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Meanwhile, the automotive industry quietly gets on with it

Meanwhile, the automotive industry quietly gets on with it

While everyone else is crying about a potential double dip, or collapsed real estate, or a bad jobs market, the car business has been quietly powering ahead.

March 9, 2011 3:27 by

It’s been a sobering couple of years for the motoring industry. First, the big bang (aka the economic downturn) blew almost every manufacturer’s sales into the 6th century (when there weren’t any cars, get it?), and then, just as they tottered slowly to their feet, a series of bizarre instances saw a number of car makers forced to recall various models.

When an industry takes that kind of battering, you’d be forgiven for writing it off completely. In fact, Kipp was all ready with a 7 feet by three feet hole in the ground, a body bag, and a shovel. But as is so often the case (don’t tell the boss), we were wrong. Because, while real estate splashes around in the doldrums, and retail plasters on a fake smile and says “Problems? Us?”, before admitting defeat, curling in a ball and crying, the automotive segment has been quietly doing the business.

What do we mean? We mean that the industry is alive and kicking here in the Middle East, as evidenced by MG’s arrival in the UAE. In a press release this week it was announced that AW Rostamani Trading is launching the famous MG (Morris Garages) British automotive brand in the country as its exclusive distributor. The British brand is now owned by Chinese automotive group, Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).

Michel Ayat, CEO of AW Rostamani Automotive, commented in a press release-stylie: “Our strategy to partner with SAIC and the MG brand reflects the steady shift of automotive manufacturing excellence to China and is very much a signifier of the future. We are excited about partnering with China’s leading automotive group to introduce this icon of the British automotive industry to the UAE. Our recipe for success is based around European MG product quality and engineering, the power and scale of SAIC’s manufacturing capability and our local expertise in providing the best in sales and after sales service for these products.”

Kipp’s colleague was at the press launch, and told us that Ayat threw up various graphs and stats showing how great the first two months of the year had been in terms of sales.

And if we take anecdotal evidence, that could be true across the board – this week General Motors said its Middle East arm, cunningly named General Motors Middle East, saw year on year sales growth of 21 percent in February.

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