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036 JANUARY 2017





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A supplement of Cmme


PUBLISHING DIrector RAZ ISLAM +971 4 375 5483 eDItorIAL DIrector VIJAYA CHERIAN +971 4 375 5472 EDITORIAL


on the roAd to reCovery? It has been three short years since I wrote the first editor’s comment for Truck & Fleet Middle East. Looking back it seems bizarre that we launched the magazine knowing that we were breaking new ground for fleet and commercial vehicles as we were the only covering the industry. This is still the case and, as such, we enjoy a unique


position and responsibility to continue to bring

04 / tipping point

you stories from across the region and the world.

the tipper trailer market has been divided by the downturn.

06 / ConstruCtion truCks t&FMe looks at some of the best heavy duty construction trucks in the market.

editors that have also helmed the magazine

12 / ford on trACk t&FMe is with Ford trucks in Bahrain to see how it will kick on its third year in the region.

It is also a welcoming one and over these first

initiatives. I look forward to meeting more of you and helping to tell your stories in 2017. The industry remains at a crossroads. Technological change continues apace but it and managing their costs. Inventories of fleet

18 / enoC rolls out Cng

are shortening and there is more pressure on

the head of eNoc retails tells t&FMe why now is the right time for cNG in the UAe.

managers and owners to hone their operations

24 / improving roAd sAfety GULFco on its new approach to road safety and how it can save lives.





plunge and those who will opt for the most cost effective approach in the months ahead. Analysts agree that by the end of this year we will start to see the benefit of a resurgent economy. time to start planning for growth. It will be up to you to be ready for it. Just remember we will always be here to help.

Registered at IMpZ pO Box 13700 Dubai, UAE tel: +971 4 440 9100 Fax: +971 4 447 2409 FOUNDER DOMINIC DE SOUSA (1959-2015) PRINTED By pRINtwELL pRINtING pRESS LLC


© Copyright 2017 CpI. All rights reserved

28 / things Are looking up A new report looks at how the vehicle market is likely to boom in 2018.


into efficient outfits or be left behind. It will be

Three years down the line it is finally


AccoUNt MANAGer BIpIN SONEJI +971 4 433 2856


fascinating to see who will take a technological

MAN truck & Bus Me talks its road safety initiatives and what the industry can do to help.

coMMercIAL DIrector MICHAEL StANSFIELD +971 4 375 5497

few years of the magazine we have been very

comes at a time when many are still head down

22 / it’s on us


MArKetING MANAGer LISA JUStICE +971 4 375 5498

lucky to be part of such an exciting industry.





work) in that time have been outrageously

lucky to cover some outstanding companies and


eDItor StEpHEN wHItE +44 7541 244 377


I have always felt myself and the other (thank you Stian and Jerusha for your sterling


coNSULtANt eDItor GAVIN DAVIDS +971 4 375 5480


while the publishers have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of all information in this magazine, they will not be held responsible for any errors therein.








Deals awarded for $125m Al Maktoum airport works


Shapoorji Pallonji starts work on first ME project

In pictures: UAE’s KEF launches $100m manufacturing park in India

There is much excitement over the frequent suggestions that ‘hyperloop’ transport could come to the UAE (“Abu Dhabi to study feasibility of Al Ain Hyperloop”, December 12). But there are many questions over such a system, which has yet to be put into use on a large scale. Would such a system ever be as practical and straightforward to build, and as convenient and cheap to use, as a regular train network? Name withheld, via email


Dubai’s $40m Deira Islands bridge to set open



Work on Emaar’s Dubai beachfront hotel starts


Portuguese-Turkish team wins Oman port work 2 TRUCK&FLEET ME JANUARY 2017

Video: Autonomous prototypes on show at Volvo CE Xploration Forum

The UAE construction industry has its challenges. But the prospect of falling rents is not a symptom of this. As the Core Savills study (quoted in “Dubai rents ‘to fall by up to 4%’ in outer areas”, December 19) suggests, more than 20,000 new units are to be delivered to the Dubai property market in 2017. The supply is helping drive down prices in areas – but not to the same extent as we saw during the height of the financial crisis. Siraj Ahmed, via email

Building the UAE’s highest road Jebel Jais is part of the Hajar Mountain Range in Ras Al Khaimah. It is the highest peak in the UAE. And for centuries unreachable by most. For 8 years, a fleet of Volvo FMX Trucks carried a total of more than 5.5 million cubic meters around the clock building a 36 km road that goes up more than 1910 meters. The rugged terrain, steep slopes and loose rock were not a challenge for Volvo FMX, which is built tough for such conditions. That is why more than 30 of our Volvo FMX trucks completed this ambitious road project without any major breakdown. To watch the full video please visit




Hyva MEA’s Tomás Colaco says that contractors and transporters need to consider new materials and technology for higher volumes and lower costs.

