Arab forklift manufacturer in regional expansion
High demand for the Camel forklift at Big 5 exhibition
The UAE manufacturer of the world’s first Arab forklift truck announced massive regional expansion plans on Wednesday at the Big 5 PMV.
Gulf Automobile Industry Corporation intends to relocate from its 14,000m2 factory in Abu Dhabi to a three million square metre facility at an undisclosed location in Saudi Arabia.
“We are forecasting sales of US $13.6 million (AED50million) for 2010; the move to a larger manufacturing plant was necessary to meet the demand for our products, and while it make sense to be in Saudi Arabia, our biggest market, the UAE continues to offer us strong sales potential”, said Nasser Hamad Al Hajeri, chairman of Gulf Automobile Industry Corp.
Al Hajeri said the move would also create new jobs within the company. “We will employ a further 800 members of staff to operate from the new factory, and by 2020 we estimate that the company will employ 11,000 people,” he said.
The Camel forklift was introduced into the market during mid-2009. Al Hajeri said the popularity of the lifter was because of its reduced price point and the fact that it was customised specifically for operations within the Gulf.
“The Camel forklift truck is around 30% cheaper than its competitors but still offers excellent quality. Despite the economic downturn, we have benefited from strong sales since our launch and the product has been well received by the industry,” he said.
“We source engines from Nissan and Isuzu in Japan, but we have amended the traditional forklift model to work especially well in the Middle East climate. Each forklift is installed with a filtration system to deal with dust and sand and a cooling mechanism to help with the high temperatures in this region. Air conditioning units can also be added if necessary – a feature no other forklift manufacturer offers,” he added.
The company said it hoped to sell between 50 and 75 forklifts during The Big 5 PMV.