Aiming to achieve sustainable success



Sunaina Rana/ Emirates Business

Arabian Automobiles Company under the flagship of automotive division of AW Rostamani Group, the exclusive dealer for Renault in Dubai and the Northern Emirates, has recenlty inaugurated the first ever Renault Store in the UAE. This new store, an ultra-modern facility, is located on Al Ittihad Road, Dubai. Emirates Business talks toMichel Ayat, CEO of Arabian Automobiles Company, about the company’s latest venture and its strategy for the ongoing year.

Excerpts from the

Can you elaborate on the concept of first Renault store?
The Renault Store has been conceived and developed as a dedicated facility to both capitalise on and facilitate the continued growth of the Renault brand in the region. The showroom embodies Arabian
Automobiles Company’ customer-centric philosophy that puts the client at the heart of what we do and reflects the new Renault brand slogan: ‘Passion for life.’ These have been specially designed to ensure optimum customer engagement and showcase the Renault brand as an invigorating and rewarding motoring choice. The Renault Store has been ergonomically designed to ensure optimum customer engagement through a wealth of
advanced features.

There has been an increase in demand of vehicles in the region. How do you think this would help in the sales and growth of the company?
When we look at the 2015 figures for Renault, we can see that the brand is one of the main drivers of the region’s automotive sector. Renault sales in UAE increased nearly 22% over 2014, positioning the company as one of the fastest growing automotive brands. This remarkable growth spurt is largely due to the introduction of new Renault models, such as the urban crossover Captur, the entry-level sedan Symbol and the Dokker light commercial vehicle. Statistics reveal that the total industry volume in the UAE for 2015 was 420,000 units sold — a 3.2% increase over 2014. The country recorded the second highest vehicle sales figures for the GCC market, with the regional growth figure showing a 1.8% increase. Therehas never been a better time or location to open the country’s first Renault Store.

The automotive industry has been on a roll for the past few years. What in your opinion is that one exclusive advantage your new venture offers that customers won’t find
anywhere else?
We didn’t conceive the Renault Store on the basis that it needs to offer something that other showrooms don’t, but rather we have established it on the premise of offering a 360 degree experience to our customers. Pride of place in the Renault Store is a number of Discovery Zones that have been designed to group the brand’s many winning facets under dedicated themes. The Headline Zone highlights the company’s most recent models, while the Passion Zone displays Renault vehicles of desire in a setting that emphasises the brand image. The Z.E. (Zero Emission) Zone reveals Renault’s fully electric range of vehicles, while the Sport Zone showcases the company’s impressive motorsports pedigree and its range of performance vehicles. Making use of the latest technology at the Renault Store is a Digital Bar, where customers can experience the brand while they relax and enjoy a coffee.

As the online sales in cars have been accelerating, do you think it would affect the sales of the stores?
Online sales inevitably have an impact on the sale of cars through stores. However, studies are showing that customer satisfaction scores much lower when cars are purchased online. The absence of personal, one-to-one interaction with knowledgeable sales staff who can guide customers through an array of choices and options is one reason, is one of the main after-sales difficulties. The Renault Store has been designed to be the antithesis of the online experience with its wealth of engaging and interactive features and its professional sales personnel who are trained to provide the best customer service. Arabian Automobiles Company is proud to have played a major part in Renault’s ongoing success story through its position as the sole distributor for Renault vehicles in Dubai and the Northern Emirates. We are delighted to be able to take the company’s services to an even higher level with the inauguration of this new state-of-the-art Renault Store.

Retail sales in this segment have increased substantially. What was the recorded growth in the previous year? Do you have plans to launch any new car in UAE in the
recent time?
Arabian Automobiles Company and Renault Middle East will be launching the much-anticipated new Renault Talisman and Koleos models through the Renault Store.
Figures for 2015 reveal an increase in Renault Group registrations for Dubai and the Northern Emirates of 12.8 per cent over registrations for 2014. The region has been one of highest performing for Renault Group worldwide.
What are the challenges you think the industry would have to face in the coming year? How do you plan to regulate them?
Regionally, the continuing fall in oil prices with the lifting of sanctions against Iran is having an impact, but the policies of diversification have insulated the consumer against this to a degree, as seen in the strong car sales figures for the region when compared to those for other parts of the world. We aim to capitalise on this continued strength with unique offers, special deals and innovative market initiatives to capture the attention of

What kind of figures are you expecting in 2016?
The forecast for total volume vehicle sales in the industry for 2016 is that it will largely remain flat. However, in view of Renault’s unrivalled performance against its competitors over the past 12 months, we are confident that we will further increase the Renault brand share.
The Renault store represents a bold statement of intent on how Arabian Automobiles Company will be furthering the identity of the Renault brand moving forwards. This will be supported through interesting new model introductions to target an ever-growing appetite of the customers in UAE for models with innovative designs and technologically advanced features.

Any new project or venture in the pipeline?
Arabian Automobiles Company will be closely monitoring the performance of the UAE’s first ever Renault Store through sales and via customer feedback. Based on the response from the market, we will be opening more Renault Stores in the UAE to better serve our existing valued Renault customers as well as potential new buyers.

What are the strategies you have planned to enhance the sales and growth of the
As part of our long-term focus to achieve sustainable success in our industry, we concentrate our efforts on building a strong organisational foundation with committed leaders who are able to embody our vision and steer our company in the right direction. We aim to be a $5 billion organisation by 2020 through continuous focus on increasing market leadership and international market expansion across pivotal

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