Praktiko to mass produce low-budget cars by 2008

DUBAI — Engine manufacturer Praktiko will be the UAE's first mass producer of automobiles by 2008, in which it plans to come up with millions of low-budget "smart cars" called Tiger Kubs.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Fri 16 Nov 2007, 9:24 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 11:17 PM

In a statement, Dubai-based Praktiko yesterday said the two-seater car will be priced at Dh11,016 ($3,000), or 117,885 rupees, and exported to India and Africa.

The company's managing director, Massoud Khodjasteh, said "we have officially entered the highly competitive" race to supply cars to countries where there is high demand for small and affordable cars.

He added that Tiger Kubs, whose prototype will be available early next year, are economical with 100 kilometres to a gallon of petrol and fast with a speed of 100 kilometres per hour.

"We are convinced that the UAE is the best place for us to make this a success," he stressed. "The available labour, infrastructure, tax benefits and favourable geographical position make me confident this venture will be a great addition to the country's success."

He admitted however that this would be "no mean feat" as Praktiko is going up against automotive giants such as Suzuki, Tata, Maruti and Bajaj in tapping the Indian and African markets.

Having the look and size similar to that of Mercedes Smart car but at a lower price, Tiger Kub would benefit from a fraction of the success of its German-made counterpart. The Smart car will soon to be launched in the US.

The statement said that Tiger Kub would benefit from a fraction of the success of German-made Mercedes Smart car as it has the same look and size but commands a lower price.

It added that Smart car, which will soon to be launched in the US, is retailed at around Dh42,596 ($11,600).

It stressed that Tiger Kub is expected to equal the Volkswagen Beetle in terms of weight-to-performance ratio because of its lightweight frame.

"These types of cars make a great deal of sense in countries where the emphasis is on economy and practically," Massoud said. "The Tiger Kub's impressive fuel economy will also be attractive to environmentally conscious buyers."

The statement said, meanwhile, that Praktiko is set to manufacture and distribute the Biland SA250 engine, originally developed for the Swatch car, which will be re-branded as the Layland SA250.

"This will be the first complete automotive engine produced in the UAE, with engine sales initially targeting the kart racing industry," it stressed.

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