GHAZANFAR ALI KHAN
Published — Sunday 18 November 2012
Last update 18 November 2012 5:59 am
RIYADH: Tata Motors Company, India's multinational automotive giant, has appointed Manahil International Company, a member of Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group, as its exclusive distributor in Saudi Arabia.
This was announced by Mohamed Yousuf Naghi, chairman of Naghi Group, and Karl Slym, managing director of Tata Motors, at a press conference in the Ritz Carlton Hotel here yesterday.
A partnership agreement that formally explains the terms and conditions of the business relations, especially the distributorship, was signed by Naghi and Slym after the press meet.
The move on the part of Tata Motors to hand over sole distributorship to Naghi Motors will help the two companies to increase their market standing, enhance sales and build customer touch points across the country.
Addressing the press conference, Chairman Naghi said: "I am delighted to ink the business agreement with Tata Motors, which will position the two companies on a solid footing to sell world-class commercial and passenger vehicles manufactured by Tata. We are proud to be associated with Tata Motors, whose new breed of strong, reliable, stylish and feature-rich vehicles will further strengthen the company's growth in Saudi Arabia," he added.
Tata Motors marked the event with the launch of nine commercial vehicles, including passenger cars. A commemorative plaque was presented by Tata Motors chief to Naghi after the signing ceremony. Top executives of Naghi Group and Tata Group were among those present.
Prominent among them included Heydan Leshel, executive vice president of Naghi Group; Imtiaz Hussain, project launch manager of Manahil International; Ganesh Shetty, Tata's regional manager; Sagar Dhar, Tata's area manager; Azeem Khan, Tata's country manager for Saudi Arabia; and Aftab Ahmad, business development manager of Olayan Voltas Contracting Company. Olayan Voltas is one of the subsidiaries of Tata Group.
Giving details of the agreement, Naghi said: “The deal will take forward the current relationship into a "new direction." He said that the Manahil International would now have exclusive distribution rights for Tata Motors in the Kingdom, and also be its service partners for all marketing, sales and after-sales services within the Kingdom.
Tata Group, represented by Manahil, is currently displaying a range of its vehicles at the Riyadh motor show, a major international exhibition of manufacturers and distributors, which opened here yesterday. Among Tata’s passenger vehicles on display are Tata Aria, Tata Indigo Maza and Tata Indica Vista. Tata Motors is also showcasing its commercial vehicles like Tata Super Ace, Tata Prima, Tata Xenon Pick-Up, Tata LPO 1618 School Bus and the Tata LPO 1624 bus.
Naghi said that Tata Motors is well-placed to deliver a number of products, ranging from one ton Super Ace commercial vehicle to smaller passenger cars. He added that Tata Motors has comprehensive knowledge of the global market with world-class technology due to which it will be able to increase its reach across the Kingdom. This approach remains ingrained into the Tata Group’s ethos today even as it spreads its operations to other geographies, he said answering questions.
In his opening remarks at the press conference, Tata Motors Managing Director Slym said: "Our commercial vehicles on display at the Riyadh Motor Show are most suitable for the country's terrain and they cater to the needs of the customers in this country. This is the first step toward addressing emerging customer needs and we will continue to keep the excitement in the market with a responsive product portfolio and service," he said and pledged to contribute to the development of transport sector of the Kingdom.
He said he was proud to say that Tata was among the Fortune 500 companies, currently employing more than 51,000 people from 16 nations. "This is what led Tata Motors to become the world's third largest bus manufacturer with 14 manufacturing facilities in Asia, Africa and Europe," said Slym, while referring to the launch of its commercial vehicles yesterday.
Asked about the launch of vehicles in the Kingdom, Slym said Tata Motors was showcasing an extensive line-up of passenger and commercial vehicles at the week-long Riyadh Motor Show, which ends on Nov 22. The Tata Indigo Manza, currently on display at the exhibition, has a new body with new interiors. The drive refinement of the Tata Indigo Manza stems from the internationally acclaimed Fiat Safire Petrol engines. Another car on display, Tata Indica Vista, has been given a complete makeover; while Tata Aria is a more robust vehicle. This is in addition to Tata's trucks and buses currently being exhibited at the show, he added.
