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Tue 14 Jan 2020 04:02 PM

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John Roth, MD of General Motors Middle East: "Much can change in a year"

Predictions For 2020: The opening up of the Saudi Arabian market saw nearly three quarters of new sales made by female drivers last year

John Roth, MD of General Motors Middle East: "Much can change in a year"

John Roth, President and Managing Director of General Motors Africa and Middle East

Much can change in a year. Since General Motors’ creation, we have always innovated and challenged ourselves using technology and engineering to bring products, parts and experience for our consumers’ ever-changing needs.

In 2019, we brought our most versatile line-up to the region. Cadillac’s first-ever crossover, the XT4, arrived in the region and became a leader in its segment, including amongst growing drivers in KSA. In fact, 65 percent of purchases in the kingdom were made by women. We also welcomed back a favorite in its own right – the Chevrolet Blazer, which continues to receive an unprecedented response.

Last year also saw the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado and 2019 GMC Sierra’s newest models introduced, including the two trims exclusively available in the region for the Chevrolet Silverado regular cab, Trail Boss and RST, and for the GMC Sierra regular cab, AT4 and Elevation.


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Triple-digit growth

2019 also marked growth for GM and the industry. The Chevrolet Traverse is among the bestselling SUVs in KSA, with over 333 percent of growth. The Traverse, alongside the GMC Acadia, outpaced the wider industry with 52 percent growth since 2018.

Beyond products, evolving consumer needs will continue to disrupt the heart of our industry. This means that ensuring products are paired with the right ownership experience is key. Our brands’ customer support networks will continue being central to our operations, starting online and extending to a physical footprint of 16 dealers and 179 customer-facing rooftops across 10 countries in the Middle East, including 14 new ACDelco Service Centres opened in 2019 alone.

Aiming for zero

A year also moves us closer to our goals. At GM, we see a future with zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion, a journey which takes single steps every day to make it a reality. In 2019, we continued our work alongside visionary leadership in the region to educate, raise awareness and drive adoption of alternative propulsion vehicles, utilizing our Chevrolet Bolt EV with its best-in-class range of 525km. For this work GM Africa & Middle East received Frost & Sullivan’s GCC Electric Vehicles Visionary Innovation Leadership Award, its first ever in the region.

"What will remain constant is our commitment to make every journey for our customers safe, seamless and exceptional"

And we didn’t stop there. At GITEX, we announced that our OnStar platform will be arriving to the region in 2020, a connected safety and security service with a human connection at the centre of operations.

At the Dubai International Motor Show, across Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac, we had six reveals and 18 incredible products on display. From the technologically-stunning 2020 Cadillac CT5 and the distinct capability of the 2020 GMC Acadia AT4, to the all-new crossover experience with the 2020 Chevrolet Captiva and, of course, the first-ever mid-engine – the 2020 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray.

This isn’t a way for us to close 2019, but a running start for what we can accomplish in 2020 and the opportunity we see for the region in the years ahead. Much can change in a year, and at GM we are even disrupting ourselves and see more change in the industry in the next 5-10 years than the past 50.

But, what will remain constant is our commitment to make every journey for our customers safe, seamless and exceptional.

John Roth, President and Managing Director of General Motors Africa and Middle East

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