The economic downturn has led to a split in the tipper body builder market, says one of the leading suppliers of tipper cylinders. Tomás Colaco marketing manager at tipper cylinder manufacturer Hyva MEA, told TFME that there is now a clear division between companies that are choosing to purchase on price and those planning for the long-term. According to Colaco, many companies are holding back on investing in trailers made from modern materials and new technology that could make their operations more efficient. He argues that new materials like Hardox are lighter and help operations to carry more weight. Despite this, he says, many are preferring to focus on the initial purchase

cost over the benefits of lower total costs of ownership in the long term. Colaco believes some contractors could be forced to catch up or be left behind in a slowly improving market. “The UAE has been stuck in an innovation timezone in the tipper body market,” he explained. “It has been a very price-oriented market but a few, like Bion, are pioneering new designs and taking the lead in trying to change the market. I can see two different segments that I haven’t seen before. “Most of the contractors here have not looked at the long-term operations costs. Bodybuilders (like Bion) understood it, our OEM truck manufacturers understood it but the end-user didn’t understand it.”

Hyva launched its latest Alpha Tipping Solutions series in 2014. The cylinder range is a completely re-designed and reengineered system and can operate up to 250 bar. The company claims it is lighter, faster and more efficient than its predecessors. “When we launched our new products (the Alpha Tipping Solutions series), we tried to pitch them as lighter. But people in the Middle East don’t always see the benefits. Weight was never been the biggest criteria: one reason is that they never had road regulations here.” He continued: “In the long-term you will see bodybuilders slowly switching to newer designs if they see the benefits. Which they will eventually.” .



CaREEm gROWTh hiTS 30% mONTh-ON-mONTh Dubai-based cab-hailing app Careem is currently expanding at a rate of 30% every month, according to CEO Mudassir Sheikha. First started in 2012 and now operating in 44 cities in ten countries, Careem is on the verge of being valued at $1 billion, according to Bloomberg. Last month, it secured a partnership with Apple to allow to use Siri to call a taxi.

1,500 CaR RENTaL COMpaNy SELF-dRivE LaUNChES iN UaE Indian microlease operator Selfdrive is launching its service in the UAE this month, says its CEO. Selfdrive, which is owned by Pune-based Pinewoods Service Corporation, offers short-term leases to corporate and private customers and is looking to start with 1,500 cars in the GCC. As part of its plan to become the third largest car rental firm in the market, it plans to double its fleet by the end of the year as well as launch across the GCC. “We have already got the licenses for the business and should be launching operations in early January in the UAE, followed by Oman and Qatar,” confirmed CEO Soham Shah.

The Navara has been a critical and commercial success.

NaVaRa SCOOPS majOR REgiON aWaRd Nissan’s new pick-up truck, the Navara, has been chosen as the best mid-size truck at the Arab Wheels Award held recently. The award, presented by the regional automotive magazine, recognises ‘all-new’ or ‘significantly face-lifted’ vehicles that have been on sale for three months prior to the announcement of the nominations. Winners are decided by a voting process that is divided in a 50% split between jury member votes and those made by the title’s readers via an online voting process, according to a statement from Nissan. Its new Maxima sedan also won its respective category. “Our expert judging panel is made up of three prominent automotive journalists


Volkswagen says it has finalised an agreement with its Algerian distributor Sovac to start the construction of a 150ha assembly plant in the North African country. The deal with its sales partner has been reported to be worth as much as $170 million

and the plant could see the first vehicle roll-out as early as June later this year. Speaking at a signing ceremony and news conference to announce the deal, executive vice president Josef Baumert said the assembly plant will be built in Relizane, 220 kilometres outside of the capital Algiers. “The Volkswagen Group opted for participation in Sovac as we have cooperated successfully with our sales partner for many years,” he said. The plant will produce several models, including the Volkswagen Golf, SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Octavia as well as the Caddy.

from the Middle East,” said Issam Eid, Arab Wheels’ Editor-in-Chief. “Between them, the jurors have many years of regional experience and they know what makes a car suitable for the Middle East market. Nissan has been an intrinsic part of the market here for decades and is completely in tune with its customers’ demands and expectations – which is why the rugged all-new Navara and dynamic new Maxima won their categories. They set new standards in their classes and fully deserved their trophies.” The all-new Navara, introduced in the second quarter of the year, has already been named International Pick-up of the Year 2016 in Europe and builds on Nissan’s 80-year pick-up heritage by combining toughness and modernity to make the ideal vehicle for dual users who depend on their vehicles for professional and

100,000 dRiVERS (OR WhaT iT uSERS iN ThE mENa REgiON.

personal use, said Nissan. It introduces much new technology, safety, comfort and fuel efficiency, and boasts torque and power of 403Nm and 168hp respectively.




