Samer Bou Dargham

Samer Bou Dargham

General Manager, Alfardan Premier Motors
Faisal Sharif

Faisal Sharif

Managing Director, DOMASCO
Consumer trends in the Qatari automotive market are quickly catching up with global trends of late, thanks to local players such as Alfardan and DOMASCO, who are two steps ahead of the competition.

What is the position of Alfardan Premier Motors in the Qatari automotive sector?
SAMER BOU DARGHAM As the official retailer of Jaguar Land Rover in Qatar, Alfardan Premier Motors is riding the wave of success built upon the numerous developments within the brand. Qatar is a highly competitive and dynamic market, which actually gives us a great opportunity to build our brand's presence through a consumer-centric approach. It is time for the local automotive industry to follow global trends and move toward eco-friendly technology. Alfardan Premier Motors is well prepared for the changes that will arrive. Starting from 2020, every new Jaguar or Land Rover vehicle sold globally will have the option of electrification. That is why we are developing high-tech architecture that will allow our customers to have what they want and need: full electric, hybrid, or ultra-clean petrol and diesel cars. We are also constantly investing in enhancing the customer experience, as exemplified by the new state-of-the-art, multi-level Jaguar Land Rover showroom in Doha, which is the largest of its kind in the world. Not only is the showroom a launch pad for automotive craftsmanship at its best, but it is built around our customers' needs and expectations, which have long pivoted our drive for expansion and progress.

What is the core business of your company?
FAISAL SHARIF Automotive is our core business and within automotive, our most prominent partner is Honda. Volvo Cars, Trucks, and Buses and GACMotor, are some of our other notable automotive partners. We have around 15 automotive partners that account for 80% of our overall business. There was a time when 95% of our business was made up of our automotive line but then we decided to expand. At present, the company's biggest growth comes from Volvo Trucks, followed by our partnership with GAC. Our electronics, watches, and buses business has grown a lot in addition to our Honda line. We did not work with buses until we did our first major deal with MBM in 2017. We then did another major bus deal with Volvo and Volare, which is part of the Marco Polo Group. We received the Star Deal of the Year Award from Volvo for the first deal. We are expanding further and are planning to add another brand to our buses line. Volvo is our premium segment, and Volare makes up our mid-tier line. Plans are in place to add a value brand within a few months' time in partnership with one of the global leaders. We do not compete with ourselves, which is why we only have one premium, mid-tier, and value brand. The same goes for passenger cars.

How is Alfardan Premier Motors enhancing customer experience?
SBD Our mission is to offer superlative luxury products and highest-quality service to maintain our position as market leaders. We don't have a sales office in our new showroom because we wanted to get rid of the buyer/seller contractual relationship. Our new showroom gives a strong feeling of belongingness to our diversified guests. We are the first to open such a marvellous showroom in Lusail, one of the country's newest smart cities. The new facility is a global distinction for Jaguar Land Rover. It embraces all of the brand's latest innovations and is a fitting home for our fantastic range of Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles, including electric and hybrid models. The 7,800-sqm facility boasts state-of-the-art lighting systems, pioneering vehicle design personalisation studios, and luxurious customer lounges. The facility is also home to MENA's first Special Vehicle Centre. In a first-of-its-kind automotive design experience, customers can use the new Personalization Studio to add personal touches to their new vehicles, and to make use of the state-of-the-art configuration tables and accessories' walls.

What segments are you trying to tackle in the coming months and years?
FS We will grow our new business lines at a much faster pace because our existing lines have a large market share already. We will continue to grow our buses line because we see more potential there. There is a significant demand for buses due to the World Cup and because of QNV 2030. In the future, we are looking at more demand for buses for schools, corporate staff, and the supreme committee for events. Our value passenger car business is set to grow as well. With GAC, we have been growing at more than 100% YoY and the fundamentals are there for this growth trend to continue. The quality of the product is as good as the Japanese brands but is significantly cheaper, which is a major selling point. The potential is also high for our electronics business line.

ADVERTISEMENT