W Motors is holding off expansion in Saudi Arabia as it's 'difficult to attract international talent to live in kingdom', says CEO Ralph Debbas
Dubai-based car manufacturer W Motors has achieved a whopping 400% growth rate in less than two years from 2017 to 2019, according to CEO and founder Ralph Debbas.
The company is known for making multi-million dollar cars, including the $3.4m Lykan Hypersport that featured in American action film Fast & Furious 7 in the famous scene that saw it crash through Abu Dhabi’s talent skyscrapers Etihad Towers.
The company also boasts an electric car making division called Iconiq, which it launched in partnership with a Chinese firm to create level 4 and 5 autonomous cars.
Speaking to Arabian Business, Debbas said W Motors expects further growth in November this year, as it plans to open its new factory, a research and development centre as well as a tech lab in Dubai Silicon Oasis.
It will also expand its offices in Shanghai and Beijing from 270 employees to 1,000 by the end of 2019.
However, W Motors is holding off expansion in Saudi Arabia, despite being approached “many times” to build a factory in the kingdom, according to Debbas.
“It’s difficult to attract international talent to live in Saudi Arabia…” he said, adding, “Now is not the right time, but we’ll get there soon”.
Debbas is unlikely to expand into his homeland of Lebanon, however, as it “doesn’t let you dream”, he said, referring to the country’s political conflicts and economic challenges.
“In my line of business, I have to dream all the time…” he said.
W Motors’ biggest markets are currently China and the US, though it saw a boom in hypercar customers from Germany and Switzerland, Debbas said.
Moreover, the company boasts a consultancy division, which makes up as much as 70 percent of its business.