Made in Sri Lanka
An affordable car made here from Transmec
TRANSPORT is one of the key infrastructures in any developing
country. In Sri Lanka many people depend on public transport.
Dr Lawrence Perera Chairman/CEO of Transmec Engineering
Today, public transport is in a huge mess and the situation has
become worse when most of them cannot afford their own vehicle due to
Chairman/CEO of Transmec Engineering Ltd Dr Lawrence Perera thought
it is important to manufacture an economical, reliable and small car in
Sri Lanka, which many people can afford. This paved the way for the
birth of the first Sri Lankan made car, named Micro.
Dr Perera said with his 30 years' experience as an automobile
engineer, designing and engineering the car was not new to him. But the
most difficult task was entering into commercial production, which needs
Many banks were reluctant to provide financial assistance for the new
project but Seylan Bank came forward to kick start the business.
In September 2003, Transmec Engineering Ltd stepped into the
manufacturing process in their Polgahawela plant. At present the company
manufactures the Micro privilege car, Micro mini van and their latest
innovation Micro trend.
Our first innovation is the micro privilege car, which is the
cheapest and smallest car in the market. This car can tolerate corrosion
due to its highly composite body.
Pictures by Sumanachandra Ariyawansa
This composite body can minimise the damage in an accident. Micro
privilege comes with an electro galvanised ladder chassis which other
imported cars don't have, he said.
The Mini van consists of a modern engine and management system. Dual
air-condition is one of the special features in the mini van. Micro
Trend comes with features such as power steering, central locking, power
shutters and power mirrors with excellent interior decoration.
Customers can opt for any colour. That is the unique feature of Micro
Micro Trend is available for Rs 600,000 less than a Japanese car with
similar features. Compared with Indian cars, prices are similar but
Micro Trend has got additional features.
They have provided nearly 300 vehicles for the market. The increase
in the waiting list shows the demand for the Micro car.
One of the main features of the Micro car is that it is designed and
manufactured in Sri Lanka.
Nearly 35 percent of Micro Trend has been manufactured in Sri Lanka.
Some main components are imported, Dr Perera said. Dr Perera said that
they have the capability to manufacture these components but the company
needs to invest heavily on the manufacturing process.
Although Micro cars had several inquiries from Europe, USA and
Bangladesh, the company is keen on catering to the local market.
'We need to serve the local market first after that we will consider
about the expansion,' he said. When Dr Perera designed his first car, he
had the fear of promoting the product, among people who appreciate
imported products rather than local ones.
He is confident he can achieve this by offering unique feature for
customer with the quality. They provide two years warranty for their
latest car which other imported cars will not provide. He stressed the
need to be strong enough to compete with the international market.
According to Dr Perera any Government should have consistency in
their policies and it should always protect the local entrepreneur.
"Sri Lanka is a good place for investment. Any investor who expects
to start a business should have his own vision, confidence and capable
of bearing a certain amount of risk", he said. Micro car is a Rs 600
million project and they have already invested Rs 300 million and
recruited nearly 300 employees.
They expect to expand and provide more job opportunities.