Ideal First Choice drives multi-brand vehicle servicing experience islandwide
10th state-of-the-art workshop to open in Galle in January 2020
Ideal First Choice, the multi brand total after care arm of the Ideal Group, is making rapid progress in Sri Lanka’s total after care market since the launch of the very first Ideal First Choice in July 2018. The Ideal Group of Companies is one of Sri Lanka’s leading automotive after-market service providers focusing on the premium segment of automotive brands.
Ideal First Choice is a unique concept by Ideal Group Chairman Nalin J. Welgama and Ideal Motors Director Automotive Chaminda Wanigaratne. The Ideal First Choice workshop operation is spearheaded by Deputy General Manager Lahiru Chamara Silva who has received his qualifications from The Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), the prestigious UK-based professional association for individuals working in the motor industry. He has extensive experience working for global automotive giants in Sri Lanka and abroad. He commenced with after sales service of Toyota prior to moving internationally to the UAE, where he handled Audi, and popular European brands in the United Kingdom, for a number of years. Subsequently, he returned to Sri Lanka and headed local After-sales and Technical operations, including handling of genuine spare parts, of a renowned local automotive company that marketed several top global brands including Nissan, Suzuki, New Holland, Datsun, Renault, Yamaha 2-wheelers and Yamaha Outbound.
The first Ideal First Choice workshop was launched in July 2018 in Yakkala and its network has rapidly expanded across all major cities of Sri Lanka. Currently, the Ideal First Choice hubs can be found in Puttalam, Jaffna, Tissamaharama, Kelaniya, Dambulla, Anuradhapura, Kurunegala, Ratnapura while the 10th service centre is to be opened in Galle in January 2020. All 9 existing Ideal First Choice service centres are state-of-the-art workshops that caters to all makes and models of vehicles and offers a complete range of services that includes Lubrication, Mechanical Repairs, Periodical Maintenance Service (PMS), Body and Paint, Electrical Repairs, A/C Repairs, Wheel Alignment & Wheel Balancing, Headlight Focusing, Hybrid Repairs, Tyre Repairs & Services and Roadside Assistance. It is also the only automotive after-market service provider in Sri Lanka that provides services to a full range of vehicles including motorcycles, cars, vans, light trucks, heavy trucks and even prime movers.
All services offered from Ideal First Choice are on par with manufacturers with trained technicians, workshop heads and engineers available for all brands of vehicles. The teams come from an automotive background with the technical staff having received their initial training from some of Sri Lanka’s leading vocational training institutes. The entire staff undergoes regular in-house specialised training in areas such as Technical, Hybrid and Electronic, Mechatronics, Kaizen, Supervisor Management, Quality Control Management and Diagnostic Management. As one of the leading auto care providers in Sri Lanka, Ideal First Choice conducts individual staff exams on a regular basis to test their knowledge in their areas of expertise. The Customer Services team is always available to ensure that customers get the best possible service and that their Ideal First Choice experience is at a very high level. Overall, the Human Resources Department engages with the staff regularly in order to ensure that they are well looked after and that they are happy employees who are able to deliver their best to customers at all times.
While a customer can conveniently make an appointment by calling the nearest workshop, if the customer is busy and unable to bring the vehicle to the workshop, the Ideal First Choice team will pick up the vehicle within a 5km radius, bring it to the workshop, inspect and submit a quotation for customer approval and commence on the work. After completion, the vehicle is carefully checked by the Quality Control team prior to handing over to the customer. Customers are given the opportunity to instantly rate the quality of the service prior to driving out with their vehicle. Ideal First Choice provides Ideal warranty for all kinds of repairs.
The key differentiators of Ideal First Choice are committed delivery on time, cost effective services, close follow up of customer feedback and ensuring hassle-free driving for Sri Lankan motorists. Further, free telephonic consultations on troubleshooting of electronic systems of the latest automobile diagnostic systems are also offered as value additions.
Lahiru Chamara Silva stated, “Since inception just over an year ago, Ideal First Choice has made its presence felt in the local market by providing a high-quality yet affordable service to all brands of vehicles. All 9 existing Ideal First choice outlets provide the same world-class service so that customers can drive into any outlet and receive a consistently high quality of service at all times. As a company that strongly believes in exceptional customer service, we carry out regular promotions and campaigns in different parts of the country. Through our Facebook page and other methods, we communicate with customers and inform them of upcoming promotions that they can take advantage of.”
