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API Sathosa Motors

Positioned at the forefront of the commercial vehicle industry segment, Sathosa Motors (SML) PLC celebrates its glorious 60th anniversary in 2022, coinciding with its 60th year of partnership with Isuzu Japan since 1962, the Japanese truck brand most reliable and the market leader in the Japanese Commercial Truck Segment in Sri Lanka. SML can be credited with the rise in popularity of Japanese vehicles in Sri Lanka, making Isuzu the most sought after vehicle by fleet owners, government sector etc. SML is now rated by Isuzu Motors Japan, a distinguished quality standard provided for installation, customer experience, technical expertise and use of standard equipment, and among the top 16 Isuzu dealerships worldwide. Sathosa Motors PLC (SML) is also the franchise holder for Isuzu vehicles, Isuzu marine engines and Isuzu genuine spare parts manufactured by MM. Isuzu Motors Limited.

proud history

Imports and sales of Isuzu vehicles and spare parts were handled by CWE’s New Vehicles and Machinery Department until 1985. The Department of Trade and Commerce under which CWE operated, decided to convert the New Vehicles and Machinery Department into a wholly-owned subsidiary. of the cooperative wholesale establishment titled “Sathosa Motors Limited” on January 1, 1985 to provide more freedom to conduct business operations efficiently, in the face of competition from other car dealerships. Access Engineering PLC (AEL), a leading trading company in Sri Lanka, acquired the stake held in Sathosa Motors PLC by ITOCHU Corporation of Japan in February 2012. Subsequently, through the tender offer of mandatory shares, Access Engineering increased its stake to 84.42%. In its most recent pioneering achievement, SML introduced EURO IV emission standard commercial trucks in 2018, the first brand new EURO IV vehicles to enter the market. SML began selling Isuzu marine engines in 2021, continuing its heritage of highly reliable diesel engines in the marine industry.

Christopher Joshua, Managing Director of SML, said, “We are delighted to celebrate SML’s 60th anniversary this year and to be recognized as the market leader in the automotive industry’s Japanese commercial truck category. In this landmark year, we also celebrate 60 years of our partnership with Isuzu, a world renowned vehicle brand. We are grateful to Isuzu for maintaining its faith, trust and support in SML for over six decades and for awarding a coveted star rating to SML as one of its top 16 dealerships in the world, which is a real honor for SML and reflects its professionalism and confidence. service. Building on its loyal customer base and its ability to adapt to the new normal, SML is developing a new identity in after-sales services to strengthen its leadership position.

State-of-the-art aftermarket facilities

Six decades later, SML has created a value proposition for its loyal customer base by providing unparalleled after-sales service. The main businesses of the company are the sale of new vehicles, spare parts, marine engines; and workshop service. SML meets the country’s need for reliable, low-maintenance transportation solutions, especially for the business community.

One of the main reasons SML has established itself as a leader in the commercial vehicle segment is its renowned, proven, reliable, durable and efficient Isuzu diesel engines. In addition, SML has the commercial engine and repair expertise that provides exceptional aftermarket service to Isuzu customers. The company has built up a long-standing customer base, many of which only use Isuzu in vehicle fleets, we can call it a prestigious customer base, which represents all sectors of our economy.

SML has state-of-the-art aftermarket facilities at Vauxhall Street Colombo, Peliyagoda and Kurunegala. SML has made substantial investments in developing the workshop facilities, modernizing them with world-class equipment such as hydraulic lifts up to 30T, imported precision tools and other major facility upgrades . SML’s investments in workshop facilities have reaped rewards during the pandemic, allowing the company to show a reasonable performance. Although the sector got off to a slow start due to the COVID-19 lockdown, steady volume growth in the workshops was observed and the year saw the highest turnover ever.

