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New plant planned to Hambantota:

Fortune 500 car manufacturer enters Sri Lanka

Geely, the Fortune 500 Chinese automotive multinational that now owns 100% of Sweden’s Volvo and part produces the famed London’s black taxi cabs, is entering Sri Lanka.

“We warmly welcome Geely to Sri Lanka. Geely’s entry in collaboration with our ‘Sri Lankan pride’ Micro Cars will significantly enhance our automotive industry’s profile but more importantly, shows that Sri Lanka has won the confidence of the giant global automotive manufacturing industry” said Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce yesterday.


Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce extreme right) inspects a model of a Geely Car gifted to him by Martin Xiang, visiting Director of Geely, Shanghai (second from left) as Rabin Wang (Geely Project Specialist-far left) and Dr. Lawrence Perera (Chairman - Micro Cars Ltd, third from right) look on.

Minister Bathiudeen announced this in the aftermath of the courtesy call (followed by in-depth discussions) made on him by the special investment team of Shanghai’s Geely International Corporation led by Martin Xiang, Director of Geely, at the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Colombo.

The $ 23.3 billion (revenues, 2011), Geely entered the Fortune Global 500 list at 475 last July and is considered as one of China’s fastest growing car makers, holding part ownership of famed black taxis of London and owning 100% of Sweden’s Volvo. Geely also owns the Australian automatic transmission supplier Drivetrain Systems International.

“We are the third largest Chinese car brand in China and seventh ranking in overall Chinese automotive market. Apart from China, we also have production bases in Russia, Ukraine and Egypt” revealed Martin Xiang, Director of Geely.

“We have realized that Sri Lanka has become a key market but more importantly, a manufacturing hub in the South Asia for car makers, especially due to its strategic placement. We are now working towards a Joint Venture initiative with Sri Lanka’s Micro Cars Ltd.

We want to use Sri Lanka as our production hub and to export to South Asia and the Far East from here. We want to assemble here first and later we want to start total manufacturing processes.

Initially we are considering an assembly line with $ 20 million in shared investment with Micro Cars and 500 new employment in automotive manufacturing. Our new plant is being planned in Hambantota.

We are trying to start work on making the factory from mid 2013 and complete Phase I by end of 2014 so that we can roll-out the first car in January 2015.

We also believe that we can convert and equip Sri Lankan workers with true automotive manufacturing skills” Xiang said.

A highly pleased Dr. Lawrence Perera (Chairman, Micro Cars Ltd) said: “Micro Cars has come a long way in Sri Lanka and now it is also a global name which is why China’s number three Geely is joining hands with Micro Cars as a JV to start in Hambanthota to export to South Asia and the Far East. Phase I overall cost is approximately around $ 28 million of which Micro Cars will be investing a minimum of $ 10 million.”

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