Automobile

EditorJanuary 17, 2018
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3min260

Hyundai Motor Company, South Korea’s largest automaker, and Grab, the leading on-demand transportation and mobile payments platform in Southeast Asia, announced a strategic partnership that will expand Hyundai’s innovative future mobility services in Southeast Asia.

The strategic partnership will help Hyundai explore new opportunities in the sharing economy and enhance its capability to lead future mobility in one of the world’s fastest-growing markets, Southeast Asia.

The two companies will jointly explore ways to develop and provide innovative services to Southeast Asian customers, including a new mobility service platform that will utilize Hyundai’s eco-friendly models such as the IONIQ Electric.

“Hyundai’s strategic investment in Grab marks the beginning of an exciting new partnership between the two parties, bringing Hyundai one step closer to realizing its vision for future mobility. Grab’s expertise in the Southeast Asian market coupled with Hyundai’s eco-vehicle leadership will bring innovative services to customers,’’ said Dr. Young Cho Chi, Chief Innovation Officer and head of Strategy & Technology Division, which was established last year to spearhead Hyundai’s future innovation. “We will continue expanding collaboration with leading mobility service providers in the world.”

Grab’s Series G financing marks the company’s latest and largest fundraising round and significant investors including Didi Chuxing, SoftBank and Toyota Tsusho have participated in the funding together with Hyundai.

“As we move into the next stage of Grab’s growth, we look forward to collaborating closely with Hyundai to continue innovating new mobility solutions for Southeast Asia. We are pleased to welcome Hyundai to our global network of strategic partners, and we are confident that we have an alliance of strong partners to push forward into Grab’s next phase of long-term growth,” said Anthony Tan, Group CEO and Co-founder of Grab.

Focusing on its ‘open innovation’ spirit, Hyundai has been bolstering its efforts to transform people’s lives with disruptive technologies and services that materialize its visions for future mobility – clean, connected and freedom in mobility. Enhancements in mobility services include car-sharing, -hailing and –pooling, all of which benefit users by freeing them from existing mobility limitations.

Grab operates the largest transportation network in Southeast Asia and is one of the most frequently used mobile platforms in the region with over 3.5 million daily rides. The Grab app has been downloaded onto over 77 million mobile devices, giving passengers access to the region’s largest land transportation fleet comprising over 2.3 million drivers. Grab now offers private car, motorbike, taxi, and carpooling services across 8 countries and 168 cities in Southeast Asia.


EditorJanuary 17, 2018
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4min240

Introducing a novel service concept to the Sri Lankan market, fully integrated auto-care specialists Ultimate Motorworks announced the launch of its first fully-integrated showroom, repair and spare-parts workshop situated at Gangarama Road (Borupana Road), Boralesgamuwa.

Purpose designed and fully-equipped to cater to every repair or service requirement of premium vehicles – both in terms of luxury and high-performance vehicles – Ultimate Motorworks’ new showroom is part of a strategy that prioritizes the delivery of best quality services at a reasonable price.

As a result, the multi-brand professional automobile organization now offers a complete set of services ranging from auto-care and mechanical repair and services to state-of-the-art body repairs, a high quality paint shop, and car detailing services. Ultimate Motorworks’ new facility also includes a genuine spare parts store that can accommodate the needs of a wide variety of vehicles including European and other high-end models.

“Sri Lanka is certainly a very tough and highly competitive market, however there tends to be a lack of diversity in the auto-repair segment, with most only specializing in one vertical. This is where Ultimate Motorworks stands apart from the competition. In addition to offering a complete suite of hassle-free repair services, we also offer a fully-stocked spare parts store that is able to cater to the widest variety of leading automotive brands.

“This integrated concept offers greater convenience to the customer since we are able to offer services to suit any automotive brand. It also allows for faster turn-around time since we have everything required to complete a repair or service within the same premises.

“Combined with a strong focus on customer service, we are confident that Ultimate Motorworks will be able to build trust and develop lasting relationships with all of our valued customers,” Ultimate Motorworks Director Technical & Operations, Upendra Palugaswewa stated.

Ultimate Motorworks’ new workshop includes 10 working bays, enabling multiple operations to be undertaken simultaneously, in order to further enhance turn-around time while offering an experience that is as painless and convenient as possible for the customer.

Rounding out the vertically integrated operations of Ultimate Motorworks is the company’s pristine showroom that showcases some of the very latest Brand-new vehicles, in addition to a host of pre-owned cars offered at competitive prices.