Peliyagoda’s head office and workshop facilities were upgraded and upgraded, increasing the capacity of the workshop. In total, the Group has quadrupled the capacity of its workshops compared to its previous capacity, addressing a wider customer base in more regions. In its service and repair solutions, the workshops provide services that include the supply and repair of all minor and major vehicle spare parts as well as lubricant support. SML workshops rely on a range of state-of-the-art equipment installed for collision repair and analysis. The machines are operated by qualified and versatile technicians trained locally and abroad, according to the manufacturers’ strict operating standards.

SML is re-evaluating traditional methods of customer service to identify innovative ways to reach and serve customers more conveniently, safely and efficiently. In addition, the company is carefully evaluating its internal processes, systems and IT infrastructure to streamline and increase supply chain efficiency.

Marine engines

The company has made rapid inroads into the marine engine segment, having sold up to 20 engines within a year of launching this product line. The marine engine brand is well accepted by the fishing industry and boat owners. The all-new Japanese-made marine engines supplied by SML are popular around the world and offer better fuel efficiency and reliable performance over a long period of time. Backed by dedicated island-wide after-sales support, with trained and certified Isuzu technicians and a supply of spare parts, the company is building a steady influx of loyal customers who have provided excellent engine performance feedback. SML sailors.

Strategic expansion plan

Further strengthening its position, SML is expanding its position as a trusted leader in the automotive industry, investing heavily in workshops and establishing new branches at strategic locations in selected cities. In 2021, a new branch was opened in Negombo, focusing on inboard marine engines and spare parts sales. SML aims to expand the workshop and spare parts facilities in the coming year, providing new and existing customers with direct access to obtain after-sales services from regional branches. In addition, if necessary, the Company wishes to appoint dealers in remote areas to support customers. The Company now has 10 sites providing after-sales service, of which 03 spare parts branches were opened in Dambulla, Kandy & Badulla in 2021.

Further commenting, Priyantha Perera, Executive Director of SML said, “Despite 60 years in the industry, SML remains nimble and has evolved from a sales-focused to a service-focused business by driving expanding network and services to provide superior after-sales service. . Our workshops have state-of-the-art facilities that are the benchmark in the industry and the only facility dedicated to commercial vehicles that sets our offer apart. A significant investment has been made to improve the workshop infrastructure, including vehicle painting services in a pleasant atmosphere. SML single-handedly developed the Japanese truck segment, capturing a 60% market share. More importantly, our workshops offer services to all vehicle brands although the core business remains Isuzu vehicles. Our teams are professionally trained at home and abroad while continuous training is provided to ensure they remain at the forefront of vehicle servicing, repair and servicing.

Why reliable after-sales service is important

The reason people choose reputable vehicle brands is to ensure that they have access to proper maintenance and care of their vehicle from a qualified aftermarket provider. These factors contribute in a major way to the longevity of the vehicle, the safety and the optimization as well as the reduction of the repair costs over time due to the fact that the vehicle is maintained in the best possible way by the after-sales service provider. . SML has built strong relationships based on trust and reliability with its customers over the years.

The company plans to grow the aftermarket and aftermarket segment of the business and introduce new business ventures beyond its traditional and convenience product lines. As a trusted partner to a large customer base across the island, SML provides sound advice, including the need to keep vehicles in good working order by having them checked regularly, as the ban on importing vehicles could not be lifted in the foreseeable future.

Vehicles should be regularly checked, maintained and any premature irregularities immediately rectified without further damage to the vehicle. The use of genuine spare parts is important to keep the vehicle in good condition, while good maintenance and proper care improve the performance as well as the longevity of the vehicle. In order to keep the vehicle in perfect condition, you need a reliable service partner. SML is fully equipped to provide this service – offering a free health check for Isuzu vehicles using specialist tools imported from Japan that diagnose the vehicle’s current condition and performance and recommend repair and maintenance advice. proper maintenance. As most Isuzu vehicles are used for essential service distribution, we at SML stand ready to provide exceptional and uninterrupted service during this difficult time to maintain 100% availability of Isuzu vehicles to serve the entire country. .

Lynn A. Saleh