King Salman Energy Park signs incubator as anchor tenant

An astist’s impression of the King Salman Energy Park. (SPA)
Updated 12 July 2019
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King Salman Energy Park signs incubator as anchor tenant

  • Plan to accelerate growth and small and medium-sized enterprises in the energy sector

LONDON: King Salman Energy Park (SPARK) has signed Dubai-based Oilfields Supply Center (OSC) as it anchor tenant.
Working in collaboration with Saudi Aramco, OSC will develop a business incubator called the Common User Supply Base (CUSB) to support the oil and gas industry in the Kingdom, the Dubai firm said in a statement it issued on Thursday.
The new venture aims to accelerate the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises in the energy sector. OSC plans to invest around $450 million over the next two years, contributing to SPARK’s objective of localizing more than 300 new industrial and service facilities.
The venture will also provide industrial buildings of various sizes to host companies and supply them with integrated services such as logistics, technical engineering services and business support.
Reckoned to be the first of its kind in the Kingdom and the largest in the region, the center will have a footprint of more than 1 million square meters and a potential expansion of an additional 500,000 square meters.

FASTFACT

SPARK occupies more than 50 square kilometers and will house approximately 300 industrial and service facilities.

“It will contribute to supply chain localization, boost job creation and support the overall advancement of the Kingdom’s energy sector,” said Saudi Aramco CEO Amin Nasser.
Both Aramco and SPARK, through different corporate initiatives, are driving the localization of jobs and supply chains within the energy sector.
Located in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, between Dammam and Al-Hasa, SPARK occupies more than 50 square kilometers and will house approximately 300 industrial and service facilities.
About two thirds of the development consists of industrial land and a major logistics center, with the remainder made up of mixed-use residential, offices, training centers, hotels and other supporting facilities.


BMW picks insider Zipse as CEO to catch up with rivals

Oliver Zipse
Updated 19 July 2019
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BMW picks insider Zipse as CEO to catch up with rivals

  • German giant has lost ground to Mercedes-Benz and Tesla as tech steps up

FRANKFURT: BMW has named Oliver Zipse as its new CEO, continuing the German carmaker’s tradition of promoting production chiefs to the top job even as the auto industry expands into new areas such as technology and services.
Hailing Zipse’s “decisive” leadership style, BMW hopes the 55-year-old can help it win back its edge in electric cars and the premium market  from rival Mercedes-Benz.
But some analysts questioned whether Zipse was the right choice with new fields such as software and services like car-sharing becoming increasingly important.
“What is intriguing is the cultural bias to appoint the head of production. It works sometimes but ... being good at building cars is not a defining edge the way it was 20 years ago,” said Jefferies analyst Philippe Houchois.
Current CEO Harald Krueger, and former chiefs Norbert Reithofer, Bernd Pischetsrieder and Joachim Milberg were all former production heads.
Zipse joined BMW as a trainee in 1991 and served as head of brand and product strategies and boss of BMW’s Oxford plant in England before joining the board.
He will become chief executive on Aug. 16, taking over from Krueger who said he would not be available for a second term.
“With Oliver Zipse, a decisive strategic and analytical leader will assume the Chair of the Board of Management of BMW. He will provide fresh momentum in shaping  the future,” said Reithofer.
Zipse helped expand BMW’s efficient production network in Hungary, China and the US, in a move that delivered industry-leading profit margins.
Under Krueger, BMW was overtaken in 2016 by Mercedes-Benz as the best-selling luxury car brand.
It also had an early lead over US  rival Tesla in electric cars, but scaled back ambitions after its i3 model failed to sell large numbers.
Reithofer initially championed Krueger’s low-key consensus-seeking leadership, but pressured him to roll out electric vehicles more aggressively, forcing Krueger to skip the Paris Motor Show in 2016 to reevaluate BMW’s electric strategy.
Krueger’s reluctance to push low-margin electric vehicles led to an exodus of talented electric vehicle experts, including Christian Senger, now Volkswagen’s (VW) board member responsible for software, and Audi’s Markus Duesmann, who is seen as a future CEO of the company.
Both were poached by VW CEO Herbert Diess, a former BMW board member responsible for research who was himself passed over for BMW’s top job in 2015.
VW has since pushed a radical 80 billion euro ($90 billion) electric car mass production strategy, and a sweeping alliance with Ford.

Other skills
“A CEO needs to have an idea for how mobility will evolve in the future. This goes far beyond optimising an existing business,” said Carsten Breitfeld, chief executive of China-based ICONIQ motors, and former BMW engineer. “He needs to build teams, attract talent, and promote a culture oriented along consumer electronics and internet dynamics.”
German manufacturers have dominated the high-performance market for decades, but analysts warn shifts towards sophisticated technology and software is opening the door to new challengers.
“Tesla has a lead of three to four years in areas like software and electronics. There is a risk that the Germans can’t catch up,” UBS analyst Patrick Hummel said.
Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport car magazine, normally quick to champion German manufacturers, this week ran a cover questioning BMW’s future.
“Production expertise is important, but if you want to avoid ending up being a hardware provider for Google or Apple, you need to have the ability to move up the food chain into data and software,” a former BMW board member said.