Sri Lanka's biggest heavy vehicle supplier brand has finally completed its expansion efforts and stamped its countrywide presence on 9 July.
"Ashok Leyland is the fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world" said Minister of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen in Sammanthurai. Minister Bathiudeen, joined by Chairman of LAL Dr Shiraz Mira Sahib and CEO of Lanka Ashok Leyland Umesh Gautam was addressing the simultaneous launch by him of several Lanka Ashok Leyland's (LAL) operations in East on 9 July.
LAL, the highly visible automotive brand under Minister Bathiudeen's Industry and Commerce Ministry, was incorporated in 1983 as a Public Limited Liability Company and began its operations as a joint venture between LAL and Ashok Leyland Ltd, India. LAL operations are found everywhere in Sri Lanka except in East. With July 9's launch, LAL now claims country-wide presence.
"Lanka Ashok Leyland is the largest supplier of heavy vehicles to Sri Lanka and the fourth largest manufacturer of buses in the world" said Minister Bathiudeen and added: "We are pleased that Lanka Ashok Leyland's (LAL) expansion in Sri Lanka is completed with this launch. Today we are simultaneously launching LAL Eastern Vehicle Sales showroom in Sammanthurai, Spare parts outlet and Service centre in Kalmunai. With this, LAL is arriving in East and now covering the entire country. LAL's arrival here is a great sign for the Eastern automotive market as well. We thank LAL for supporting Eastern youth by awarding 100 scholarships for NVQ levels 3,4 and 5. Such mini-industrial trainings will enhance the skills of our youth along international standards."
"This is a major LAL network expansion" said Chairman of LAL Shiraz Mira Sahib and added: "LAL already has branch network in Jaffna, Vavuniya, Anurapdhapura, Kurunegala, Dambulla, Kandy, Colombo, Embilipitiya and Matara. Today we are opening the new 3S (Sales, Service, Spares) facility at Sainthamaruthu, in the Ampara District of the Eastern Province."
According to CEO of Lanka Ashok Leyland Umesh Gautam, the LAL's Eastern expansion is in three phases. "1st Phase of the expansion comprising of 3S facility, which is inaugurated today. The second phase will include a fully equipped unit re-conditioning centre with testing facilities and a training centre, while the third phase of expansion will include accident repair and local body building facility, along with developing other ancillary Industry, to bring economic prosperity and create job opportunities in the Eastern Province. Approximately 58,000 LAL vehicles and over 2000 Generators are presently in operation on Sri Lanka" said CEO Gautam.
Lanka Ashok Leyland PLC, a joint venture company of M/s Ashok Leyland, India and the Government of Sri Lanka, under the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, established to progressively assemble, import, market and service of Ashok Leyland commercial vehicles in the island, achieved Rs 11.4 Bn total revenue in 2016 along with a unit sales increase of 10%.
More than 80 percent of passenger buses –public and private sector-plying in Sri Lanka are from LAL. Globally, over 90 million passengers use Ashok Leyland buses for their daily travel.