Jaffna gets Rs 45 m LAL facility
Lanka Ashok Leyland (LAL) would invest over Rs. 75 million to build
two showrooms and service centres in Jaffna and Hambantota.
LAL Executive Officer Umesh Gautham said that they have already
invested Rs 40 million in the Jaffna venture which will open in the
first week of April.
He said that the four-storeyed centre in Jaffna would also provide
accommodation and recreation faculties for their staff visiting Jaffna.
He said that with the dawn of peace the social fabric of Jaffna is
changing with people’s mode of transport shifting from push cycles to
vehicles. ‘We have also noted a clear demand for brand new school
buses,’ he said.
He said that one of the main reasons for this is that LAL school
buses are 50 percent cheaper than reconditioned Japanese vehicles and
this is creating the demand.
He also said that over 40 youth from Jaffna have been employed and
the total operation would be manned by them.
Gautham said that they are now planning to open a similar centre in
Hambantota during the next financial year. ‘We are hoping to invest
around Rs 35 million for this venture,’ he said.
LAL school buses in
Gautham said that with rapid development taking place in Hambantota
there is a demand for new vehicles and also they needed to be in the
area to provide facilities to their customers.
LAL has also provided 16 modern buses to both private and the Sri
Lanka Transport Board to operate on the highway. ‘These buses are being
made to European standard,’ he said.
Gautham also disclosed that they have imported low floor Automatic
transmission buses with wheel chair access which will be used by the
SLTB for public transport firstly on Galle road routes.
For the first time LAL is also going to set up an assembly plant in
Indonesia with Sri Lankan staff and the company has already obtained
permission from their parent company in India for this overseas
operation. Gauthem said that import duty in Indonesia for vehicles is
very high and they encourage value addition to their country. ‘This was
the reason why we decided to invest in Indonesia. We have obtained the
green light from the Indonesian authorities and are on the lookout for a
The value addition for the factory would be more than 40 percent.
Gautham said they have a large workforce in Sri Lanka and most of them
would be employed in Indonesia for this operation.