India's Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. is considering opening a vehicle assembly plant in Sri Lanka to cater to both the local and export market of their vehicles, a top official said on Wednesday.
Anand Mahindra, Vice-Chairman Mahindra Group, told a press conference in Colombo just before returning to India that this has been on the drawing board for some time. "...but now with the local market share of the vehicles steadily increasing and with the projections of sales coming in, it is now an opportune time to consider setting this in motion," he said.
“Having a market share of over 4,000 vehicles in Sri Lanka and the response of the one ton pickup compact truck, we hope to add new products to the range in the near future,” said Ramesh Iyer, Managing Director Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services Ltd.
He said Chennai emerging as the Detroit of India; Sri Lanka could position itself within that circumference as an assembly point for both local sales and as a re-export point to neighbouring countries.
“With the duty being brought down last year to almost half of what it was we have evaluated this project which we will be actively considering. This will be for local sales and taking our products to neighbouring countries as well. With the local number of vehicles increasing there is an opportunity for a local assembly here,” Mr Iyer added .
Having already established itself in the local market as leading seller of tractors and utility vehicles the group is now planning to further expand its operations in Sri Lanka, he added. Sri Lanka being a strategic market for the Mahindra group it is looking to expand its operations to other sectors of business of the group. The emphasis will be now on venturing into the hospitality and the financial sectors in Sri Lanka.