In that regard, Ultimate Motorworks Director Sales & Business Development, Pratheepan Ramanathan, added that the company also undertakes orders for import on request by customers, including personalized options for vehicles imported from Europe and Japan from reputed and reliable vehicle suppliers, while all cars sold by Ultimate will be backed by an in-house warranty.

Operated under the stringent oversight of Ultimate Motorworks’ professionally qualified senior management team – all of whom have gathered extensive qualifications and experience in the automobile trade at reputed automobile agents of world class brands both in Sri Lanka and internationally, Ultimate Motorworks hopes to fulfill the diverse and individual mobility needs of their customers.


EditorJanuary 4, 2018
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3min440

January 3, 2018: PickMe, Sri Lanka’s most innovative ride-hailing service announced the appointment of Isira Perera as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) with effect from December 01st 2017. With Isira’s appointment and his proven track record in digital financial services and mobile commerce, PickMe is set for a new course of innovativeness and thrive well in Sri Lanka’s rising digital economy sphere.

Isira possesses over two decades of business experience in product development, general management, marketing, project management, sales and operations. Prior to joining PickMe, Isira was heading mobile money and international remittances at Dialog Axiata PLC, Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider. He has held several leadership positions at Dialog and was a key member of the team who launched eZ Cash, Dialog Axiata’s flagship mobile money platform. He has also worked for IFS and Informatics as an ERP specialist.

Isira holds an MSc in Information Technology, BSc is Business Studies and DipM ACIM. He is also qualified in project management. He is a visionary leader, creative thinker and a strategist.

“We’re excited to have Isira on board as COO. His prowess in the digital space and years of experience in facilitating regional consumer engagement will be powerful catalysts in PickMe’s journey towards expanding our services island-wide. As COO, he will also be playing a key role in guiding and navigating PickMe’s steadily increasing team of young talent through the challenges of growth and expansion,” said Jiffry Zulfer, PickMe’s CEO.

As the largest organized taxi platform in Sri Lanka, with a taxi fleet of over ten thousand three-wheelers, mini cars, cars and vans, PickMe currently services the transportation needs of over one million passengers based in the Colombo, Negombo, Kalutara and Kandy regions. Adding to its portfolio of services, PickMe recently debuted its newest feature ‘PickMe VIP’, which is a fleet of chauffeur-driven luxury cars that cater to premium clients and corporates.

As the market leader and Sri Lanka’s most successful start-up business in recent times, PickMe is the proud product of the vision shared by the versatile fraternity that make up the board of directors and a warehouse of the best local talent in the country.

The board of directors include, Chairman Mr.Ajit Gunewardena and CEO Mr.Jiffry Zulfer as well as Mr.Ruchi Gunewardena (Managing Director, Brand Finance), Mr.Conrad Dias (Group Chief

Information Officer, LOLC), Mr. Dinesh Rodrigo (CEO, Interblocks) and Mrs.Tasnim Salie (Financial Consultant) as Non-Executive Directors.


EditorJanuary 3, 2018
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4min450

Hyundai Lanka (Pvt) Ltd, the sole authorised importer and distributor of Hyundai vehicles in Sri Lanka, unveiled the all new high tech IONIQ Hybrid & the SUV compact leader Creta to the Sri Lankan market recently.

Whilst the highly stylised IONIQ Hybrid comes with a series of groundbreaking features along with advanced safety measures, to offer motorists the ultimate driving comfort and convenience, the SUV compact Creta packs a range of tweaked performance coupled with exquisite interior-exterior styling, to be unique in its class.

The IONIQ’s newly developed, Kappa 1.6 Atkinson GDI four-cylinder engine delivers high fuel efficiency coupled with Lithium-ion polymer battery which is 25% more efficient than a conventional nickel-metal-hydride battery. As a result IONIQ Hybrid provides lower memory sensitivity, excellent charge/discharge efficiency and an outstanding maximum output.

On the other hand, the all new Hyundai Creta is fitted with smoothly creased hood lines and a voluminous bumper making a dramatic first impression. Its next-gen, imposing Triple slat hexagonal chrome grille, reminiscent of an aircraft, not only looks regal, but allows for dynamic driving pleasure. Furthermore, the new Creta is smooth and comfortable, and its powerful engine provides exhilaration at every curve, every mile.

