x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Subaru distributor in Dh90m expansion

The distributor of Subaru cars in northern UAE is investing Dh90 million in an expansion plan.

The distributor of Subaru cars in the northern UAE is investing Dh90 million (US$24.5m) in an expansion plan, as it targets a 45 per cent increase in sales next year.

Al Khoory Automobiles, the distributor of the Japanese brand in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, yesterday opened a showroom in Sharjah and said it would expand to other areas such as Ras Al Khaimah.

Nayyar Zaidi, the general manager for marketing and sales at Al Khoory, said the total investment in expanding beyond its Dubai base was Dh90m.

"We've invested Dh45m on this project [in Sharjah]. It includes a showroom, a service centre and a parts facility," he said.

"We had a showroom in Dubai and we have a lot of clients living in Sharjah … Proximity to our clients is important for us for the brand to grow."

Another Dh45m would be spent on expanding into at least two other emirates, including Ras Al Khaimah, he added. Mr Zaidi said the company had enjoyed 40 per cent growth in sales this year and is targeting 45 per cent growth next year.

He said that higher sales this year were attributable to new models released to the market, but said the earthquake that hit Japan in March had affected the business.

"There was the earthquake in Japan, so there is definitely a slowdown in production," he said. "But it's all been fixed now, so we've started getting a regular supply of vehicles."

Al Khoory said it was targeting a 10 per cent share of the Japanese sport utility vehicle market in the UAE.

"We are looking at expanding Subaru SUV market in the UAE. While the demand for SUVs is still there, there is a greater preference for smaller 4x4s as buyers take fuel-efficiency and the environment into consideration," Mr Zaidi said.

bflanagan@thenational.ae