Ideal First Choice operates an island-wide free recovery service for accident repairs and roadside assistance (RSA) at a feasible rate, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Currently, a free towing and carrier facility is offered within a 50km radius of all workshops in Colombo and Gampaha districts. Only manufacturer recommended tools and equipment are used at Ideal First Choice. Materials of the highest quality from world-renowned brand partnerships with BOSCH, AkzoNobel are associated with Ideal First Choice as co-brands. Wurth and Valvoline are sub brands that are associated with Ideal First Choice in order to provide world-class services.
Ideal Motors has Distributor Partnerships for Mahindra, Ssangyong, Chery, Apollo Tyres, Bosch genuine spare parts and Sikkens auto paint. The company also has an Exclusive Dealership with Schwing Stetter India for marketing SLM “Self-Loading Mixer” in Sri Lanka as well as handling spare parts and aftersales service to all SLM customers. Additionally, they also provide aftersales service for all other Schwing Stetter products.
Toyota's Latest Corolla,Rav4 and HIACE Hits the Streets
Pics by Devenda de Silva
Toyota Lanka(Pvt)Ltd,the sole authorized dealer for Toyota vehicles and spare parts in Sri Lanka today launched the newest version of its signature Toyota Corolla,Rav4 SUV and the HIACE Van.The launch was held at the Toyota Plaza in Wattala
under the patronage of Toyota Lanka's Managing Director Shungo Yoshioka and Director/Chief Operating Officer Manohara Athukorale.Toyota's long-standing clientele,partners and members of the media were also present.
Speaking at the launch Toyota Lanka's Managing Director Shungo Yoshioka said,"Toyota Lanka has for many years been the trusted brand of vehicles for all walks of life in Sri Lanka.In particular,the Toyota Corolla,the RAV4 SUV and the HIACE brands have established themselves among the
respective groups as the go-to name for their transport needs.The brand new versions of these vehicles come with enhancements that are best in their class,and are yet affordable and reliable.The unmatched Toyota warranty and after-sales service that we offer also means that customers get a great
product and exceptional service to follow”.
“Regardless of the rising competition,and constantly changing nature of the Automobile Industry, Toyota Lanka has been growing steadily over the past years,and the launch of these new ranges of our trusted brands will definitely boost our sales numbers as well.If you take a look at our current
customer base many have used brands like the HIACE and Corolla for generations,and we look forward to carrying on that tradition”said Manohara Athukorala-Director/Chief Operating Officer of Toyota Lanka.
The all-new RAV4 SUV which comes with a 2L petrol and 2.5L hybrid engine has been dubbed one of the most versatile crossover SUVs in the world.Power-packed with an electric sunroof,energy-efficient lighting systems,6-speaker radio and multimedia sound system,18”alloys,multi-
information displays,power shutters and power doors to name a few the all-new Rav4 has been engineered for versatility.With a distinct exterior design that is both stylish and hardy,and an interior that spells luxury,the Rav4 has captured markets around the world also for its ruggedness in
performance on any terrain.The Toyota Corolla has for generations captured the hearts of vehicle enthusiasts around the world
and is still one of the best-selling vehicles with over 48 million units running worldwide.The latest version with its 1600cc engine,is also fully equipped with sound systems,16”alloy wheels,LED headlamps,fog lamps and cruise control for safe and secure driving.The sedan which is the ideal car
for families and young executives looking to mix style with comfort.
As tourism booms in Sri Lanka,Toyota also introduces the perfect vehicle for long-distance travel and even transport solutions within the city. The 2019 version of the much-loved HIACE van has a 2,800cc diesel engine typically built for endurance. The 15 or 16-seater interior is designed for optimum comfort levels with superior leg space and luggage space as well.A rugged exterior look and feel also makes this version of the HIACE quite the commanding presence on the road.
Future Automobiles unveils the all-new Ford Ranger Raptor
New breed of performance pickup truck geared to bring thrills to the Sri Lankan market
Ford Motor Company, the global automotive giant represented in Sri Lanka by Future Automobiles (Pvt) Limited, a subsidiary of Softlogic Holdings PLC, has launched the 2018/2019 edition of the Ford Ranger Raptor in Sri Lanka. The first 3 Ranger Raptors were officially handed over to their proud owners at a simple ceremony held at the Ford Centre in Battaramulla.
