Renault GCC has announced that United Trading Automobile Company (UTAC), a new joint venture company formed by Mr. Khalil Abdel-Wahab Al Bunnia and partners has been appointed as the official distributor of Renault passenger cars and light commercial vehicles in Iraq. The joint venture partnership is formed from a tight triangular partnership between Al Bunnia Group, CET Holding and AW Rostamani which will provide confidence and assurance to the Iraqi market.
The inauguration ceremony was held at the new Renault showroom at Arasat, Baghdad.
The appointment of UTAC marks the official launch for the Renault brand and product range in Iraq and simultaneously reinforces Iraq's continuing post-war economic recovery.
Renault's strategy in the Iraqi market is to deliver an unbeatable combination of high quality passenger and light commercial vehicles ideally suited to a wide variety of customer needs and with the proven automotive retailing, after sales service and parts expertise of AW Rostamani Group (AWR). AWR is already a well-known name in automotive industry in Iraq through its representation of the Nissan brand. AWR will take overall management responsibility for Renault's activities by adopting its best practices and taking a customer-centric approach.
Speaking at the launch event, Renault's Executive Vice President for Asia and Africa, Mr. Katsumi Nakamura stated "Renault's on-going plan is to expand its sales outside of Europe and to engineer its product range specifically for emerging markets such as Iraq. Last year, we re-launched the brand into the Saudi Arabian market and today's launch into Iraq is of equal importance as we aim to ensure 50% of Renault's global sales are in markets outside of Europe by 2013. Renault is becoming a truly international brand backed by the power of the Renault-Nissan alliance with manufacturing plants outside of France in Korea, Romania and Turkey. With the combined expertise of the partnership forming UTAC, I am confident that the Renault brand will quickly establish itself as a popular choice in the Iraqi automotive sector" he concluded.
Attending the launch event, UTAC Chairman Khalil Abdel-Wahab Al Bunnia commented "Our partnership with Renault was primarily driven by their quality product range which will be very competitively priced and ensure a low cost of ownership for Iraqi consumers. In addition to this we have carefully chosen to partner with AW Rostamani who will ensure a customer-first approach in operating UTAC's facilities. Our strategy includes expansion of the Renault sales, service and parts offering across Iraq and so this is just the first chapter in the Renault in Iraq story".
Renault GCC's Managing Director, Mr. Mustansir Lakdawala, is confident of the success of the new dealership and stated that Renault is enthusiastic to enter in Iraq with exciting models on offer and exceptional customer service.
"Iraq is an extremely important market for us and we have big plans for the coming months. In-depth planning, analysis and huge investments have been made to develop new facilities and showrooms for our esteemed clients. All the cars we bring to Iraq are tested, adapted and aligned to suit the regions requirements. I am confident that together with our new partners, UTAC, we will gain market confidence and replicate the success we have witnessed across the GCC."
UTAC's commitment to Renault in the Iraqi market is underlined by a significant investment plan of more than ID25bn including showrooms, state-of-the-art service centers plus a network of spare part outlets. UTAC also plans a significant expansion strategy in the future to increase the Renault 'footprint' in Iraq with plans for further Sales/Service/Spare parts facilities as well as commitment to a training centre. UTAC also plans to add additional retail partners to grow the geographic reach of the Renault presence in Iraq.
UTAC will offer from launch a wide range of 11 different Renault passenger and light commercial vehicles including: The Renault Logan sedan, Logan pick up and Logan van and the Logan MCV 7-seater family vehicle. The Sandero five door hatchback, the Duster SUV, the Koleos 4x4 SUV, the Megane hatch, Fluence sedan and the brand new Safrane sedan. The large Renault Trafic van will also be available.
Renault is a leading brand with a heritage of over 100 years of automotive excellence. In 1999, Renault bought a 44.3% stake in Nissan forging a powerful alliance. Today the Renault-Nissan alliance forms the fourth largest automotive group in the world.
Renowned for its cutting edge designs under the brand tagline 'Drive the Change', Renault is a pioneer when it comes to safety and is the only manufacturer that has 12 of its models certified with 5-stars from the Euro NCAP organization (European New Car Assessment Programme).