‘Big three’ U.S. automakers consider Saudi car plants

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American automotive giants GM, Chrysler and Ford are considering proposals to set up manufacturing plants in Saudi Arabia, reported Arab News.

“Ford has been seriously studying establishing production lines in the Saudi local market for more than a year now,” Arab News quoted Nabil al-Husin, a member of the National Committee for Car representatives at the Council of Saudi Chambers and a Ford representative, as saying.

“Ford was reluctant at the beginning because of the long procedures for setting up projects, but it has changed its views because of the emerging circumstances,” he added.

GM and Chrysler – the other of the ‘big three’ U.S. automakers – are also studying setting up plants in Saudi, Arab News reported.

The news came off the back of a recent conference in Detroit, hosted by the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council (USSABC), aimed at introducing Saudi Arabia as a new automotive market hub, stated the USSABC website.

Conference attendees included over 200 Saudi Arabian Government and industry leaders, as well as several American automotive and petrochemical producers, including Ford and ExxonMobil Chemical, the website added.

Ford reportedly opened a Saudi Arabia office which will begin operations within two weeks, reported al-Hayat newspaper.

Passenger car sales in Saudi Arabia were up 18 percent in 2012 to over 700,000 units and sales are forecast to grow 24 percent in 2013, according to a report produced by Business Monitor International.

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