Renault sets up GCC operations
In a move aimed at increasing its presence in the Gulf region, leading European car manufacturer Renault has announced the restructuring of its GCC office, which will be headed by newly appointed Managing Director, Mohamed Bennani.
Headquartered in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone, Renault’s GCC office has a 12-strong team of highly experienced industry professionals to support local and regional initiatives and increase Renault’s profile in the Gulf region.
“The GCC auto market is one of the fastest growing in the world with a high per capita level of car ownership. Rapid business growth in all spheres supported by the country’s progressive economy, made it imperative for us to increase our presence here,” said Thierry Koskas, Vice-President of Renault Asia Africa.
Bennani’s new position will see him taking overall responsibility of Renault’s GCC operations, including the expansion of its distributor network and showrooms, selecting new line-ups for the region, boosting sales and communicating Renault brand values through regional events and marketing initiatives.
“I have spent the past few months studying the Middle East. Compared to Europe, the automotive sector in this region is very different especially with regards to consumer knowledge, buying habits and influencing factors,” said Bennani.
“One of my key responsibilities therefore will be to create a better understanding about Renault in this market, build trust and grow the brand in this region further,” he added.
Some of Renault’s leading models include the Clio and Megane with both sedan and hatchback versions. Both models have been successful in the Middle East.
To mark its entry into the Gulf, the car-maker has lined up a host of activities for the region’s customers. Renault’s new line-up for 2008 is being finalised and will include its first entry into the SUV segment.
The Renault GCC office has also established a local call centre and has announced a significant presence at the upcoming Dubai Motor Show in November. Plans are also underway to host a Renault F1 Roadshow in Dubai towards the end of the year.
“The above activities are just the beginning. We are committed to this region and considerable investments are being made to deliver more than what the market demands,” Bennani said. “We launched an Arabic media website earlier this year and our team is currently working on an exclusive Renault Middle East website.”
Bennani has been actively involved in the European automotive sector since he joined Renault in 1989. His career began in Renaults CADCAM (Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacturing) division where he spent seven years. From 1996 to 1999, he was the IT Manager for all Renault’s European subsidiaries after which Bennani moved to Rome as Head of Interactive Marketing in Italy for five years until 2004.
Prior to his new position as Managing Director of Renault GCC, Bennani was in charge of Global Interactive Marketing for Renault Worldwide for three years from 2004. Born and raised in Morocco, 47-year old Bennani is married with three children. He holds a Moroccan and French passport and speaks Italian, Arabic, French and English fluently.