Groupe PSA names new head of dealer operations

Larbi Hbil, head of dealer operations for the GCC at Groupe PSA.
Updated 05 August 2019

Groupe PSA names new head of dealer operations

Groupe PSA has appointed Larbi Hbil as the new head of dealer operations in the GCC to lead the French manufacturer’s expansion plan in the region and oversee the local distributor network. He will report to and work closely with Rakesh Nair, Groupe PSA managing director of the GCC. 

In his new role, Hbil will focus on continuing to build and expand Peugeot’s partner network, making Peugeot vehicles more accessible across the Middle East while enhancing marketing and operational efficiency. 

“Larbi is an outstanding business expert who will be a great asset to us in this time of regional growth for the brand. With his broad experience across several industries, he will further drive up standards in the customer experience offered by our importers,” Nair said. 

“I am proud to be joining Groupe PSA as it makes its comeback in the region. The brand has made many great strides in recent years and I look forward to working with our dealership network across the region to enhance Peugeot’s customer experience and take it to the next level,” Larbi said.

Hbil most recently served as managing director of Volvo Group Trucks Middle East and Africa. 

He holds an executive MBA in leadership and change from Hult International Business School and a post-graduate degree in marketing from TIAS Business School, the Netherlands.


Tire business poised for growth in Saudi Arabia despite COVID-19

Updated 23 September 2020

Tire business poised for growth in Saudi Arabia despite COVID-19

Despite the still raging COVID-19 pandemic, the tire business is poised to come back stronger than before as people become even more reliant on their vehicles to get to their destination while ensuring minimum exposure risk level. This was one of the highlights of the first virtual meetup hosted by Bridgestone Middle East, which expressed optimism about future market prospects in Saudi Arabia post-pandemic with the gradual easing of restrictions and people continuing to observe social distancing as they move around.

During the meeting, Stefano Sanchini, regional managing director for Bridgestone Middle East, and Berna Akinci, head of marketing for Bridgestone Middle East, discussed the economic repercussions of the pandemic on the automotive sector and the tires industry, following the temporary closures of businesses, impacting jobs as well as people staying more at home to avoid getting infected by the virus.

While economic impact has hit the pockets of vehicle owners in the Middle East, Sachini and Akinci emphasized that road safety must not be compromised to save on money when it comes to replacing tires and should be considered as a necessity.

They also took the opportunity to update the participants on the latest trends in the regional market, which has been rapidly catching up with the digitization of almost all sectors, including the emergence of new mobility ecosystems.

During the talk, speakers identified safety as a priority when buying tires. Buyers should consider purchasing only quality tires as it affects the braking distance, the handling, and grip while driving.

The drop in the demand for tires during the height of the lockdown affected sales, however, the trend is moving upwards again as restrictions have eased in some parts of the region. In this regard, Bridgestone has been looking on ways to enrich its brand offerings to add value to customers.

The company further emphasized the importance of going digital for the industry to reach out and meet the needs of its customers, especially in the Middle East, where there is a high rate of usage of digital devices. 

The value of data management as the new fuel for mobility has also been talked about during the meetup.