Dubai-headquartered Al Khayyat Investments is on the lookout for new auto franchises.
It currently represents the Mazda and Peugeot brands in this market.
"There could be a potential second Japanese and European makes that we are interested in," said Ahmad Al Khayyat, managing director. "We are in talks with a couple of interesting brands and hope we are in a favoured position to take it further. With more brands you get economies of scale.
"Potentially, if we can move in with another Japanese brand, that will strengthen our base significantly.
Expanding our footprint in the automotive business is one of the things we are actively considering to take the group to the next level."
Since it acquired the franchise in the mid-1990s, Peugeot emerged as the top-ranked European brand in Jordan in volume terms. Major gains were also recorded by Mazda following the dealership agreement struck with Al Khayyat Investments in 2003.
"The group now has, we believe, the track record to expand our options in automobile retail in select markets," said Al Khayyat. "I emphasise the word select as this is one industry where dealership accords in the region are of longstanding and in comparison we are a relatively recent entrant."
The decision to try and gain more out of automotive is in line with the group's plans to expand its base in the broader retail industry. This has seen it acquire new interests in consumer durables and fashion for its UAE operations and, where they fit in, at the regional level as well. It also plays well with the group's stated aim of being a $2 billion (Dh7.36 billion) enterprise by the middle of this decade from the $600 million recorded last year.
"Today we are already in Iraq in certain categories, and we are talking to Europcar as a possible franchisee for Iraq," he added. "It's still at an early stage, but with the right partner we can go in if it comes to fruition.
"Our focus is only going to be the Middle East, this is the area we come from, understand, and have strong links," Al Khayyat said. "It's never our intention to be a follower."
From / Gulf News