Al Habtoor Motors to open 40 car repair garages

Subsidiary of Dubai firm will also open a garage warehouse for 150 second-hand cars
Al Habtoor Motors to open 40 car repair garages
Al Habtoor Motors distributes brands including Mitsubishi (pictured), McLaren and Bentley.
By Claire Valdini
Tue 17 Jul 2012 10:25 AM

Al Habtoor Motors, a subsidiary of conglomerate Al Habtoor Group, will open 40 car repair garages across the GCC over the next two years under a new brand called Speed Fit, its managing director has said.

The firm, which owns franchise rights for car brands such as Mitsubishi, Bugatti, Bentley and McLaren, will also open a warehouse-style showroom for second hand cars in Dubai, said Karl Hamer.

“[Speed Fit] will serve the three-year plus customer; the older vehicles on the road. It will be open seven-days a week and have longer hours to suit customers. You will be able to have the jobs done while you wait instead of booking into a traditional garage,” said Hamer.

Speed Fit, based on a similar model to UK-based Kwik Fit, will open its first branch in Dubai’s Ramool area and a second in Abu Dhabi. “We plan to open 40 stores across the GCC over the next two to three years,” added Hamer.

Car-makers have seen a surge in car sales in the UAE amid rising oil prices and a return to economic stability following the Arab Spring. UAE gross domestic product is expected to rise three percent this year, the country’s Minister of Economy said in June.

Brent August crude increased US$1.33 to reach US$102.40 a barrel last week, moving above its 50-day moving average for the first time since April when it pushed past US$101.65.

Al Habtoor Motors said car sales across all of its divisions are expected to grow this year. The firm expects to sell 300 Bentley’s in 2011, making the UAE the car-maker's second largest market after China. It also plans to sell up to 12 Bugatti’s, out of a total of 50 produced worldwide, while sales across Mitsubishi models are expected to reach 25,000.

“Profit-wise the business is well ahead of last year,” said Hamer.

The Dubai-based firm will also invest up to AED3m on the fit-out of Car Zone, a new-warehouse style showroom, amid a rise in secondhand car sales, said Hamer. “It will be all makes [of car] and it will be a volume product. It’s a big warehouse with 150 cars with a three year warranty. The used car [business] is seeing a big growth for us.”

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