Historical Background and outline
In the early and mid 1970’s the government of Sri Lanka pursued a closed economic policy. During this period from an essentially agro-based economy, Sri Lanka progressively transformed into an agro / industrial and liberalized economy. With this liberalized economic policy regulations for importation has been removed. An individual or an organization is free to import brand new vehicles or used vehicles. This gives rise to the large volume of motor vehicle influx to the country. The increase of motor vehicles in certain years from 1977 to 1985 was phenomenal.
At 1977 the total number of vehicles was only 208,026. By 1985 the number of registered vehicles on the roads of Sri Lanka had increased to 523 , 723 over a 100% increase, signifying the country’s demand for motorized transport. With this dramatic growth of passenger and cargo transportation which has been caused by the liberalization of economic activities of Sri Lanka in the endeavor to emerge us a newly industrialized country has paved the way to the promotion of motorization and automobile industry.
The service and maintenance needs of this rapidly increasing influx of vehicles was handled by the import agencies and small , medium and way- side repair shops. The import agents had reasonably well equipped and scatted repair facilities.
However, small scale wayside repair shops do not have formally trained technicians and proper tools and equipments. Further, the vehicles being imported both brand new and used incorporated with modern advanced technology including electronic systems. Having deal with models mainly produced in the 1960’s the available Sri Lankan technicians, beside being in adequate ,were far behind the technological advances made in 1970’s and 1980’s rendering their skills obsolete and irrelevant .This became very apparent with the liberalization of imports to Sri Lanka creating an urgent demand for systematically trained technician in the automobile sector.
Due to remarkable increasing of vehicle population setting up a training institute which offer systematic theoretical and practical training for the repair and maintenance of gasoline and diesel passenger cars and light trucks are becoming more and more important in the sector. With the need for a training institute for automobile technicians fairly clear the Government of Sri Lanka made a request to the government of Japan for grant aid to establish a National Training centre for the “Automobile Industry”
In response to the Government of Sri Lanka request the Government of Japan in February 1987, sent a preliminary study team to confirm the details of the request made by Government of Sri Lanka based on the results of the preliminary survey .The Government of Japan sent a basic design team through the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA) in June \July 1987 .The institute with support from the Japanese Government was inaugurated in November 1989.