Oct 06, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Diesel and Motor Engineering Company, agents for Mercedes Benz and Tata vehicles, says monthly volumes have doubled to 1,000 units from a year earlier following an economic upturn and cuts in vehicle taxes. The firm also sells Chrysler and Jeep brands from the US, Mahindra and Mahindra vehicles from India.
The firm’s hottest selling vehicle at the moment is ‘Dimo Batta’, a small truck made by India’s Tata which has taken an emerging small entrepreneur market by storm.
“People like banana farmers, small bakers are buying these vehicles,” Dimo chief Mohan Pandithage told LBO.
“It is creating a new entrepreneur class.”
The truck powered with a 700 cubic centimeter engine is rated to carry a payload of 750 kilograms but vehicle owners are reporting that they are carrying 1.5 to 2.0 tonnes of goods on the truck, officials said.
The truck is priced around 830,000 rupees and has a mileage of 22 kilometres a litre and operating costs are estimated to be about 3.0 rupees kilometer in Sri Lanka.
Dimo is now selling more than 800 Dimo Batta trucks around the country. About 50 to 60 are sold in the former war-torn north and the east of the island and about 100 in the Colombo district ar