ALJ Group becomes Toyota distributor in Turkey

Arab News
Publication Date: 
Sat, 2009-08-15 03:00

JEDDAH: Sabanci Holding has decided to sell its 64.99 percent stock in ToyotaSA, in which it partnered with Toyota Motor Europe and Mitsui, to the ALJ Lubnatsi Marketing and Sales PLC, a subsidiary of Abdul Latif Jameel Co. (ALJ).

The handover of the shares will take place after the completion of the legal procedure for permission.

The ensuing partnership structure, upon successful completion, will be as follows: ALJ Lubnatsi will become the major shareholder in the Toyota Turkiye Motorlu Araclar A.S. (Toyota Turkey Motor Vehicles PLC) while 25 percent of the company will be owned by Toyota Motor Europe and 10 percent by Mitsui & Co.

ALJ is the distributor of the motor vehicles of the Toyota Group (Toyota, Lexus and Daihatsu) in 12 countries (Japan, England, Germany, China, Egypt, Monaco, Morocco, Algeria, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey). One of the oldest Toyota distributors with a business partnership dating back to 1955, ALJ is currently Toyota’s largest independent distributor in the world. Total vehicle sales of ALJ resulting from its global operation amounted to 320,000 units in 2008.

In an announcement, Sabanci Holding CEO Ahmed Dorduncu, said: “Our main goal at Sabanci Holding is to create value for our shareholders in all our operations. This is our outlook in evaluating the business opportunities that come our way. The decision we made today regarding our sales/marketing operations is a manifestation of this strategic outlook of ours as were our earlier decisions in handing over our production operations. This business having acquired a global character in Turkey as in the other markets, we decided to transfer to a global company the distributorship operations we conducted under the canopy of the ToyotaSA. We’re ceding our shares to the experienced hands of ALJ that has been engaged in distributorship activities for Toyota throughout the world for 55 years.”

Dorduncu added: “ToyotaSA has constantly raised the bar of success since the very first day it started operating as part of the Sabanci Holding and signed its name under a great many accomplishments. In addition to attaining the highest level in customer satisfaction, ToyotaSA has made it among the automobile brands that increased their sales figures most in the first six months of this year. I have full confidence that the company will march on successfully in this new turn of its history together with its dedicated staff and strong dealer network.”

Commenting on the purchase, ALJ Europe Director Ali Haydar Bozkurt, said: “ALJ views Turkey as one of the major economies in the region as regards the automotive industry. ALJ demonstrates its faith in this country and the future of the industry by expanding its investments in Turkey that started with the Daihatsu distributorship by teaming up once more with Toyota with which it boasts a 55-year history of distributorship throughout the world. Once the legal procedure is completed, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and sets ourselves to the task of further boosting Toyota’s success in Turkey.”

Mohammed Jameel, president of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Services Programs (ALJCSP), is a well-known Saudi philanthropist. His organization has been instrumental in creating more job opportunities for young Saudi men and women.

Jameel recently became the first Saudi and the first Arab to be elected to the governing body of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Jameel, who is president of ALJ, received his BS in civil engineering from MIT in 1978.

Jameel is among the seven business leaders nominated for the Oslo Award, which is annually given to business leaders whose actions and commitments make an outstanding contribution to the promotion of ethical behavior and peace.

Jameel has been the driving force behind the Grameen Jameel Pan Arab Initiative, which aims to reduce poverty through micro credit. Jameel inherited philanthropic qualities from his late father Abdul Latif Jameel, founder of ALJ.

Sabanci Holding is the parent company of the Sabanci Group, Turkey’s leading industrial and financial conglomerate. Sabanci Group operates in five main business areas.

Sabanci Group’s main business units include banking, automotive, tire and tire reinforcement materials, retail, cement, energy and insurance. Listed on the Istanbul Stock Exchange (ISE), Sabanci Holding has controlling interests in 11 companies also listed on the ISE.

Total assets of Sabanci Holding amount to 100 billion Turkish liras.

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