We reported that Saudi Arabia is invested in electric cars with Lucid Motors. And a manufacturing plant is being set up for Saudi Arabia. But the US-Chinese-Saudi-invested venture is not enough. The prince of Saudi Arabia wants his very own car company and just announced Ceer, the country’s first electric vehicle company, which should attract over $150M foreign direct investment and is expected to be available by 2025.
Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Prime Minister of Saudi Arabia and Chairman of its Public Investment Fund (PIF) announced that Ceer will be the first Saudi electric vehicle brand that will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s automotive manufacturing sector. Even though Lucid did announce it will open a plant in Saudi Arabia.
The launch of Ceer comes in line with the ruler’s strategy to help his country outgrow oil, to diversify the economy, and to help achieve the objectives of his Vision 2030. In addition, the company will contribute to Saudi Arabia’s efforts towards carbon emissions reduction and driving sustainability to address the impact of climate change.
“Saudi Arabia is not just building a new automotive brand,” he says. “We are igniting a new industry and an ecosystem that attracts international and local investments, creates job opportunities for local talent, enables the private sector, and contributes to increasing Saudi Arabia’s GDP over the next decade, as part of PIF’s strategy to drive the economic growth in line with Vision 2030.”
Ceer is the first Saudi automotive brand to produce electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia, and will design, manufacture and sell a range of vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East North Africa region, including sedans and sports utility vehicles.
A part of PIF’s strategy to diversify Saudi Arabia’s GDP growth by investing in promising growth industries, Ceer will attract over US$150 million of foreign direct investment, and create up to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. Ceer is projected to directly contribute US$8 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2034.
The company, which is a joint venture between PIF and China’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. (“Foxconn”), will license component technology from BMW for use in the vehicle development process. Foxconn will develop the electrical architecture of the vehicles, resulting in a portfolio of products that will lead in the areas of infotainment, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies.
Will they be driverless?
Each vehicle will be designed and manufactured in Saudi Arabia, and tested to the highest global automotive quality control and safety standards. Ceer vehicles are scheduled to be available in 2025.
Chairman of Hon Hai Technology Group, Young Liu, said: “Foxconn is excited about our partnership with PIF to create a new automotive company that will focus on designing and manufacturing electric vehicles in and for Saudi Arabia.
“We will leverage Foxconn’s technological expertise to support Ceer’s vision of creating a range of iconic electric vehicles that are built around the themes of connectivity, infotainment and autonomy. We want to make electric vehicles mainstream, and that is what Ceer is going to achieve in Saudi Arabia and the wider region.”