Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tata, DIMO to revolutionize passenger transport in Sri Lanka

The new Tata Starbus

India’s Tata Motors and Diesel and Motor Engineering PLC is set to revolutionize Sri Lanka’s passenger transport with thirteen models fed into the local market.

“We have introduced thirteen of the nineteen Tata models to the Sri Lankan market as we see opportunities opening with the government developing infrastructure and with the developments in tourism as well,” Tata Motors Regional Head for South Asia and the Far East Bishwadev Senguptha told Daily News Business yesterday.

He said Sri Lankan passenger transport has not seen any substantial upgrades in the last few decades, despite improvements in infrastructure, lifestyles and incomes.

He made these comments at a ceremony to provide airline tickets to 35 agents for a factory visit to Pune and Goa and to see the manufacture of the model of Tata Starbus.

"Tata has made giant inroads into the Sri Lankan market and it is the number one in the heavy vehicles market comprising buses, lorries, trucks and pickups accounting for 46% which is an epitome of our dominance here and very soon we will be number one in the bus market,” he said

He said there were 20,000 Tata buses here and added that he sees a year- on - year growth for buses with the development of infrastructure and well with the other demands arising from buoyant economic growth. DIMOs Tata commercial vehicles Sales Manager Gihan Fernando said TATA has buses ranging from seventeen seaters which is used in school transport to the 57 seaters. He said the Starbus had caught the market very well and tover 700 buses which also had the air conditioning option sold in the last seven months.

The customer acceptance has been very good given the passenger comforts and other sophistications in the engine and the interior.

These were plying on the inter-cities as well as intra-cities and especially on the Colombo- Kandy, Badulla and Galle roads.

A Tata low floor bus, which is a air conditioned 41 seater has been provided to the Central Transport Board to be run on a trial basis on the Colombo-Negombo road and they will be purchasing the buses at the end of the trial.

The Tata DIMO bus, which is a luxury coach, has found acceptance among the tourism companies and there are two buses running on the Colombo-Jaffna route.


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