The Ford Ranger Raptor is the ultimate performance pickup engineered to handle the toughest environments in the world and tackle the most aggressive off-road driving. The Ranger Raptor’s entire frame is built to be ultra-durable and handle punishing surface drop-offs. It provides 283mm of ground clearance enabling it to clear almost any off-road obstacle with ease. A 32.5-degree approach angle, 24-degree departure angle, and 24-degree break-over angle helps to take on harsh gradients, and class-leading 850mm water wading makes river crossings simple. The Ranger Raptor comes with 1,996CC engine capacity and 10-speed auto transmission with paddle shifting. It includes in-line 4 cylinder 16V Bi-Turbo with Intercooler that helps generates a maximum engine power of 156.7 KW / 213 PS @ 3,750 RPM and a torque of NM @ RPM - 500 NM @ 1750 – 2000 RPM. A cutting-edge Terrain Management System offers six pre-set driving modes to conquer virtually any terrain, at the push of a button while the 10-speed auto transmission works seamlessly with its turbocharged engine for improved power delivery and quicker gear changes.
The interior of the Ford Ranger Raptor provides a host of luxurious comforts and high-tech features such as the Apple Carplay and Android Auto support, Bluetooth, 2 USB ports, FM/AM stereo radio with single CD/MP3 player with 6 speakers, 8" multi-function touchscreen and navigation system, rear parking assist, adjustable driver's seat, audio control on steering wheel, remote keyless entry with push start, dual zone climate control and heater, electro chromatic rear view mirror, Alcanatara leather seats with large bolsters, cruise control, power locks and power windows. The Ranger Raptor also provides a wide array of safety, security and driver assistance features. Some of the key features include 6 airbags, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) incorporating ABS, Traction Control System, Hill Descent Control, Hill Launch Assist, MyKey, rear park sensors and camera, alarm with perimeter, interior motion and vehicle inclination sensors, Trailer Sway Control and volumetric alarm with battery backup system.
Gihan Vitharana – Director Sector Sales of Future Automobiles stated, “Ford is a company known to push the boundaries and the all-new Ford Ranger Raptor is a continuation of this concept. The Ranger Raptor clearly sets a new benchmark in off-road pickup capability and has been designed to combine Ford
Performance DNA with Ranger’s renowned toughness and engineering capability. It comes factory-ready with everything you need to tackle the toughest off-road environments and I am sure it will be a big hit with Sri Lankan customers, especially the off-road enthusiasts.”
All Ford Ranger Raptor pickup trucks sold by Future Automobiles come with a 100,000km or 5-year Power Train Warranty. The state-of-the-art Ford 3S dealership facility in Colombo ensures that the entire service experience in Sri Lanka is consistent with Ford’s Global Standards – from high-tech equipment and Ford’s Extended Service Plans to genuine Ford spare parts and highly-trained world-class technical staff. Additionally, a network of 12 service dealerships spread across all 9 provinces and manned by specially-trained technicians ensure that Ford customers have easy access to look into any aspect of their Ford Ranger Raptor.
Ford's heritage in Sri Lanka is almost as rich as the local automotive industry itself and as Ford tied up with Future Automobiles in 2011, Sri Lankan customers have been quick to notice that Ford cars have set the standards in terms of safety, fuel efficiency, built quality and innovation. The Ford showroom in Sri Lanka currently includes the models Fiesta (Sedan car), Kuga (SUV), EcoSport (SUV), Focus (Sedan Car) and Everest (7-Seat SUV), with 5-star NCAP rating for safety.
DIMO and Tata Motors introduce Tata Euro4 Powertrain Commercial Vehicles
The World Environmental Day, celebrated on the 5th of June, commemorates with the theme Air Pollution, emphasizing the profound impacts on the health of the planet caused by Airborne pollutants. Transport emissions are responsible for a significant proportion of air pollution in a vast majority of cities, which has created an increased need for more efficient modes of transport through cleaner vehicles in the country.
As a responsible giant in Sri Lankan automobile industry, Diesel & Motor Engineering PLC (DIMO), in unification with Tata Motors Limited, has introduced environmentally friendly Tata Euro4 Powertrain commercial vehicles to Sri Lanka.
