(MENAFN -Arab News) AGUAR-LAND Rover (JLR)’s Justin Weaving, regional sales director in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), had confirmed in an interview with Arab News that the company is undergoing discussion with the Saudi government for building a car facility in the Kingdom to make use of cheap aluminum production.
“A Letter of Intent has been signed and a detailed feasibility study is under way to determine the viability of setting up an automotive facility,” he said.
Weaving was in Saudi Arabia last September where he conducted a long-term review of the market based on continued investment currently being projected by their distributors in Saudi Arabia Mohamed Yousuf Naghi Motors (MYNM).
Amr Badghaish, director of marketing at MYNM, said the company is expecting to close 2013 with record sales reaching more than 2140 units and a growth of 48 percent over 2012.
This impressive performance was driven by MYNM’s commitment to support and develop both brands in Saudi Arabia in addition to the strong stream of product innovations that included four major launches over the past two years.
The whole of MENA market’s sales have increased by 38 percent from January to September 2013 over the same period of 2012, said Weaving.
“This was largely driven by demand of the flagship Range Rover, the All-New Range Rover Sport and the Jaguar XJ and XF,” he said.
As one of our top two markets in the region, Saudi Arabia continues to be a priority for us in terms of sales and after-sales customer service, he said.
Weaving confirmed that MENA is very significant for Jaguar Land Rover and the company is constantly looking at ways to expand its business in the region.
“Saudi Arabia is one of our top two markets in the region and we have ambitious plans to further enhance the customer experience across the Kingdom.”
This will be a key priority for the JLR in 2014, and the company will work closely with its exclusive Saudi dealer for JLR, MYNM, to deliver on this.
On prospects for the Saudi market in 2014, Badghaish said MYNM will continue its strategy of strong brand support and network expansion in 2014.
Currently, MYNM operates a wide network of branches in Jeddah, Riyadh, Alkhobar, and recently in Makkah and Madinah providing its customers throughout the Kingdom with the latest JLR models at competitive prices, premium aftersales service and genuine parts.
In addition, a new state-of-the-art showroom is planned for Riyadh in the first quarter of 2014.
Other major investments in network expansion are also in place to improve the JLR customer experience in Saudi Arabia.
Badghaish also confirmed that all Jaguar and Land Rover models are positioned to appeal to different segments of the premium automotive target audience.
As the Saudi market is characterized by large households on the one hand and varying terrains on the other, large SUVs are amongst the most preferred vehicles.
In this segment JLR has three models on offer that cover a wide spectrum of customer needs, these are the Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Land Rover LR4 where all three models offer luxury, capability and leisure.
On the Jaguar side, the large sedan Jaguar XJ is the main growth driver in Saudi Arabia, offering a seductive mix of striking design and robust performance.
It is also worth noting that Saudi Arabia is the leading market in XJ sales in the MENA region.
Weaving adds that JLR focuses on a combination of premium luxury craftsmanship, performance and design to appeal to the taste and preferences of customers.
JLR vehicles are manufactured to cope with the conditions in this region while boasting essential features for MENA customers.