Saudi Arabia’s electric vehicle maker Ceer appoints CEO

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Saudi Arabia’s new electric vehicle (EV) maker Ceer has appointed a chief executive, the company said in a statement on Thursday.

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James DeLuca will lead the Kingdom’s homegrown electric vehicle brand, the launch of which was announced earlier this month.

DeLuca worked with General motors for nearly 40 years, rising through the ranks to become Executive Vice President of Global Manufacturing, managing more than 200,000 employees across 31 countries.

He also led Vietnam-based car manufacturer VinFast as its first CEO, helping to establish the EV maker after it was founded in 2017.

“I am looking forward to shaping Ceer into a car brand that is admired by both Saudi consumers as well as the wider industry,” DeLuca said in a statement.

“Ceer will help ignite Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector and create synergies of scale that the automotive industry will benefit from as more automotive manufacturing moves to the Middle East to make electric vehicles mainstream in the country and the wider region.”

Ceer is a joint venture between Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) and Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn.

The company plans to design, manufacture, and sell a range of vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, including sedans and sports utility vehicles.

Every car is due to be designed and built in Saudi Arabia, in what could be a major boost to the country’s domestic manufacturing sector.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that Ceer intends to attract over $150 million of foreign direct investment into the Kingdom and create up to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs, as well as contributing $8 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2034.

It aims to begin selling electric vehicles by 2025.

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