipped to deliver products customised to local needs, on time", Mahindra & Mahindra Managing Director Pawan Goenka said. Five thousand capacity is just the beginning.

The unit will have an installed yearly capacity of up to 5,000 units and will provide direct and indirect employment to about 200 people over the next two years.

He added that with the Sri Lankan government promoting use of electric vehicles, the company hopes to be able to make a huge contribution to electric mobility in the island nation.

Mahindra Ideal Lanka will source four components locally - battery, tyres, seats and exhaust.

Nalin Welgama, the chairman of Ideal Motors, said Ideal and Mahindra have been partnering each other for a decade to deliver value to the customers of Sri Lanka.

Annually 36,000 units are sold in Sri Lanka, of which only 20 per cent of 7000 units are new cars and balance sales comes from Used vehicle market, which is locally called as reconditioned auto market. However, the new vehicles market accounts for only 20 per cent of the overall sales, whereas the remaining 80 per cent is reconditioned or used vehicles mainly imported from Japan. More than 75,000 Mahindra vehicles ply on the roads here and we have a strong network of 400 touchpoints across the country, thanks to Ideal Motors.

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