Commenting on the launch, Julian Reuter, Director of Hyundai Lanka Pvt Ltd said, “We are happy and privileged to introduce America’s most fuel efficient hybrid car and the all new compact SUV sedan to the Lankan market. As we see a great rise in demand for hybrid and SUV cars both locally and globally, we at Hyundai Lanka thought it was the proper time to introduce the Hyundai’s next generation of models to the Lankan market, thus enabling local customers to feel and experience the revolutionary models of the Hyundai brand. The new IONIQ Hybrid is a complete package, packed with a range of electrifying features that offers customers uncompromised driving experience and the latest connectivity and safety technology. Whilst the Creta, offers dual driving experience for urban and off-road lovers with a smooth comfortable driving condition in any terrain condition. We strongly believe that the two new models will have great acceptance among local customers and will transform the hybrid and SUV landscape.”

In addition to the key features, IONIQ’s climate control can be configured to an efficient operation mode, to provide a pleasant, comfortable and refreshing climate control system in the car without utilising unnecessary amounts of energy. Similarly, the dual-zone climate control can be set to ‘driver only’ mode, reducing the load of the air-conditioning and heating to work more efficiently.

The Creta’s engine comes with VTVT, CRDI and VGT technology, generates segment best power and sports advanced high strength steel (AHSS) and Ultra High Strength steel (UHSS) technology to create body structure improved body endurance, Lighter body for better mileage and enhanced collision durability.

Most of all, both these models of Hyundai are crafted from the scratch to enable motoring enthusiasts with the next generation of automobile experience at a competitive pricing.  Both vehicles offer, better passenger protection, and has its own advantages to be the leader in its class.   Hyundai Lanka, also have low end market leaders such as Grand i10, EON which have become popular across the island for its value for money and the added benefits it offer to be the best in the small car segment.


EditorDecember 20, 2017
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3min19

Matara, Monday 4th December 2017: Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited, the sole authorized distributor for Toyota vehicles in Sri Lanka today declared open its latest branch in Matara, further expanding its island wide network. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of Toyota Lanka’s Managing Director Shungo Yoshioka and Director/COO ManoharaAthukorala. Religious leaders from all faiths, Management of Toyota Lanka, prominent business personnel from the South and well wishers also attended the event.

Speaking following religious observances MD Shungo Yoshioka said, “The task of Toyota Lanka’s Management is to enrich quality and quantity of Toyota service and Toyota stations island wide. This branch is another stepping stone in our attempt to expand our branch network and reach our customers.I would like to remind everyone of these words of wisdom that “you should not judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”. Therefore I strongly believe that TLPL is on the right path of enriching our branch network.Toyota Lanka Matara branch is one big step in our journey of fulfilling this task.”

Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) Japan a group company of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Japan,brings foreign investments to the country & provides employment to locals in the area. The Matara Branch will not only be a vehicle sales outletoffering a range of Toyota brand new vehicles available to select, but will also consist of a service Centre fully equipped withthe latest technologies of TMC Japan.Not forgetting the sales ofGenuine Toyota spare parts.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony Director/COO Manohara Athukorala noted, “The Matara Branch was one of our dreams that came true today. We always try to match Global Toyota standards in all our facilities and this branch embodies the DNA of Toyota QDR which enables us to reach most parts of the country.We would like to extend our gratitude to the Matara community and promise to join hands with them in developing this city to greater heights.”

The Matara Branch is located at No. 51, Walgama Road, Matara and can be contacted on 041-2231800. Additionally, Toyota owners are invited to contact the Toyota Lanka Matara branch on the above hotline and reserve your free inspection. Attractive promotional offers are available during the month of December targeting the branch opening.

The below 1000cc car ‘WIGO’ is also available to purchase at Rs. 3,450,000, equipped with all the high grade options and best safety features in the category.


EditorDecember 18, 2017
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6min59

Achieving a truly outstanding milestone in mileage, Mercedes-Benz announced the successful completion of its unprecedented Around Sri Lanka in One Tank with VITO Challenge.

Organized by DIMO PLC, the ambitious adventure was designed to definitively prove the Benz VITO van’s unmatched fuel economy, resulting in a record three-day journey spanning over 1,324 kilometers of Sri Lanka’s stunning coastal belt, all on just a single 70 litre tank of fuel.

Leading the charge around the island was accomplished driver and passionate motoring journalist, Sam Smith, who put the Benz VITO through its paces throughout the long journey. Starting from the DIMO Mercedes-Benz showroom in Colombo, Smith travelled south along the coast to Yala on Day 1 where the drivers were treated to a brief but memorable stay at Cinnamon Wild having achieved a fuel economy of 18.5 km per litre.

Thereafter, the two Benz VITOs moved back up along the East coast crossing scenic coastal cities at Arugam Bay, where they were welcomed at Trinco Blu by Cinnamon with an average of 19.45km/l economy totaling 718km, before setting a course for the tall palms of Jaffna on the third and final day of the road trip with the longest and the most challenging day ahead of them.

