Trevor Hill interview: Audi in the Middle East

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As with most of the luxury car brands, the United Arab Emirates is by far the most important Audi market in the Middle East with 41 per cent of the region’s sales, followed by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon and Qatar.

Audi already has shown its faith in the region by opening its largest showroom in the world on Sheikh Zayed Road. More than 50 cars can be shown on the floor at one time.

A further seven new major projects are in the pipeline, including sales and service facilities in Fujairah, Sharjah and Muscat, sales offices in Abu Dhabi and Doha and a service facility and body shop in Dubai.

“This shows a real commitment to the brand and this shows a real commitment to our customers in the region,” Hall says.

By the end of the year, Audi will be able to service an impressive 67 of its cars in Dubai at any one time.

But the company’s growth could be stifled by a lack of auto technicians capable of maintaining and repairing its vehicles.

It says it needs to increase the number of expert technicians by more than 200 percent globally. It is also on a major recruitment drive for sales staff to fill its new showrooms.

Managing the residual value of second-hand Audis is also a major plank of Hill’s plan to improve the attractiveness of the brand.

The overall task will be by no means easy but for the 50-year-old who first visited Dubai in 1993 when Sheikh Zayed Road was a thin, four-lane highway, as long as there is a vision it can be achieved.

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