Electric carmaker AXL plans to set up an assembly unit in the UAE ahead of its launch next year, which would create hundreds of jobs in the country, its chief executive said. The Canadian company announced the world premiere of its new electric mid-sized SUV Sharx-5 in Dubai recently.
“We are aiming to roll it out in the first quarter of 2024. We also plan to set up an assembly line in the UAE. We are having an ongoing discussion in terms of location, and it will soon be announced. We are considering both Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” Ali Eslami, CEO of AXL Electric Vehicles, told Khaleej Times in an interview.
“We are very optimistic about setting a plant here as the UAE is very strategic for us because of easy access to Europe and Asia. The facility that we are planning here will have a capacity of 50,000 units per year,” he said.
The UAE is increasingly becoming a hot market for electric vehicles for its geographic locations, push towards more sustainable transport and the country’s drive towards sustainability in the long run.
In 2022, M Glory Group opened a Dh1.5 billion facility at Dubai Industrial City to manufacture 10,000 electric vehicle cars per year. Recently, Al-Futtaim Electric Mobility company announced that it is engaged with Chinese firm BYD and Swedish brand Polestar, and it also plans to set up 30,000 charging stations in the country by 2030.
In addition, public interest in EVs has escalated over the last four years. In the UAE, around 30 per cent of residents will consider buying one as they offer better value than fuel-powered vehicles. A robust EV market further supports this sentiment.
AXL chief executive elaborated that the company can start production in six to nine months, depending on the availability of the building and infrastructure.
“Setting up an assembly plant in the UAE will create hundreds of jobs and increases the GDP as we have the option of exporting the vehicles. So, it is very strategic for us to be here and have the support of the government,” he added.
The Canadian firm currently has one model, and it will expand its range in due course. Its Sharx-5 model has been priced at $39,800, and it plans to launch the model at around the same price in the UAE.
The car will be equipped with heating and cooling seats, a full panoramic glass roof, a curtain that can be closed, an app to control the car’s features and 20-inch wheels, among others.
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