Lotus has announced a partnership with Al Ghassan Motors to officially distribute Lotus cars in Saudi Arabia. Al Ghassan Lotus will be based in Jeddah and have dealerships and service centers in Jeddah, Riyadh, and Al Khobar.
The first models available in the Saudi Arabian market will be the Lotus Elise SC, Exige S, Exige Cup 260, and the track-only 2-Eleven.
Lotus has conducted extensive testing in the Middle East of the Elise SC, Exige S, and Exige Cup 260 and as a result has made significant changes to cope with the harsh environment. Group Lotus CEO Mike Kimberley explains further: “We have spent two summers in the Gulf Region testing the Elise and Exige in this very hot, humid and dusty environment. I am very pleased with the package of region specific changes which include an uprated radiator, enhanced heat management package, heat reflective windscreen, dust filtration for the cockpit ventilation system and an optional auxiliary air-conditioning unit. We have also included exclusive cockpit insulation, boot insulation and leather clad gearknob and handbrake sleeve in the Touring Pack option to supplement the overall occupant comfort in this extreme climate. These changes add very little weight to the Elise and Exige so drivers will still be able to experience the renowned Lotus driving experience."
Lotus intends to soon broaden its dealer network to include other nations in the Middle East. “Our new brand presence in Saudi Arabia is the first step in our plans to promote the Lotus brand in the Middle East region,” said Kimberly. Until now, Lotus did not have an official distribution network in the Middle East.
The first shipment of Lotus models has already arrived in Saudi Arabia in advance of the official launch of Al Ghassan Lotus. A fleet of race-specification Lotus Exige Cup models are also in production in Hethel for a new and exciting Lotus one-make racing series based at the Reem International Circuit located 80 km west of Riyadh.
Sheik Ghassan A. H. Al Sulaiman, CEO of Al Ghassan Motors, comments, “Given the success enjoyed by Al Ghassan Motors and the experience gained over the years in the retailing and marketing of premium and luxury niche sports car brands, we see our company as being well placed to give the Lotus brand the strongest opportunity in Saudi Arabia and as such the brand will benefit from our usual high standards of customer service and aftersales support. The business, having grown from strength to strength over the years, has established our company as being a formidable player in the motor industry in Saudi Arabia with which we have developed a valuable network of clients providing an optimum platform to launch the Lotus brand in the Kingdom. Our business also has strong ties with motor racing in Saudi Arabia given my involvement with the first FIA approved racing circuit in the Kingdom, the Reem International Circuit, a 3.8 km long, medium speed, technical circuit which will prove ideal to enjoy the performance of Lotus cars.”
In other Lotus distribution news, click here to read how Lotus recently entered the market of Sydney, Australia.