Be Lankan, Buy Lankan – the story of Micro Trend
This I saw on a Micro Trend Car. For those of who don’t know Micro Trend it is a locally assembled Chinese car. It is the second car to be put on Sale by Micro, the first company to produce a fully indigenous car.
When I saw this only it struck to me that I have seen only a very few Micro Trends on the road. You can’t complain much about the looks of it, if I remember correctly it was designed by an Italian design firm. Since it is Chinese, it must be as good as any Chinese made car. But for whatever reason, you see more Cherry QQ’s than Micro Trends on the road. And personally speaking I think the QQ is a bit hideous looking to start with.
Maybe it’s the price factor. The QQ is a few lakh rupees cheaper. So is the Maruthy 800. But what about the cars that are in the same price range. The Maruthy Zen and the Maruthy Alto. I think they are in the same price range. But they seem to be more popular than the local make.
Maybe the deep down reason is that we do not trust our local makes. This lack of trust is keeping us away from the Trend. When I saw the Trend for the first time, I thought it was a pretty good looking car. There were two things that kept me away from it, it’s size (I need a bigger car due to my long limbs) and the lack of automatic transmission (it’s a luxury that I have come to enjoy too much with the bumper to bumper traffic on Colombo roads).
So why do people choose the Indian or the Chinese varieties over the Sri Lankan assembled Chinese car? Maybe the price? So if the government gives the company enough subsidies to help them bring the price down, then they may have a pretty good market.
But the good news is the two Korean SUV’s assembled by Micro in Sri Lanka seems to be having a good response from the market. The secret there maybe because they enjoy a price advantage. So why not do that for the cars and create a Sri Lankan automotive industry?