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Sri Lankan company to export South Korean SUVs to India news
08 December 2007

Mumbai: Micro Cars Ltd, a Sri Lankan car company, will locally assemble sports utility vehicles (SUVs) manufactured by South Korea's SsangYong Kyron for exports to India.

The company has already sent test vehicles to India and received "very good" response, said Micro Cars managing director Lawrence Perera.

"There is a demand for quality SUVs in India," he said, adding that his company would export locally assembled Kyron SUVs to India from next year.

The company plans to manufacture two SUV types with the price staring at 7.5 million Sri Lankan rupees (around $68,000).

Perera said the company had invested SLRs 30 crore in the last six months for expanding its plant in Polgahawela, 60 km north-east of Colombo.

Currently a majority of the components of the SUV are imported except for the body of the vehicle, mirrors, seats and rubber component, including tyres.

He said Micro Cars is in the process of acquiring technology to have more local components to the vehicles and has a capacity to manufacture 50 SUVs per month.

Reports, meanwhile, said Ssangyong Motor Co. is planning to stop making two SUV models Rexton and ActYon before the end of February 2008 due to declining sales.

Chinese auto giant Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp. (SAIC) is acquiring a majority stake in the South Korean automaker. SAIC recently announced that it would invest KRW 2.6 trillion in the research and development of new vehicles before 2012, including 20 models jointly developed with the South Korean arm.

Ssangyong Motor achieved a turnaround with a net profit of KRW 15.5 billion for the first half of this year.

Overall sales of Ssangyong Motor also rose 13.2 per cent year on year to 69,755 units. Its sales climbed 4.7 per cent in South Korea and rose 21 per cent in other countries.

Sales revenues improved 7 per cent compared to the first half of the previous year. Net profit at KRW 15.5 billion stood in contrast to the loss of KRW 12.286 billion for the same period of last year.
The company sold 129,834 vehicles in the first ten months of this year, including 62,868 units in South Korea and 66,966 units in foreign countries.

Sales in Russia reached 8,958 units during the period. Notably, Ssangyong Motor''s plant in south Russia will make three SUV models, namely Korando, Musso, and Musso Sports, from January 2008 with an annual production capacity of 35.000 units, according to a Russian media.

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Sri Lankan company to export South Korean SUVs to India