Sri Lankan roads are to see a new set of wheels in the form of a locally developed trishaw that is to be introduced to the market by the end of the year.
The trishaw, which is to hit the roads under the brand name ‘Macro’, has been developed and designed locally and is to be handed over to the Registrar of Motor Vehicles (RMV) for approval.
The trishaw, whose body and chassis have been designed and made in Sri Lanka by Dilma Auto Trading, Malabe is to be released to the market by the end of the year. The trishaw, according to Managing Director, Dilma Auto Trading, Lasith Dias stated that the trishaw has been modeled with the basic facilities of a car.
A sum of Rs. 20 million has been invested for the production of Macro trishaws at the moment. “We will have to increase our investment as we develop. Right now, we have received orders for 400 trishaws, which would be produced once we get the nod of the RMV,” Dias added.
The main aspect of the three-wheeler is the manner in which its chassis has been designed taking safety precautions to minimize damage. Dias stated that this model has a chassis which extends to the front portion of the vehicle, and is designed to absorb the shock due to a head on collision. “The chassis extends up to the handle, which will prevent the trishaw from being squashed,” he said.
Accordingly, the three-wheeler is more than just another trishaw and includes several features unique to itself. The features include keyless ignition system, reverse sensors, adjustable rider’s seat among several others.
The trishaw, which is expected to be sold at Rs. 475,000 also boasts of a 200CC engine, comfy cushions, and an audio set with speakers. “Generally, the buyer gets a basic trishaw for Rs.525,000 and has to spend additional money to customize the vehicle. However, we provide the complete vehicle where the buyer does not have to spend a single cent additionally. All he has to do is buy and ride,” Dias said.
The vehicle gained prominence when it was displayed at the recently concluded Colombo Motor Show at the BMICH. “We bring down custom-made parts for the vehicle. However, in the long run we hope to include local entrepreneurs to provide their support in providing the necessary accessories that are made locally.
“There are companies that manufacture tires, windscreens and several other accessories in Sri Lanka. However, we are importing them at the moment because we need to look at the quality. We are currently holding discussions with several companies and organizations and will involve them in the manufacturing process in the future,” he said.
The immediate challenge, however, is to break into a market which already has a million trishaws on the road. “We are confident that we can break into the market. The only aspect which I am skeptical is about the notion people have towards local product.
Pics by Chandana Wijesinghe