The sole distributor of Bentley, Bugatti, McLaren and Mitsubishi in the UAE is introducing one of China's largest vehicle brands to the country.
Al Habtoor Motors will launch a mix of JAC Motors' passenger, light and heavy commercial vehicles to the UAE market, aiming to make it one of the most competitive brands in the next five years.
It will open its first showroom in Dubai by October, followed by a second in Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of next year.
"We have plans to expand its dealership network to other emirates within two years after the first showroom is launched," said Joe Rogan, director of sales at Al Habtoor Motors, which also distributes Fuso, Chery, and Temsa vehicles.
"We have taken on Chery [a Chinese passenger vehicle brand] as well, so we are hoping to mix and match these two brands along with our current franchise of Mitsubishi. We cover all the emirates, so we think we will certainly have three or four [showrooms] of each throughout the UAE."
With an annual production capacity of more than 700,000 vehicles, JAC is ranked among the top 10 brands in the Chinese car industry and is the number one commercial vehicle manufacturer in the country. It currently has more than 500 dealerships and 14 assembly plants in more than 50 countries.
"We have been looking at the Chinese motor trade over these last number of years and we have looked at many other franchises," said Mr Rogan.
"JAC certainly seemed to fit our business because of the models that they are currently offering and other models that are coming down the line, both from a passenger vehicle and also a light commercial vehicle and heavy duty commercial vehicle product lineup," said Mr Rogan.
JAC is a state-owned automotive manufacturer based in Hefei, Anhui Province in eastern China. Established in 1964 as Hefei Automobile Factory, the company changed its name to Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Company in 1997 and made an IPO on the Shanghai Stock Exchange in 2001. It started out making commercial trucks, but expanded its range, adding MPVs, SUVs and passenger cars in the 2000s.