With the core objective of working concertedly towards the greater good and progress of the automobile repair business, a new organisation called the Sri Lanka Automobile Service Providers Association (SLASPA) was inaugurated by entrepreneurs representing this vital industry on an island-wide basis.
With a history spanning more than 100 years, the automobile repair industry in Sri Lanka plays a pivotal role as a fundamentally important cog in the overall economic scenario. In this backdrop, the formation of the new body of industry stakeholders provided a window of opportunity to collectively address and resolve longstanding common issues confronting the trade.
The Chief Guest at the ceremonial inauguration held recently in Colombo was Erwin Shulz, Principal of the German Technical Institute in Kilinochchi, while Gamini Herath, Secretary-General, Sri Lanka Boat Builders Association, was a Guest of Honour, along with Hemantha Dambadeniya, a veteran engineer in the insurance industry.
The vision of the new association is to offer a superlative service on par with international standards to customers in the automobile repair sector, clear obstacles that hinder the forward-march of the industry, provide a training on an international level to professionals in the industry to improve their skills and update their knowledge, attract modern global technology to this industry in Sri Lanka, in addition to many other objectives to take this key segment to greater heights.
SLASPA President Rajitha Gomes, in his welcome address, said the association met a longstanding need for the whole automobile repair industry, including service stations, mechanical repairers, body shops and auto A/C repairers to express their views and also voice concerns on diverse issues pertaining to their business activities in providing automobile related services.
The association will endeavour to ensure an efficient, courteous and expeditious service to clients of the members, whilst improving the standards and quality of their workshops. The association will negotiate with Government establishments, regulatory bodies and insurance companies on behalf of the members, and will address the need for skilled and trained staff to face the challenges in repairing modern motor vehicles, he stressed.
Shulz said that the formation of an association to represent the interests of the automobile repair industry was essential as there wasn’t a single body to set out the skills needed by young person’s entering this industry in Sri Lanka. He invited SLASPA members to visit the German Technical Institute in Kilinochchi to acquaint themselves with the training facilities and see for them the young community receiving training in the area so that they could be employed as apprentices among SLASPA member establishments
SLASPA Secretary Amal Piyatilake, in his vote of thanks to the inaugural gathering, noted that the association would help all stakeholders in the automobile service industry to improve their capacity and quality of services provided, whilst building networking opportunities. “We will liaise with all relevant institutions as a group to safeguard the automobile service industry,” he emphasised.
The SLASPA core group comprises President – Rajitha Gomes (Spreymech Ltd.), Secretary – Amal Piyatilake (Wheel Masters Ltd.), Treasurer – Sashika De Silva (Glitz Park), National Organiser – Prasanna Gunathilake (Mag City) and the committee heads are Suraj Dandeniya (Arabian Motors), Suran Weerarathne and Dilshan Gomes of Spreymech and Glitz Park, respectively, Roshan Manjula (Weerasinghe Auto Smart), S.. Ranjith (Jayasekara Auto Engineers), Chaminda Gunathilake (Mr. Paint), Mohan Chandramohan (Auto Miraj), Chandana (Badulla Motors) and Hemantha Dambadeniya (Consultant).
A significant number of major automobile service providers from all major cities in the country were represented by their owners at the inauguration to support the association to achieve their common objectives. While the head office of the Sri Lanka Automobile Service Providers Association (SLASPA) is situated at No. 106, Arnold Ratnayake Mawatha, Colombo 10, moves are also underway to establish branch offices in major cities in the country. The association’s official website and Facebook page will be launched in near future. In addition, the SLASPA is also optimistic of launching a series of programs for the greater good and well-being of the automobile repair business.