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Monday, February 26, 2024
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Pioneering a future for Saudi’s automotive industry

The strategic relocation of NAI’s Truck Assembly Factory opens a new chapter for National Automotive Industry

With the automotive manufacturing sector poised to play a crucial role in the Saudi Arabia’s economic transformation, Juffali Commercial Vehicles is determined to help shape the objectives of Vision 2030 – a shift that not only aims to diversify the economy but also positions Saudi Arabia as a competitive player in the global automotive industry, with a focus on innovation, sustainability, and economic growth.

At the centre of an exciting new era for the industry in Saudi Arabia is the National Automotive Industry (NAI) initiative which aims to develop a robust automotive manufacturing sector in the Kingdom. Juffali Commercial Vehicles’ involvement in the NAI leverages the firm’s vast experience in the automotive sector and its relationships with global auto manufacturers, particularly Mercedes-Benz, and deep understanding of the Saudi market.

Through its participation in the NAI, Juffali helps facilitate the establishment of automotive manufacturing facilities, attract foreign investment, and support the government’s efforts in creating a conducive environment for the automotive industry’s growth.

NAI is now embarking on a significant journey with the relocation of its truck assembly factory. The decision to move stems from the existing facility finding itself situated in the heart of Jeddah city, leading to challenges in operational logistics and prompting the need for a more strategic location. This relocation opens up a new chapter for NAI, bringing forth various advancements in infrastructure, sustainability, and operational efficiency.

“We embark on a transformative journey, relocating our truck assembly factory to King Abdullah Economic City. This strategic move symbolises NAI’s commitment to efficiency, sustainability, and market leadership,” explains Heiko Schulze – CEO of Juffali Commercial Vehicles.

“With advanced technologies and a green focus, we’re not just moving our facility; we’re pioneering the future of truck manufacturing in the region. As we break ground, we redefine the landscape, ensuring NAI’s legacy as an industry innovator.”

The primary driver behind the move is the current factory’s central location within Jeddah city. As urban development surrounds the facility, logistical challenges have arisen, impacting the timely arrival of container kits and the transportation of fully assembled trucks. By relocating, NAI aims to overcome these hurdles and streamline its operations.

The new factory promises a leap in technological advancements with the integration of Automation Solutions. This includes Electric Tightening tools, Robotics, Manipulators, and Automated Guided Vehicles. These technologies aim to optimise the assembly process, enhancing efficiency and precision in truck manufacturing.

“We stand on the brink of a transformative chapter with the establishment of our new factory, nestled within the expansive Juffali Industrial Park (JIP). Proudly spanning 170,000 square meters in a grand total of 388,000 square meters, this facility marks a strategic leap forward. Initially focusing on Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) assembly, we envision an exciting future, where the potential for Completely Knocked Down (CKD) assembly and cabin manufacturing awaits in our expanded area,” says Khalid Bayounes – Production Director, NAI factory.

Logistical constraints related to traffic patterns will be alleviated, ensuring smoother operations for the arrival of kits and the delivery of finished trucks. This relocation marks a pivotal moment in NAI’s commitment to meeting market demand for construction and transportation vehicles.

The expansion comes with a silver lining as numerous job opportunities will be created. Engineers, assembly workers, and professionals from various fields will be needed to support the operations of the new factory. The choice of the new location, King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC), was made strategically, considering its support from King Abdullah Port (KAP) and its potential for future automotive plants. NAI is committed to environmental responsibility and plans to implement Industry 4.0 and Greenfield initiatives.

The commitment to sustainability extends to the implementation of Industry 4.0 practices and a Greenfield approach. Moreover, there are plans to integrate solar cells into the factory’s roof, showcasing NAI’s dedication to eco-friendly operations.

NAI is gearing up to incorporate Electric Vehicles (EV) into its assembly portfolio. The company recognizes the evolving landscape of the automotive sector and is strategically planning for the potential assembly of Electric Vehicles in its new state-of-the-art facility.

This forward-looking initiative aligns with NAI’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and meeting the growing demand for sustainable transportation solutions.

The relocation process is underway, with the start of production scheduled for Q2 2025. Key milestones and phases are being meticulously planned to ensure a seamless transition. The relocated factory plays a crucial role in NAI’s market expansion plans. It will facilitate the assembly of Heavy, Medium, and Light Duty Trucks from Mercedes-Benz and FUSO Trucks, meeting the rising demand for commercial vehicles in the region.

NAI’s strategic relocation marks a pivotal moment in the company’s journey, promising advancements in technology, sustainability, and market presence. As the company prepares to break ground in its new home, it is set to redefine the landscape of truck assembly in the region.

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Stephen Whitehttps://truckandfleetme.com/
Stephen White was formerly editor of Big Project ME.
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