Isuzu begins production of trucks in Saudi Arabia
'Made in Saudi' trucks could soon be exported to other GCC markets
Isuzu Motors' Saudi Arabian subsidiary is to begin production of light trucks at its newly-built Dammam assembly plant, according to the Saudi Industrial Property Authority (MODON).
By 2017, the plant could be exporting as many as 10,000 trucks per year into other markets in the GCC.
Production will begin on Wednesday, 12-12-2012, in Dammam II Industrial City in Eastern Province, where Isuzu has been allocated a 120,000m² site.
The assembly factory will produce medium-duty truck F-Series trucks, with initial production volume projected to be 600 units annually, to be sold to the Saudi domestic market.
In the following years the plant will scale up with light- and heavy-duty truck assembly, and production volume is projected by Isuzu to be as high as 25,000 by 2017, with some 40% of this capacity expected to be exported to other markets in the GCC.
Isuzu will take approximately three years to scale up production to meet the demands of the local market, said Ibrahim Alrashudi, Vice President at Isuzu Motors Saudi Arabia in a statement.
The second phase will include production of about 20,000 trucks a year, he said, before eventually reaching 25,000 units annually. The factory is expect to provide up to 800 jobs.
"The Isuzu factory in Saudi Arabia will represent a quantum leap for the industry," said Alrashudi. "Demand for trucks in Saudi Arabia is huge. We shall work to increase our share after launching the Isuzu factory in Saudi Arabia, which will see an expansion plan in the coming years."
Through local assembly Isuzu will benefit from low production costs including energy, as well as reduced custom tariffs compared to built up vehicles. A number of major truck companies have assembly plants in Saudi Arabia, including MAN and Mercedes.
Renault Trucks also plans on opening an assembly plant in 2013. After Iran, Saudi Arabia is the second-largest truck market in the Middle East.