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Kingdom showcases automotive capabilities to US companies

Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC) attended a conference in Detroit, Michigan hosted by the US Saudi Business Council and took part in a discussion on exploring opportunities for automotive manufacturers and expanding their reach into rapidly growing markets throughout the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
SABIC executives, led by Mohamed Al-Mady, vice chairman and CEO, joined a delegation of important dignitaries from the government and private industry in Saudi Arabia, including Minister of Commerce and Industry Tawfiq Al-Rabiah; Abdullatif Al-Othman, governor and chairman of the board, Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA); Alaa Nassif, executive president, Royal Commission at Yanbu; and Azzam Shalabi, president, National Industrial Clusters Development Program at the conference, with American business leaders, hosted by the US-Saudi Business Council.
The conference, entitled “Saudi Arabia: New Auto Market Hub for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia,” focused on the benefits of investing in Saudi Arabia’s automotive industrial cluster, with the support of global technology solutions providers like SABIC, to achieve growth ambitions in these emerging markets. In Saudi Arabia alone, new passenger vehicle sales in 2012 increased by 18 percent over the previous year, according to a recent report by Business Monitor International.
“SABIC is committed to collaborating with its customers in the automotive industry, enabling innovation that drives growth,” said Al-Mady. “SABIC works closely with its customers to develop material and application solutions to help solve some of the industry’s toughest challenges, from enhancing design flexibility and safety, to introducing innovative new materials that help reduce weight and increase fuel efficiency.”
SABIC has worked with some of the world’s most prominent automotive brands, including Volkswagen, Land Rover, Fiat, Mitsubishi and Hyundai to help develop new products and reach consumers in emerging and growing automotive markets throughout South Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The company has also invested significantly in two new polypropylene and engineering thermoplastics compounding facilities in Jubail to expand its automotive business.
In the initial phase, the engineering thermoplastics compounding plant will produce SABIC’s LEXAN, CYCOLOY, XENOY and VALOX resins. The polypropylene compounding plant will produce filled grades that will strengthen SABIC’s global footprint and serve customers in auto and non-auto sectors.
“SABIC has collaborated with OEMs around the world, listening, learning and providing our deep understanding of the automotive industry to help them achieve their ambitions,” said Al-Mady. “SABIC’s technology has the ability to deliver innovation to nearly every part of the automobile. From bumper to bumper, SABIC brings chemistry that matters to its customers, whether it’s through lightweight engineering thermoplastics or enhanced fuel additives.”
SABIC’s collaboration with Volkswagen on the XL1 concept diesel hybrid featured the first application of lightweight LEXAN polycarbonate (PC) side windows with advanced EXATEC plasma coating technology on a production automobile, replacing glass and helping significantly reduce the vehicle’s weight.
SABIC’s partnership with Land Rover on the development of the Range Rover Evoque extends back to the creation of the initial LRX concept vehicle. SABIC provided the automaker and its component providers with a range of high performance plastics products that reduced weight, improved aerodynamic performance and enhanced safety for the luxury SUV.
SABIC also worked with Nissan to provide lightweight NORYL resin for the terminal cover and spacer of the battery system for the new 2013 LEAF, the top selling electric vehicle in the world.

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