Sathosa Motors PLC of Sri Lanka would be setting up a site in Hambontata to assemble the iconic Land Rover Defender in technical collaboration with the Tata Motors owned British manufacturer.
The progress of the plant is already underway and machinery would be brought at the site from UK and subsequently the Defenders should start rolling out of the new facility this year itself. The plant being close to the Magam Ruhunupura Mahinda Rajapaksa Port facilitates that extra convenience of logistics in terms of bringing in CKD parts as well as exporting the built up units. Though the countries to which the newly assembled Defenders would be exported haven’t been disclosed yet.
A new distributorship has been set up under the name of SML Frontier Automotive Pvt. Ltd. as a 50:50 joint venture between Sathosa Motors and a local dealership of Land Rover. Frontier Automotive would be the exclusive distributor and after sales provider for Land Rover in Sri Lanka.
Sheran Fernando- Managing Director of SML Frontier Automotive said “The final beneficiary of this venture will be the Land Rover owners and enthusiasts; Today, we made a great emphasis on ‘after sales service’ through this joint partnership.After sales service is considered the corner stone of strengthening the Land Rover/ Range Rover brand in Sri Lanka and the construction of a new state-of-the-art workshop in Vauxhall Street will be the epicenter of Land Rover’s after sales service and will commence operations soon he disclosed.”
Land Rover has been a household name in the island country as the Sri Lankan army has been using the Defender for the past 50 years. The new partnership would give Land Rover a cost advantage once the vehicles start rolling out for the local as well as international markets.