How is Hyundai drawing from its UAE successes?
Walaa Diab says the UAE is a commercial vehicles blueprint for Hyundai
As national manager in the UAE for Hyundai’s heavy commercial vehicles arm, Walaa A Diab operates at the interface between the South Korean manufacturer and its official UAE distributor, Juma Al Majid Establishment (JAME).
Indeed, the UAE has represented somewhat of a litmus paper for Hyundai’s commercial vehicles activities in the Middle East. Since assuming his role in 2012, Diab has helped to oversee a number of regional firsts, with the establishment of showrooms, workshops, and training facilities dedicated to commercial customers.
“These were Hyundai’s first commercial vehicle-specific facilities in the Middle East,” he told PMV.
“At that time, they simply didn’t exist in other parts of the GCC or the wider Levant. This was an ambitious undertaking for Hyundai and JAME, but we proved our competitiveness within the first year,” Diab explained.
Indeed, he and his colleagues have achieved impressive results since his arrival, with 35% growth in 2013 over 2012, and 160% growth to date during 2014 compared to last year. Understandably, these figures have caused Hyundai to use its UAE division as a blueprint for commercial vehicles expansion in other Middle Eastern markets.
“As we started many of these initiatives before our colleagues from other territories, they have called on us to provide support and information about how to expand their operations,” said Diab.
“The UAE is a competitive market, so we are able to offer valuable insights into product launches and aftersales support,” he added.
Despite Hyundai’s continuing success in the UAE commercial vehicles sector, Diab has no intention of taking his foot of the gas.
“We have plans to introduce a completely new range of Hyundai trucks to the region during the fourth quarter of 2014,” he revealed.
“This launch will include tipper trucks, transit mixers, cargo vehicles – the complete spectrum. We will also be introducing an updated line-up of 9,500 cc engines, capable of producing between 380 hp and 410 hp. Small engines that deliver high levels of horsepower and torque are ideal for the UAE market, especially when one considers the ever-increasing cost of diesel,” Diab concluded.