The pioneering Sri Lankan car maker, Micro Car Co Ltd, in another significant breakthrough is offering a car that can be run on either diesel or battery power.
`Micro-Trend` designed by the world-renowned Italian motorcar designer `Pininfarina` is now on the assembly line. Micro Car chairman, Dr Lawrence Perera told The Sunday Times FT that the new car `Trend` would be in the market next month. Initially 60 new cars would be released to the market monthly with a 1000 cc engine at a cost of around Rs 1.2 million, lower than a similar Japanese car that fetches around Rs 2.2 million.
The `Micro` car that went into production in 2003 has since then sold more than 500 units. Prospective buyers now have to wait for about five months to buy a new Micro. The present production capacity is 100 Micros per month. Earlier it was 35 to 40 and by 2006 the production would be increased to 600 per month.
Dr Perera said the company, while meeting local demand, would be soon exporting the Micro to Algeria, some South African countries and probably Bangladesh and Nepal.
He said the Micro cars are fast selling in the local market for their cost effectiveness and the free availability of spare-parts.