Republic of Korea’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Won-Sam Chang placing the first Ssangyong Tivoli to be assembled in Sri Lanka on the assembly line at the Micro Holdings facility in Polgahawela, while Micro Holdings Chairman/CEO Dr. Lawrence Perera (right) looks on.
Pic by Kushan Pathiraja
By Chandeepa Wettasinghe
Local automobile manufacturer and assembler Micro Cars yesterday began the local assembly of the Korean crossover SUV SsangYong Tivoli, to coincide with the 20th anniversary of the parent, Micro Holdings (Pvt) Ltd.
“The value of this company is not for me or Micro. The value of this company is for the country. 48 years ago, Upali Wijewardene tried to start the first car assembly in Sri Lanka, but didn’t receive any government support. If it happened, Sri Lanka would be as successful as South Korea is today,” Micro Holdings Chairman/CEO Dr. Lawrence Perera said.
Republic of Korea’s Ambassador in Sri Lanka Won-Sam Chang who was present at the ceremony held at the Micro Car assembly plant in Polgahawela said that Sri Lanka will make another economic success story.
“I believe Sri Lanka can do what South Korea did. Sri Lankan people have the brains and the determination,” he noted.
Dr. Perera said that Micro Holdings trains and employs over 850 staff, most of whom would have become 3-wheel drivers or bus conductors without such employment, due to inadequate capacities in local universities.
Micro Holdings was awarded the assembly, sales, and after-sales service rights for the entire product line of SsangYong in 2006.
The Tivoli is considered a compact SUV which provides fashion above 4-by-4 ability, and is believed to be appealing to young executives who are in need of a mix between a crossover toughness with a sharp style.
Micro Holdings has 8 branches, as well as 20 franchise dealers, one of which placed the order for the first locally-assembled Ssangyong Tivoli during the ceremony.
Micro Holdings also assembles Geely A automobiles, while holding dealership licenses for the Lamborghini super cars, Renault and Sino trucks as well as Yutong and Higer buses.
The company also exports locally-assembled automobiles to Nepal, Bangladesh and Malaysia.
Yesterday’s event also marked the official partnership launch of Micro Holdings and French-based motor lubricant company Motul.