In a “build them where you sell them” move, Saudi Arabia’s commerce ministry says it has signed a $1.2 billion deal with Jaguar Land Rover to build a 50,000 unit Land Rover factory in the country. JLR still plays hard to get and said that “this is purely exploratory” when contacted by Reuters. (Read More…)
Tag: Saudi Arabia
Tata is looking at twinning a new aluminum smelter with a vehicle assembly plant that would build Land Rover products.
Isuzu is joining the “let’s flee Japan and the rising yen” bandwagon, and their latest venture involves assembling export-bound trucks in Saudi Arabia.
Iraq hasn’t had anything noteworthy in the automotive space since the Iraqi Taxi debacle of the 1980′s, but with a population larger than Saudi Arabia, substantial oil reserves and increasing stability, Iraq is becoming a new target for automakers eager to sell cars to a population that’s been barred from Western vehicles due to international sanctions.
[Editor's note: I want to be clear that, despite the unconventional, somewhat light-hearted tone of this post, the editors of TTAC take the right to drive very seriously. Sometimes, however, the absurdity of injustice can only be captured with more absurdity]
Najalaa Harriri lives in a sad little world where women are still forced to dress like Halloween ghosts. Besides spending a miserable lifetime as someone else’s property, Ms. Harriri was sentenced to ten lashes for the ultimate sin of driving an automobile in Saudi Arabia (the sentence has since been suspended by the king). I have to wonder about this. Was it a Yugo? A souped up Corolla that did powerslides? A car imported from Zionist occupiers who still give Muslims more rights than the Saudi monarchy?
No to all the above.
After Libya, Yemen, Iran, Syria and Egypt, we are back in the Middle-East this weekend to visit Saudi Arabia. A (very dangerous) Saudi specialty is drifting a la ‘Fast and Furious’ in traffic-filled streets, as you can see in the video above. Do not try this at home please!
Now if you’re not interested in knowing more about car sales in Saudi Arabia, then I am very disappointed in you. But there are two things you can do: check out the 19 countries we have already explored each weekend by clicking here, or explore the 154 other countries available in my blog.
One thing I bet you didn’t know is that Saudi Arabia’s tastes for cars are very similar to America’s…
The NY Times reports:
Manal al-Sharif, one of the organizers of an online campaign encouraging Saudi women to drive en masse on June 17, was arrested on Sunday, days after she posted video of herself flouting the kingdom’s ban on female drivers on YouTube. Traces of Ms. Sharif’s campaign also started to disappear from the Web.
Following her arrest, the YouTube video of Ms. Sharif driving became inaccessible, as did a second clip, in which she outlined how women could take part in the June 17 protest. A Facebook page she set up called “Teach Me How to Drive So I Can Protect Myself,” which had more than 12,000 fans, was deleted. The Twitter account she used to spread news of the protest movement was copied and altered to make it seem as if she had called off the campaign.
As much as we tend to value cars as the ultimate tool of personal freedom, TTAC could definitely do more to cover the plight of those banned from the roads for nothing more than their gender. Though a hugely loaded and controversial issue, it is perhaps one of the most truly principled causes at the confluence of cars and culture. We wish Ms al-Sharif the very best in her struggle to attain a right we too often take for granted.
Bonus challenge for TTAC’s Best and Brightest: can you identify the car Ms al-Sharif is driving in this clip? I’ve wasted enough time today trying to figure it out…
Possibly worried that SUVs are falling out of favor along with the dinosaur juice that keeps their desert kingdom afloat, Saudi Arabia is getting into the SUV business, with this Ghazal 1. Personally approved by King Abdullah, some 20,000 of these peculiarly-styled utes will be sold around the Gulf Region each year, according to Top Gear. The project started life as a Mercedes G-Wagen, which was re-skinned by students at King Saud University. Apparently the king was so impressed with the design (or just bored enough with his Escalade) that he approved the thing for production. Pricing, equipment and options are not available at the moment, but don’t expect the Ghazal 1 to do particularly well outside of the circle of Saudi Royal Family dependents. On the other hand, that is one hell of a market right there…