The year was 1947 and Sri Lanka was taking baby steps in the automotive industry. Motor cars were few and far between. Sompala Kodituwakku was a man with an idea - an idea to enter a business many considered to be risky. But his passion for cars was second only to his dream to succeed. Seeing the opportunities ahead Somapala opened the first ever motor spare parts store in a quiet corner of Matara in southern Sri Lanka. So began the story of Ruhunu Motors Limited.
British cars cruised the streets of Ceylon at the time Somapala Kodituwakku entered the spare parts business. He began dealing in British spare parts and soon established a reputation as a solid partner for motor spare part importers at the time. Ruhunu Motors became agents in Matara for British spare parts for Hilman cars, Morris Minors and Ford vehicles.
Today Panchikawatte in the heart of the capital Colombo is the throbbing, buzzing heart of the country's spare parts industry. In 1952 the story was different. Panchikawatte was a quiet city center, popular even then as a location to source used spare parts. It was the perfect spot for one entrepreneur to set up his first motor spares shop. Somapala was a pioneer in every sense, becoming the first person to start selling Genuine Spare Parts in Panchikawatte under the name Somapala & Company.
Somapala's youngest son Bandu returned from the UK to take the wheel and revive his father's company Ruhunu Motors and began importing two-wheel tractor parts for Kubota, Yanmar and PERKINS and BEPCO brand spares for Massey Fergusson tractors.In the year of 1981 Bandu registers Ruhunu Motors as a limited liability company converting his father's company into Ruhunu Motors Limited.
The company begins importing NSK bearings, the No. 1 Japanese brand for automotive bearings. It was a relationship that has strengthened over the years and saw RML appointed as the official distributor for NSK by 2000.
In 1988 the company began importing AISIN spare parts and by 2007 had become the exclusive official distributor for this global Japanese brand.
Ruhunu Motors Ltd. begins importing the Japanese brand 555 in 1988 and 6 years later is appointed the official distributor for 555 becoming one of only two industry players in Sri Lanka to achieve that status.
2003 Ruhunu Motors Limited re-opens its new showroom in Panchikawatte after a facelift which signifies the companies evolution as a force to reckon with in the spare parts industry. RML has progressed from a humble shop in 1947 to be among the largest spare parts importers in Sri Lanka with a distribution network that runs island-wide and a brand portfolio that includes top Japanese brands such as Denso, AISIN, NSK, Bando and 555.