The three showcased Actros trucks have a combined distance of 4.7 million km.

Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA and Mercedes-Benz Trucks celebrated 20 years of the Actros truck in the region by presenting three UAE customers with ‘Actros Mileage Millionaires’ awards for reaching mileages of more than a million kilometres with their Actros trucks.

The customers were Al Jaber Leasing Services, Western Bainoona Group and Mubarak & Sons Transport, who received a ‘Rejuvenation Package’ for their trucks, said a statement from Daimler Commercial Vehicles. Stefan Buchner, head of MercedesBenz Trucks, said: “We have sold more than 1,000,000 Mercedes-Benz Actros trucks in the past 20 years. This makes our Actros the most successful premium heavy-duty truck in the world. Now we are proud to celebrate three Actros trucks from the UAE, each with more than 1,000,000 kilometres. “This is a great achievement and illustrates the loyalty of our customers based on the unprecedented reliability of our Actros.”

The package contained a customised bundle of Mercedes-Benz GenuineParts, MB Oil and other original fluids, equipping the award trucks for the next million kilometres. The three trucks that reached the millionplus landmark were at the event. The three Actros trucks have driven 4.7 million km in 33 years of operation, the equivalent of doing 30,000 journeys between Dubai and Abu Dhabi. A 1st generation Actros model 3848 with a tanker body has achieved a mileage of 1,910,295km since its launch in the fleet of Al Jaber Leasing Services in 2002. Two other Actros, from the second model generation (2008), have reached a distance of 1.55 and 1.24 million km respectively.


The GS4 is GAC’s first compact urban SUV. General manager Yu Jun described the market in the Middle East as robust and growing.

GAC MOTOR, one China’s leading automobile manufacturers, is aiming to grow its market share in Bahrain with the introduction the GS4, its flagship SUV model, last month. “Bahrain is one of our strategic growth markets in GCC and the Middle East region,” said Yu Jun, General Manager of GAC Trumpchi, GAC Motor. “We are here in Bahrain to create a niche for our brand and stay a notch above the current industry best practices to stay ahead in the race. We are delighted to unveil our technologically advanced masterpiece to the discerning consumers in the Bahrain, said Yu Jun, General Manager of GAC Trumpchi, GAC Motor.

axaLTa ExpaNdS iN GCC REGiON WiTh dUbai OFFiCE Global industrial and automotive coatings specialist Axalta Coating Systems has opened its regional office in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority (JAFZA) to expand its sales and customer service capability in the GCC. The company said in a statement that its move is in response to the continued growth in sales in the region’s automotive industry, which is outperforming other global markets. In addition to the regional office, Axalta also plans to commission a regional Refinish Training Centre in Dubai by early 2017, the statement added. The new facility will enable refinish technicians to hone their skills and learn how to


The new facility will provide training for Axalta’s brands.

maximise their use of Axalta’s refinish brands, the company said. Both the office and training centre are in commemoration of Axalta’s 150th anniversary in the coatings industry. “Our investment demonstrates our confidence in the region and our commitment to serve our regional customers with industry-leading coating solutions and services,” said Charlie Shaver, CEO of Axalta, who formally opened the new Dubai office. “Our strength in both transportation and industrial coatings will enable us to support the growth of consumer spending on vehicles and the rapid industrialisation being witnessed across the region.”



Despite a slowdown in economic activity, the region remains a vibrant automotive hub, says the report.

Anew report by Alpen Capital, an investment banking advisory firm, says vehicle sales are likely to continue to be sluggish in 2017 before a potential rebound in 2018. “The GCC automobile sector is dynamic and one of the faster growing sectors in the world, primarily owing to the growing population and high disposable income coupled with significant infrastructure developments in the region,” says Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director, Alpen Capital.

“The sector however is currently facing a slowdown amid a weak economic environment and low oil prices as consumers scale back new car purchases. Passenger car sales will remain under pressure in 2017 but are likely to rebound in 2018 and thereon grow at a stable pace in anticipation of a recovery in oil. Other factors fueling growth include increasing disposable income, growing population and availability of attractive financing options in the country,” says Ahmad.

