Business Times

Plans high-tech car service plant, ventures into caravan tourism

DIMO bullish on cars
By Duruthu Edirimuni Chandrasekera

Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO) on the back of launching local sales of the TATA Nano car last week is gearing for another first in the industry -- a futuristic DIMO Technological Centre for both their TATA passenger and Mercedes Benz cars, according to officials.

“We bought the former Ferntea company land at Thotalanga near Peliyagoda at nearly Rs. 680 million to put up a state-of-the-art showroom service centre and a park for TATA passenger as well as Mercedes Benz cars,” an official told the Business Times on the sidelines of a media conference to launch TATA Nano.

He said stage one of this plant which will cater to TATA passenger cars will be ready by December, while stage two, which will be ready by next year will house Mercedes Benz cars. The official noted that DIMO has plans to expand into the leisure sector with transport logistics. “We’ll be introducing caravans soon,” he said, explaining that this will be to fulfill the alternate accommodation for hotels on the back of the tourism boom. With hotel rooms expected to be expensive, the company plans to promote caravans which tourists can commute as well as lodge in.

He also added that the land in front of the DIMO head office at Jetawana Road, Colombo 14 which they own will be turned into a commercial vehicle facility. “It will house our showrooms and sales facility,” he said. Explaining DIMO’s latest car sale, he said that TATA Nano was commercially launched in India on March 2009. “It offers an incredibly spacious passenger compartment which can comfortably seat four adults and is priced at Rs 800,000 to Rs 1 million.”

Managing Director – India Operations, TATA Motors, P. M. Telang, addressing the media said that TATA Motors range of passenger and commercial vehicles have received an overwhelming response in Sri Lanka and that the TATA Nano, an innovation marvel, will garner a similar reception. DIMO CEO Ranjith Pandithage said that the company is also preparing to provide a strong service platform for the new TATA models which were launched, which will enable the company to maintain its long-built reputation for highly commended service. It will soon be expanding its branch network to encompass more areas in the country, along with its existing branches in Akkaraipattu, Ambalangoda, Amparai, Anuradhapura, Colombo, Dambulla, Embilipitiya, Jaffna, Kandy, Kurunegala, Matara, Puttalam, Ratnapura, Vavuniya and Yakkala.

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