Lanka’s vehicle population one of the highest in region
Sanjeewa Kasthuriratne, Head of Business and Danushka Walpola, Deputy General Manager, Ideal First Choice, Nalin Welgama, Founder and chairman, Ideal group, Chaminda Wanigaratne, Director, Ideal Motors, Ideal First Choice, Gagan Mathur, Head – Business Development-Cluster Markets, Gulf Lubricants India and Vipin Ohri, Deputy General Manager, Lanka Ashok Leyland.
Sri Lankan vehicle population is one of the highest in the region averaging more than one vehicle for a family while in India its around one vehicle for 10 families said Director Ideal First Choice and Ideal Motors, Chaminda Wanigaratne, “Also the vehicle import ban also has many advantages.”
He said that the Sri Lankan vehicle population is around 8.5 million (50% three and two wheelers) and there are around 6.5 million families which makes an average of more than one vehicle for a family. He also disclosed that there are around 85,000 vehicles owned by the public sector and surprisingly around 50% of them are underutilized. “Due to the import ban we now observe that most of the government institutions are now taking steps to utilize these vehicles and we observe them ‘brought to garages’ for repairs.
In addition, the public too is now keen to repair their unused vehicles and this is resulting in a spare part boom which in turn resulted in many Indian automobile component manufacturing companies moving into Sri Lanka.”
He said that the vehicle import ban has also created an increased demand for their local assembled Mahindra vehicles.
Ideal Group holds the co-ownership of Sri Lanka’s first automotive manufacturing plant in Welipenna, which is a product of the joint venture between Ideal Group and India’s automotive giant, Mahindra and Mahindra.
He also said that Gulf Oil, a part of the Hinduja Group, one of the largest diversified groups in the world, has appointed Ideal First Choice as Sri Lanka’s national distributor.
“In 2008, the government in order to introduce lubricants to the local market, liberalized the market place giving opportunities to the private sector to introduce various lubricant brands to Sri Lanka.
Subsequently in 2010, the automotive industry was re energized and the availability of hybrid vehicles in the market also attracted a large number of customers.
Due to this, the demand for lubricants increased and accordingly we have introduced Gulf Oil which can provide high quality performance to customers.”
Founder and Chairman, Ideal group, Nalin Welgama, said world leaders were keen to promote Electric vehicles and this was a hot topic at the UN Climate Summit Glasgow 2021. “while former US President Trump was not too keen on promoting electric vehicles (EV) , current President Joe Bidden is a keen promoter of this concept and climate change. “Sri Lanka too will move EV towards soon.”
APAC, Gulf Oil and MD & CEO, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd Ravi Chawla, President. said, “The country consumes about 64,000 kilo liters of lubricants annually. 68% of this is used for automobiles and the remainder for industrial lubricants and greases. We aim to provide consumers with high quality lubricants for the automotive and industrial sectors. I am sure this partnership will grow to benefit the industry.”
Head – Business Development-Cluster Markets, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Ltd, Gagan Mathur, commented on the new collaboration, “The Company is extremely glad that we are able to introduce Gulf Oil Lubricants to the Sri Lankan market by partnering with Ideal Group. With the support of Ideal Group we will provide a bona fide choice that will allow consumers to edge ahead with high performance oriented products.”