“We are witnessing a lot of activity in the automotive manufacturing sector as well as possibilities of M&A transactions resulting in consolidation. “Hence, despite a recent slowdown in demand for automobiles in the backdrop of sluggish economic conditions, the GCC region continues to offer immense opportunities in the areas of automotive manufacturing, aftermarket, and new technology development. According to the report, although vehicle sales in the GCC remained subdued during 2016 and will again be under pressure in 2017, the automobile sector is poised for growth in the coming years to 2020 as the region adds nearly; “4 million potential (buyers), reinstates economic growth, and invests in new manufacturing units and infrastructure development.” New passenger car sales are projected at 1.4 million in 2020, compared to 1.2 million in 2015. “The anticipated growth is slower compared to that during last five years in view of the near-term softness in economic activity, as consumers tighten discretionary spending and delay buying new cars,” says the report.


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2016/04/19 10:19


RoUnd-UP Round-uP


T&FME kicks off 2017 with its look at the region’s biggest and best construction and heavy haulage vehicles When the going gets tough, only the toughest truck will do. Not only do they need to be able to carry heavy loads on the roughest terrain but construction trucks in the region have to be robust, rugged, reliable and ready for action. T&FME reviews some of the biggest trucks currently available in the market. Don’t forget to ask your dealer how far they will go to ensure you get maximum uptime and make the most of your investment.


Iveco AstrA Iveco’s commercial vehicle unit produces one of the most complete ranges of heavy, medium and light vehicles from 2.8 tons up to 44 tons in the industry. The Astra range was brought under its wing in 1986, and is associated with associated with heavy and extreme on- and off- highway applications

and fully off-highway quarry and construction work. The heavy range represents Iveco’s core business in both the Kingdom as well as Egypt and other key markets in the Middle East. The brand operates across the area with 16 dealers and through more


than 29 sales points. Moreover, more than 43 service points provide after-sales assistance to customers all over Africa. The company knows the needs of fleets are changing, as are the types of vehicles required, and Iveco’s off-highway and on-

highway ranges offer a superior choice for fleet owners, says Iveco. sPecs: GVW: Up to 63T Config: Max 4 axles Traction: Up to 8×8 Max Power: 560 hp


4% LESS uNLAdEN fuEL cOST volvo FMX Ahead of its arrival in the Middle East, the FMX was extensively tested in the region to ensure that it can tackle some of the roughest, most demanding off-road conditions in the world. The innovative gearbox is the first transmission of its kind which has been specifically designed

for heavy long-haulage and construction applications. The truck has high ground clearance to operate in tough environments and a comfortable cabin for the drivers, which made the job less physically draining and allowed them to drive for longer. For eight years, a fleet of 33 Volvo FMX trucks worked round-


Mercedes Actros Mercedes-Benz’s Actros truck reached a milestone in the region with the delivery in 2016 of the 100,000th truck in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The milestone truck, a 4×2 tractorhead Actros 2041S, is part of a larger 200-unit order by Messrs. Al-Khaldi, who is a long-lasting customer of Mercedes-Benz and JIPCO, the statement added. Saudi Arabia is the core market in the MENA region for MercedesBenz Trucks, with nearly 44,000 Actros Trucks having been

the-clock to carry more than 5.5 million cubic metres of rocks and aggregates to build the 36km Jebel Jais road in the UAE. Despite challenges such as the rugged terrain, steep slopes, loose rocks and extreme weather conditions, the fleet of Volvo FMX trucks completed the ambitious project without any major breakdowns or accidents. The Volvo FMX has been a perennial subject for T&FME over the past three years. Try as we might not include it, the Swedish keeps on improving the tractor meaning it remains a powerful member of the region’s heavy haulage and construction truck fleet. The Volvo construction heavy weight relaunched in 2016 complete with a crawler gear and a series of upgrades. The truck’s high ground clearance enables it to operate in tough environments

and has a comfortable cabin for the drivers. Features such as Volvo Dynamic Steering, rear air suspension, i-shift are now available on more trucks than before. And there are genuine industry trend-setters to be had such as a raised drive axle which can save up to 4% of unladen fuel costs and Automatic Traction Control (ATC), which only engages the front axle when it’s needed. Volvo Trucks’ new function, Tandem Axle Lift, makes it possible to disengage and raise the second driven axle. This gives better road grip and up to 4% lower fuel consumption when the truck is driven without a load. The new function is designed for heavy duty transports with loads being carried one way and empty return trips, for instance when hauling timber or in construction and bulk cargo operations.