“I have to say that this was quite a challenging drive, especially over the second and third days. We didn’t modify the Mercedes-Benz Vito very much: it was run with the normal tire pressures and air conditioning for the entire drive. The first day was fairly straightforward, and we were able to end the day winding down at the beautiful Cinnamon Wild hotel. But from there on, it was pretty challenging. We started our day well before sunrise and continued on.

“It took a fair amount of adjustment for us to modify our driving technique to achieve such an incredibly high fuel economy. During this learning period, our fuel economy was 16 km per litre, which was below our target of 21 km per litre, however, with gradual acceleration and the focus of keeping up momentum, we were able to get the VITO performing right on the mark,” he elaborated.

With one day and half of the country to travel, Smith acknowledged that even he had some serious doubts as to whether the Benz VITO would pull through the final North-South stretch from Jaffna through Kalpitiya to Colombo; doubts which were rigorously tested in the final hours of their journey.

“By the time we had reached Kurunegala, our fuel tank registered as completely empty and at that point we were just determined to push the vehicle as far as it could possible go. We had to be very patient with our driving technique but in the end what seemed impossible at the start of the day gradually got closer within our reach and so we were all overjoyed when we made it past Wattala and back to the DIMO showroom where it all began,” Smith said.

Completing this impossible journey with an average fuel efficiency of 20.8 km per liter, the Around Sri Lanka in One Tank with VITO challenge effectively cemented the van as easily the most fuel-efficient vehicle available in the local market.

“Generally, I would say that the Sri Lankan driving style is not one which is immediately suited to ensuring you get the most fuel economy. However, for those who are willing to change their approach, you’ll be totally surprised at just how much of a difference this can make.

“The most important thing is to try and maintain gentle acceleration when controlling the throttle pedal. As much as possible, you have to maintain your momentum too. This means that if you’re trying to maximize fuel economy, you should ideally accelerate gently up to speed, whilst where possible gently coasting to a stop. Having done this journey ourselves, even I thought it was impossible, yet this vehicle, driven cleverly can easily achieve the impossible when it comes to fuel economy. Especially for a van, the Benz VITO provides a great combination of value – balancing affordability with comfort, a solid driving experience and fuel efficiency,” Smith stated.

For more information on the Mercedes-Benz VITO visit www.aroundsrilankawithvito.com


EditorDecember 13, 2017
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4min57

Matara, Monday 4th December 2017: Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited, the sole authorized distributor for Toyota vehicles in Sri Lanka today declared open its latest branch in Matara, further expanding its island wide network. The opening ceremony took place under the patronage of Toyota Lanka’s Managing Director Shungo Yoshioka and Director/COO ManoharaAthukorala. Religious leaders from all faiths, Management of Toyota Lanka, prominent business personnel from the South and well wishers also attended the event.

Speaking following religious observances MD Shungo Yoshioka said, “The task of Toyota Lanka’s Management is to enrich quality and quantity of Toyota service and Toyota stations island wide. This branch is another stepping stone in our attempt to expand our branch network and reach our customers.I would like to remind everyone of these words of wisdom that “you should not judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant”. Therefore I strongly believe that TLPL is on the right path of enriching our branch network.Toyota Lanka Matara branch is one big step in our journey of fulfilling this task.”

Toyota Lanka (Private) Limited, a fully owned subsidiary of Toyota Tsusho Corporation (TTC) Japan a group company of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) Japan,brings foreign investments to the country & provides employment to locals in the area. The Matara Branch will not only be a vehicle sales outletoffering a range of Toyota brand new vehicles available to select, but will also consist of a service Centre fully equipped withthe latest technologies of TMC Japan.Not forgetting the sales ofGenuine Toyota spare parts.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony Director/COO ManoharaAthukorala noted, “The Matara Branch was one of our dreams that came true today. We always try to match Global Toyota standards in all our facilities and this branch embodies the DNA of Toyota QDR which enables us to reach most parts of the country.We would like to extend our gratitude to the Matara community and promise to join hands with them in developing this city to greater heights.”

The Matara Branch is located at No. 51, Walgama Road, Matara and can be contacted on 041-2231800. Additionally, Toyota owners are invited to contact the Toyota Lanka Matara branch on the above hotline and reserve your free inspection. Attractive promotional offers are available during the month of December targeting the branch opening.

The below 1000cc car ‘WIGO’ is also available to purchase at Rs. 3,450,000, equipped with all the high grade options and best safety features in the category.



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