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Tue 15 Jun 2010 08:09 AM

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King Abdullah launches first Saudi-made car

The SUV, called Ghazal 1, is designed specifically for the Gulf climate.

King Abdullah launches first Saudi-made car
FIRST CAR: The Ghazal 1 has been designed specifically for the Gulf climate.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has unveiled the first ever car to be entirely produced and built in the kingdom, local media reports on Tuesday.

The SUV, called Ghazal 1, was built by engineers at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh and is designed specifically for the Gulf climate.

Ghazal 1, named after a desert deer, was developed over the last two years in collaboration with several major companies, like Motorola, Mercedes and Magna Canada, Arab News reports.

"This car is designed for use on all roads and terrain, even in difficult conditions, while the car interior is designed to provide comfort for passengers," Professor Said Darwish of KSU's industrial engineering department, told the paper.

Saudi has aspirations of launching an automotive manufacturing sector as officials look to diversify the economy away from its traditional oil reliance.

Darwish told the paper there are plans to produce 20,000 of the cars annually.

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Ex-Expat 10 years ago

Can we please have some specifications of this great car? Minimum being type of engine (origin?), consumption, performance and price. Since it 'was' build, these figures should be available.

Tarek Rakha 10 years ago

Viva KSA, looking forward to the launch of the vehicle in the market. Keep it up KSA

Dastagir 10 years ago

This is a very good step in the right direction, and more GCC countries should follow this step. Most of the Western manufacturers are overcharging for their products. Hope this will be a good beginning and more products would follow not just motor vehicles but other products also. An Asian collaboration is best for keeping the prices low.

Ex-Expat 10 years ago

It really looks like a budget car, hahaha.... And you don't want to know where all the know how came from, my friend. My guess: the engine is of German origin. The Tata Nano is the real deal!

AJ 10 years ago

Looks like a toyota landcruiser with a modified exterior. And they want to sell this for about USD 100,000!! What's the point in attempting something that you'll never be good at anyway?

Telco guy 10 years ago

I am very glad the saudis built a car and all that, but i am kind of curious about how moving into a sector that has been plagued by global overcapacity is such a great move. And no i am not jealous of anybody's achievements. I am just asking about the economic logic. I hope this is not too much asking for Arabian Business.

Here Now 10 years ago

To AJ and Ex-Expat: Really weird comments from you two! Why all the negativity and hate?! I'm guessing the car itself has little to do with it. It's a very beautiful car as can be seen here: http://xrdarabia.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/14-king-truck.jpg For a very first shot at car manufacturing, this is quite awesome. Oh, and when keep saying that parts of it were made abroad, here's a bit of a fact: did you know that the Chevrolet Caprice and Lumina are re-badged Holden Statesman and Commodore, respectively? (Holden is an Australian company). That's just an example. Criticism: yes. Hate: no.

Ismial Mohd 10 years ago

By the way, could not help wondering whatever happend to the news once you all probably read sometime ago, that Iran had plans to produce a car 100% sharia compliant .( Dont ask me what is that all about ) Iran said its design would have Islamci features, including the prayer directional indicators etc... Comparing to those statements , Saudi's venture should be truly appreicated for they dont come up with any such tall claims, but talk just about a practical car. A commendable attempt when all we get to hear from these part of the world these days is about Islamic banking, Islamic credit card, Isamic mutual fund, every product attached to religious tag. ( A marketing strategy ?) At last we have a secular product .

Ex-Expat 10 years ago

Its not about hate. Maybe thats how you feel about things. Its about reality. This is a car that only serves one purpose: Pride. A lot of money has been used to buy foreign know how to put a car on the road, that is an expensive gas burner that will never have a market anywhere outside KSA and even there you will have to be very lucky to ever see one on the road. Sweet oily dreams, nothing else.

NAIVE 10 years ago