At the end of World War II, most Italians, badly affected by the war, lacked viable modes of transport and the financial means to acquire full-sized four-wheeled vehicles. In 1947, Corradino D’Ascanio, aircraft designer and inventor, originated the idea of a light three wheeled commercial vehicle to power Italy’s economical reconstruction. The idea was in favour with Enrico Piaggio, the son of Piaggio Company’s founder, which resulted in Piaggio introducing the first three-wheeler to the world; making the company a pioneer in economical passenger transport.
Keeping with the company’s tradition of catering to the demands of the market, Associated Motorways (AMW) introduced Piaggio three-wheelers to Sri Lanka in 1999. Launched as a dual purpose passenger transport vehicle, the Piaggio three-wheeler is the most cost effective vehicle in its market segment and has been a significant asset to customers, especially for those customers who are self-employed.
Subsequent to introducing the groundbreaking Piaggio three-wheeler and based on its success in the local market, AMW also launched three-wheeler pick-ups and three-wheeler delivery vans, further providing diverse business solutions and catering to the diverse needs of its clientele. These vehicles are used for varied purposes such as distribution of bakery items, gas, yoghurt, soft drinks and even as mobile sales units.
The practicality and cost-efficiency of the Piaggio three-wheeler has seen its popularity spread, even among such FMCG companies such as Unilever, Coca-Cola Beverages and Lucky Yoghurt. These Piaggio three-wheelers are able to carry up to 600 kilograms, have the ability to run up to 40 kilometres per litre (approximate cost per kilometre is as low as Rs. 3.00) and are unique features to the brand, and have now become an integral part of the distribution channels of these large scale organisations.
The three wheeler market in Sri Lanka emerged due to a need in low cost transportation – a mode of transportation which is less costly in maintenance, fuel consumption and the initial investment. Currently, the market transacts approximately 5,000 units per month despite aggressive competition, fluctuations in interest rates and import regulatory levies. With 18 Piaggio branches and 20 sales dealers strategically located across Sri Lanka, AMW is fully equipped to cater to a broader customer base and their individual needs. Additionally, the company is in partnership with over 500 service centres and spare-part dealers, adding further convenience to the customer.
Over the past 12 years, AMW has taken steps to broaden Piaggio’s product range in Sri Lanka. While ‘Ape City’ and ‘D3S’ are used for passenger transportation, ‘Pickup 3 wheeler’ and ‘Delivery 3 wheeler’ were introduced as transport vehicles. Based on the continued demand for economical transportation, AMW recently entered the four wheeler category with the launch of two products, ‘Piaggio BOSA’ and ‘Piaggio Tak Tak’, which are equipped to carry up to 1,000 kilograms.
AMW is the current leader in the motor industry in Sri Lanka, representing established international brands such as Nissan, Suzuki and Suzuki Maruti and a diverse range of automotive services. With over 60 years of experience in the transport industry and operating in partnership with UAE-based global conglomerate, the Al-Futtaim Group, AMW is also one of the leading multinational automotive groups in Sri Lanka.