Tata Motors, which acquired the British premium car maker Jaguar Land Rover in 2008, is India’s largest automobile company whose consolidated revenues exceed $ 32.5 billion in the fiscal year 2011-12, he said. Tata Motors has operations in the UK, South Korea, Thailand, Spain, and South Africa. Asked about reports published a couple of months back that Tata Motors is examining the possibility to set up an assembly plant for Jaguar and Range Rover next door to the Ma'aden aluminium smelter, Slym said that the Tata Group would work with Naghi Motors to decide about the future course of action.
"At the moment, there is no any plan…the only plan is to boost our presence in the Saudi market," he added. To this end, he noted the technical capabilities of Tata Motors, which has four research and designing centers including one in the UK and one in Italy. The Tata Motors European Technical Centre (TMETC) was set up in the UK in 2005 as a 100 percent subsidiary of Tata Motors. The center, he said, is engaged in design engineering and the development of products for the automotive industry. TMETC has considerable experience from dealing with European equipment manufacturers, first-tier suppliers and engineering consultancies.
With over 7.5 million Tata vehicles plying on the roads in India alone, Tata Motors is the country's market leader in commercial vehicles and among the top three in passenger vehicles, said a press statement released by the Tata Motors on this occasion. It is also the world's fourth largest truck and bus manufacturer. Tata's cars, buses and trucks are sold in several countries in the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. The Tata Motor’s operations in India and abroad are manned by over 55,000 employees. The company’s dealership, sales, services and spare parts network comprises over 3,500 touch points across the globe. In fact, Tata Motors, also listed in the New York Stock Exchange, has emerged as a major international automobile company.
In 2004, Tata Motors acquired the Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company, South Korea’s second largest truck maker. The rechristened Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicles Company has launched several new products in the Korean market, while also exporting these products to several international markets. Today, two-thirds of heavy commercial vehicle exports out of South Korea are from Tata Daewoo. In 2005, Tata Motors acquired a 21 percent stake in Hispano Carrocera, a reputable Spanish bus and coach manufacturer, and subsequently the remaining stake in 2009. Hispano’s presence is being expanded in other markets.
In 2006, Tata Motors formed a 51:49 joint venture with the Brazil-based Marcopolo, a global leader in body-building for buses and coaches, to manufacture fully-built buses and coaches for India. Tata Motors (SA) (Proprietary) Ltd., Tata Motors' joint venture with Tata Africa Holding (Pty) Ltd. set up in 2011, has an assembly plant in at Rosslyn, north of Pretoria. Its parent company, Tata Group has several companies mainly operating in seven business sectors namely, materials, engineering, IT and communications, energy, services, consumer products and chemicals.
The Tata Group has also franchisee/joint venture assembly operations in Bangladesh, Ukraine, and Senegal. The group is today India’s largest conglomerate with 396,517 people on its pay rolls. Its 28 publicly listed companies have a combined market capitalization which is one of the highest among all business houses in India and a shareholder base of over 3.5 million. Tata Group companies export products and services to over 85 countries and have operations in over 80 countries across the globe. On the other hand, Mohamed Yousuf Naghi & Brothers Group is a major business house of the Kingdom.
Over the past two decades, Naghi Motors have opened modern showrooms and service centers for different prestigious brands of vehicles throughout Saudi Arabia. It offers a full range of services delivered by fully trained technicians in its service centers and body-shops. It also has a comprehensive stock and supply of parts and accessories across the Kingdom. Today, the Naghi Group is jointly managed by Yousuf's four sons. The group has diversified its activities into the service, catering, transportation and manufacturing sectors. With its headquarters in Jeddah, the Naghi Group operates throughout Saudi Arabia with a comprehensive network of offices, warehouses and showrooms as well as active companies in the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
In terms of market sectors the company is also involved in consumer goods and foodstuffs (FMCG), electronic and electrical goods besides operation and maintenance services. Naghi Group has had interests in diverse sectors. They have substantial presence in catering and restaurant operations, retail outlets, cosmetics and personal care products, convenience stores, pharmaceuticals, medical technologies and services. This is in addition to transportation, packing, insurance and risk management services. Major multinationals, which have chosen to work with the group, are BMW, Boots, Hyundai, LG Electronics, Japan Tobacco International, L’Oreal, Reckitt Benckiser, Warner Lambert and Mars.