Saudi Arabia Emerging as Regional Auto Hub

Wed Mar 13, 2013 2:36pm EDT

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USSABC to Promote Saudi Auto Industry at Michigan Conference  

VIENNA, Va.,  March 13, 2013  /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The U.S.-Saudi Arabian
Business Council (USSABC) is hosting a conference, titled "Saudi Arabia: New
Auto Market Hub for the  Middle East,  Africa,and  South Asia," in  Birmingham,
Michigan  on  June 26, 2013. The program will bring together senior Saudi
Government officials, major Saudi industrialists, and leading OEMs to highlight
the advantages of doing business in the  Middle East's largest car market.   

The Saudi Government has taken a number of steps to build an automotive cluster
in the country. Isuzu of  Japan  is already assembling light trucks in  Saudi
Arabia  and Jaguar/Land Rover has recently signed a letter of intent to build a
manufacturing plant as well. Low energy costs, a pro-business environment, and
the availability of raw material inputs for vehicle "lightweighting" are drawing
the attention of OEMs and automotive component suppliers worldwide.  Reducing
vehicle weight to meet rising fuel efficiency targets is a priority among most
auto manufacturers. Lightweight plastics and aluminum are key material inputs
for this effort.  Saudi Arabia  is home to the Saudi Basic Industries
Corporation (SABIC), a world leader in automotive plastics technology, and also
boasts one of the world's largest integrated aluminum production facilities, a
joint venture of Alcoa and Ma'aden,  Saudi Arabia's leading mining corporation.

Rising auto sales in  Saudi Arabia  and other emerging markets in the region has
also put the country on the map for OEMs looking to tap into new growth
opportunities.  Saudi Arabia's vehicle sales totaled 759,000 in 2011 and are
expected to pass the 1 million per year mark by 2018. The country also has
tariff free access to the 1.2 million annual auto market of the Gulf Cooperation
Council (GCC) nations and has rapid access to more than 400 million consumers in
the  Middle East  and  North Africa  (MENA). The powerhouse market of  South
Asia  - approximately one-fifth of the world's consumers - is within easy reach
by air and sea.

Confirmed speakers for the event include H.E. Dr.  Tawfig Alrabiah, Saudi
Minister of Commerce and Industry; Eng.  Mohamed Al-Mady, Saudi Arabian
Co-Chairman of the USSABC and Vice Chairman and CEO of SABIC; Mr.  Peter
Robertson, U.S. Co-Chairman of the USSABC and former Vice Chairman of Chevron
Corporation; and Eng.  Azzam Shalabi, President, National Industrial Clusters
Development Program.  Invited speakers include representatives from the Royal
Commission for Jubail and Yanbu, General Motors, Isuzu, and Land Rover.

The conference will take place from  9:00 a.m.  -  2:00 p.m.  at the Townsend
Hotel in  Birmingham, Michigan.  For more information and to register for the
conference, please visit  www.us-sabc.org/autoconference.  

About the USSABC
The U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC) was established in  December
1993  to improve the mutual knowledge and understanding between the private
sectors of the U.S and  Saudi Arabia  and to promote and facilitate increased
trade and investment between the two countries. The USSABC has built a
membership base of approximately 400 leading companies in the U.S. and  Saudi
Arabia  and serves as the central source of information and assistance for
companies that want to pursue specific business activities in Saudi Arabia.  The
USSABC organizes conferences and seminars in both countries to promote dialogue
between the two private sectors, as well as trade and investment missions that
provide networking opportunities for U.S. and Saudi companies. For more
information on the Business Council, please visit  www.us-sabc.org.

Contact:
Jay Ennis
Manager, Communications and Information Services
U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council
Phone:  (703) 962-9300
E-mail:   jennis@us-sabc.org   

SOURCE  U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council

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