Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Graham Grieve, the global vice president of importer markets for BMW, which has seen increased demand for its cars nationwide.
Graham Grieve, the global vice president of importer markets for BMW, which has seen increased demand for its cars nationwide.

BMW invests to meet rise in demand

BMW is to build a state of the art new showroom in the UAE for a cost of Dh300million

Demand for BMW cars in the Emirates has increased so much this year that dealerships across the country plan to invest Dh300 million (US$81.6m) building showrooms and repair shops.

The move comes after a 19 per cent rise in sales in the first quarter of the year.

"The UAE is a very significant market for us and has an eclectic mix of customers that are local and expat," said Graham Grieve, the vice president of importer markets for BMW globally. "The investment is not only important in terms of sales and performance, but also the type of business that we do."

The brand's X5 and X6 models are becoming increasingly popular as the economic recovery takes hold, Mr Grieve said.

He was in the UAE last night to attend the opening of a flagship showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, built and financed by AGMC, the exclusive dealer for BMW, Rolls-Royce and Mini in Dubai, Sharjah and the Northern Emirates.

The Dh50m spent so far on the new showroom is part of the dealer's Dh80m expansion plan for this year.

"We are investing on many different levels to ensure we have the right facilities and staff to sell new and pre-owned cars," said Stathis I Stathis, the newly appointed managing director of Al Batha Automotive Group, AGMC's parent company.

A Mini showroom is expected to be launched in Media City by the end of the year. Although AGMC is making a hefty financial outlay, the company's investment is dwarfed by that of Abu Dhabi Motors, the exclusive dealer in the emirate, which is spending Dh220m on showrooms and maintenance facilities.

Abu Dhabi is BMW's fastest-growing market, with sales growth of 42 per cent in the first quarter. Dubai is up 38 per cent and Saudi Arabia 11 per cent.

Despite unrest across much of the region, BMW ended the first quarter of this year with a 19 per cent growth in sales.

"It would be very nice to see that growth continue through the year," Mr Grieve said. "Whether we succeed or not generally depends on how the political situation in the region develops. We have clearly been affected in some of our key areas like Syria, Bahrain and Lebanon, but we have still continued to see those very high growth rates."

A total of 4,635 BMW and Mini cars were delivered to customers across 14 markets in the region in the first quarter.

"Some of the business that we may have missed at the beginning of the year I hope we catch back," Mr Grieve said. "From an economic and social perspective, I hope we get back to stability very soon."

The BMW 5 Series was the company's best-selling model in the first quarter, followed by the flagship BMW 7 Series, the BMW X6 Sports Activity Coupe and the BMW 3 Series.

A new 6 Series Coupe is planned for the region in September, Mr Grieve said. BMW operates internationally with 24 production sites in 13 countries and a sales staff and representatives in more than 140 countries.

The BMW Group sold 1.46 million cars and more than 110,000 motorcycles worldwide during the last financial year.



Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National