Encouraged by steady sales growth, French auto giant Renault will be setting up a Middle East operational division.
Starting February 1, the company has announced its plans to combine management operations across 12 Middle East countries with a regional office based in Dubai. The 12 countries under Renault Middle East would include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE. By consolidating regional countries under one umbrella, Renault Middle East will contribute to the overall growth targets in Asia-Pacific region. The area is key for Renault’s ambitions as it represents 50 percent of the worldwide automobile market.
In 2012, Renault sales showed robust performance in the Middle East and increased by 10 percent to reach 116,952 units. As a result, the total market share of brand grew from 3.5 percent in 2011 to 4.4 percent last year. The French car maker has set aggressive targets and aims to become the number one European brand in 2016.
An official statement by Renault says that the new Middle East unit will use the “resources and talents of all Renault teams to maximize Renault’s performance and market share. As such, Renault will strengthen all its functions in the region through a reinforced proximity to markets”.
According to Peyman Kargar, Renault Middle East managing director, “our current regional office has shown the way with a significant increase in market share in the GCC from 0.2 percent in 2010 to 1 percent in 2012”. However, he believes that Middle East is a high potential market of great strategic importance for brand development.
In recent years, Middle East region has remained central for the expansion plans of several global brands such as Audi, BMW and Hyundai. A booming economy has bolstered higher consumer spending on latest car models.