DIMO also took the lead in introducing the first Indian Euro 4 commercial vehicle Tata Yodha to Sri Lanka in August 2018.Setting new benchmarks in the commercial vehicle market, Next Gen Tata Euro4 Powertrain range is capable of catering all kinds of commercial transportation requirements. Tata Euro4 platform offers an improvement of8% to 10% fuel efficiency improvement compared to the Euro 3 engines, Improved power & torque, low maintenance cost & 80% reduction of particulate matter (environmentally friendly) compared to the previous drive lines.
Chairman & Managing Director of DIMO Ranjith Pandithage said the launch of Tata Euro4 Powertrain commercial vehicles shows our commitment for improving quality of life towards sustainable development and as a responsible company we are confident that this new Tata vehicle range will contribute for the triple bottom-line of the Company.
Head, International Business, Commercial Vehicles of Tata Motors Rudrarup Maitra, said “Sri Lanka is a focus market for Tata Motors & it is our continuous endeavour to raise the bar in customer experience by launching new products. Tata Motors takes pride in being the first Indian OEM to introduce Euro4 vehicles in Sri Lanka with the new Tata Yodha. With the introduction of the whole Euro4 range, we are confident our products will continue to excite customers in Sri Lanka with enhanced performance & comfort features. We wish our channel partner DIMO the very best and firmly believe that the launch of the new Euro4 range will further consolidate our leadership in the commercial vehicles industry.”
Sathosa Motors unveils next gen Isuzu D Max double cab at Colombo Motor Show 2019
Pioneering automotive specialists, Sathosa Motors PLC (SML), unveiled the rugged 2019 edition of its increasingly popular Isuzu D Max RT66 Double Cab at the Colombo Motor Show amidst the eager anticipation of Sri Lanka’s most enthusiastic gear-heads.
The leading edge in a new generation of Isuzu double-cabs, the 2019 D Max’s powerful 4JJ1 Common Rail Isuzu 3 liter Diesel Engine and 6-speed manual transmission delivers trailblazing power and reliable performance, while the double-cab’s revamped design and optimized features ensure complete comfort, safety and style.
“The Isuzu D Max is the single most popular double-cab in the South East Asian region and this popularity is really due to the many decades of development that has gone into honing these vehicles for road and weather conditions common to the region. With the 2019 edition, there has been an even greater emphasis on this design philosophy, which is sure to catch the eye of many Sri Lankans,” SML Director/Chief Operating Officer, Eshan Coorey said.
Built to exacting Euro IV standards, the all new Isuzu D Max also features an improved wheel base to provide more stability when cornering and navigating inclines all while delivering the largest cabin space in the double cab category, ensuring passenger comfort, no matter how extreme the terrain.
“The Isuzu D Max has high-performance embedded into its DNA, and with the new edition, this proud tradition has only been enhanced, however there has also been a concerted effort to make sure that it is not just functional, but also fun. From its striking new factory fitted chrome exterior package and a host of other accessory tweaks like side steps to a roaring 8-speaker entertainment system, touch-screen media player to its reverse camera, everything about the new Isuzu D Max is steered towards enhancing driver and passenger experiences,” SML General Manager Marketing, Dirk Joshua said.
Backed by a rich and deep relationship that spans 56 years, SML is one of Isuzu’s longest standing partners globally. This strong partnership has enabled SML to offer some of the most comprehensive after-sales care in the market.
“Over and above the outstanding quality and performance of the Isuzu brand that has resulted in making it the leading Japanese truck brand in Sri Lanka, it is the peace of mind that we are able to offer our customers through SML’s extensive after-sales care that has helped us to build such a loyal customer base in Sri Lanka. With the new Isuzu D Max RT66, our customers will be delighted to learn that we have maintained this strength to the utmost,” SML Manager - Sales & Marketing, Lasitha Vijayakumar explained.
In that regard, owners of the new Isuzu D Max RT66 will be able to avail themselves of special after sales offers including a warranty on either the first 100,000 km or a period of 3 years, in addition to 3 free vehicle services which can be performed at SML’s advanced workshop facilities located in Colombo, Matara, and Kurunegala.
SML is a trusted leader in the domestic automotive industry. Established in 1962, the company stands as the sole authorized distributor for Isuzu branded vehicles and spare parts in Sri Lanka. Over the recent past, the company has been steadily revamping its customer service delivery to a level that will comfortably supersede current industry standards to set an unprecedented new benchmark in excellence for the Sri Lankan market.