History of Sathosa Motors
The origin of Sathosa Motors PLC goes back to 1962, when Isuzu Agency was secured by the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment in 1962. The first agreement was signed between M/s Isuzu Motors Limited, Tokyo, Japan (Manufacturer), M/s C Itoch & Co. Ltd., (Distributor) and Co-operative Wholesale Establishment C.W.E. (Franchise holder).
Although the demand for Japanese vehicles, specially for commercial vehicles, was not encouraging in 1960’s and early 1970’s, after the liberalization of imports in 1978, Isuzu became the most sought after vehicle by fleet owners, Government sector etc.
Isuzu vehicles spare parts imports and sales were handled by the New Vehicles & Machinery Department of C.W.E. up to 1985. However due to tremendous demand for Isuzu products in the Sri Lanka market, The Ministry of Trade and Commerce under whose purview C.W.E. operated, decided to convert the New Vehicles & Machinery Department as a fully owned subsidiary company of the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment titled as “Sathosa Motors Limited” on 1st January 1985 to give more freedom to carry on business operations efficiently, facing the competition from other vehicle dealerships.
Sathosa Motors Limited commenced operations with an issued capital of Rs 15,000,007 in 1985. In keeping with the government Policy, the Company was peoplised on 26th August 1992 and 60% of issued capital was acquired by M/s C Itoch & Co., Limited (ITOCHU Corporation) Tokyo, Japan, one of the largest trading organizations (Sogo-Shosa) in Japan. Of the remainder, 10% was gifted to employees and 30% was issued to the General Public..
In order to comply with new Companies Act No. 7 of 2007 the company was re-registered as Sathosa Motors PLC.
The Access Engineering Company Ltd (AEL) which went public acquired a major controlling stake in Sathosa Motors PLC (SML) on 29th February 2012.
The Sri Lankan military’s ‘vehicle of choice’ and a top European Luxury Brand in the country, Land Rover received a new lease of life with the brand being exclusively distributed under SML Frontier Automotive Pvt Ltd, where Sathosa Motors PLC having a 50% ownership.