The single most important reason behind our success is that we have the finest workshops in the world as well as the world’s largest VW workshop. The company has one of the largest Porsche workshops in the world, and we are in the process of building the world’s largest Audi showroom, which will have five floors. The only way you can sell a high-ticket car is to invest in facilities. We are the world’s largest Porsche dealer—no other dealer comes close to us. Our firm is just starting the design for the new Porsche center. We are the agents for Dubai and the Northern Emirates. From Dubai, Fujairah, and Sharjah, we reach all our markets. People who have the money to buy our type of cars will always have money. Some customers deferred purchases during the global financial crisis, but sales always pick up. For VW, which represents our mid-range segment, what happened was many people left during the recession. They then all started coming back. We are back now to figures we had in 2007-2008. Most of our customers hold onto their cars for between three and five years. The company is also very active in the secondhand car market. Monthly, we sell 20-25 used Porches and 50-60 used Audis. We sell what we get in, but we do not get a lot of used cars to sell.
MICHEL I. AYAT
Looking at UAE vehicle sales in 2011 up to and including August, we can see that MPVs—or multi-purpose vehicles—represent the fastest growing segment in the UAE market, witnessing 24% growth. However, this a relatively small segment of the overall UAE automotive “car park.” More interesting to note is the 12% growth in the luxury car segment, which itself gives a strong indication that consumer confidence is returning to the UAE. Light commercial vehicle (LCV) sales are witnessing growth of 12%, and the traditionally dominant passenger car and SUV segments are continuing to grow, albeit at lower digit growth rates of 3% and 2%, respectively. The total GCC car market is up just 1% in 2011, and the UAE car market is up 10%, but Arabian Automobiles’ sales growth across the Nissan product range is up 35%, and we take great pride in having outperformed the UAE car market by more than three fold. During the boom years, business came to us without the need for marketing. There is no substitute for developing an organization based on best practices. We need to have the IT to enable the business to function at the highest levels in an automated fashion. Our people need to be educated to deliver the best performance to more than 180 nationalities living in Dubai. The company has to get the basics right to achieve customer satisfaction and customer retention.
Galadari Automobiles has over 35 years of history within the UAE market, so it is one of the oldest automotive distributors in the local market. It has also had a distribution agreement with Mazda for 35 years, making it one of Mazda’s oldest partners in the region. The market has changed from basically a seller’s to a buyer’s market. Customers want a pro-active approach and proper follow-up. They want proper professional treatment. The customer now has plenty of choices. He will browse around in the showrooms looking for the best offer, and it is not only about the car and the package, it is also about the treatment he receives. Our aim is to give personalized treatment to our customers. It is not an easy task because of the different nationalities we have in Dubai. Everybody has his own perception of how he wants to get treated, so it is difficult in this kind of environment. But we are looking forward to fulfilling these kinds of objectives. Of course, service is one of the key factors because the sales executives are getting trained to sell the cars, and increased customer loyalty or the retention ratio comes from the service. If the customer is satisfied with our service then maybe he will consider Mazda for the next purchase or recommend us to a friend. Therefore, we are really focusing on the service side to treat the customer in a different and more personalized way.
© The Business Year