delivered since 1997. The Actros ‘Made for ME’ boasts an impressive look with a full-paint finish and the illuminated star in the front grill. These distinct features along with the outstanding capabilities and various configuration options of the Actros means its made for the ME. ACTRoS SPECS: GVW: 38t Power: 394-435hp Torque: 1,850-2,100nm Engine: v6 Power: 440-54hp Emission: Euro 2, Euro 3

tHe Ford coNstrUctIoN serIes Ford Trucks continues to improve its heavy haulage and construction offering in the region and has made great strides to find a niche in the construction market. A 6x4 is promised later this year but it is still a strong relatively new alternative to the more established names featured in T&FME’s round-up. Designed for the most demanding construction site environments, with best-inclass sequence and efficiency,

a new feature in the New Ford Trucks Construction Series is the Automated Transmission option. Off-road, rocking and economy modes assist drivers in keeping their vehicle sure-footed on virtually any terrain. There is also a 22% improvement in turning radius. SPECS: ConFIG: 6x6 (3643 Zetros) GCW: 116t Engine: 6cyl Power (7.2l variant): 325hp Power (12l variant): 428hphp



TORQuE up TO 2,500NM


QUester The Quester range was launched in 2014 and is now available in Qatar, the first time it is fully available in the region. With Quester, UD Trucks says it entered a new and exciting development phase where it could offer customers in the largest and fastest growing truck segments in the world a truck designed specifically to meet their demands. UD spent several years trawling through customer feedback to design the truck. It is particularly suitable for transport companies. It is a modern yet affordable vehicle; allows customisation for most transport requirements; it is based on a complete and up-to-

date heavy duty truck platform and is designed to serve a wide range of applications and it enables excellent fuel consumption and high average speeds. Quester was developed with a Japanese hands-on, fieldoriented approach that starts from a customer and factory floor perspective. The truck itself has an allnew cab, driveline, electronic architecture and fuel savings features. QUESTER SPECS: Axle configuration: 6x4 GVW: 34t Power: 280-420hp Torque: 1,050nm-2,000nm

MAN tGs WW The robust TGS WW is able to carry very heavy loads and has been specially developed by MAN for use outside of Western Europe. The vehicle configuration of the MAN TGS WW can be optimally adapted to particular geographical requirements. MAN offers two-, three and four-axle semitrailer tractors and chassis with permissible gross weights of up to 50 tonnes. The combination of numerous special features makes the MAN TGS WW a particularly reliable and cost-effective working vehicle: A sturdy radiator grille with stone guard, protective grilles on the headlights, rear

reNAUlt c serIes

up TO 500hp Of pOWER


Renault Trucks introduced new distinct truck ranges to the Middle East in 2014 – the C and K ranges. The C and K share the same chassis frame but have been designed for different purposes. The lighter C has been developed with typical trailer tipping in mind and off- and onroad roles essential for supporting construction operations. Its cab has also been designed to a spec typical of long haulage (the newest model has improved space); making the tractor head a flexible addition to a fleet. The C trucks get Renault’s Optitrack hydrostatic traction on

lights and on the fuel tank, 24-inch tyres and a desert cooler radiator or cold-weather equipment for temperatures as low as -50 °C. It is also packed with a raft of safety features for when it’s out on the road. The Efficient-Line package available for the TGS WW further reduces fuel consumption and therefore CO2 emissions as well. TGS WW SPECS: Engine: Euro 3 10.5l Power: 360-440hp Torque: 1,800-2,100hp Engine: Euro 3 12.4l Power: 440-54hp Torque: 2,100-2,500nm

the front axle, for temporary extra pulling power. It is worth noting for Middle East buyers that the system is not standard on manual versions of the C but it does come with the automatic transmission variants. C- SERIES SPECS: Cabin width: 2.5m Engines: dXi 11: 330 / 380 / 440hp dXi 13: 460/500hp GVW: 19-32T GCW: 60-100T Cabin configs: day cab (Standard roof), night and day cab (Sleeper cab, Standard roof), Sleeper cab (Sleeper cab, High roof)




heavy duTy challengers

Ford Trucks has sTepped inTo The ring and is Taking on all comers


he bell has just rung, it’s round two and Ford Trucks is in the ring ready to start the next phase of its assault on the Middle East region. In just over two years, the company has gone from challenging upstart to title contender in the heavy duty division. Wisely it has stuck to two main classes – mixers and tractor head to this point, but now bolstered by a rapid rise in the region’s inventories it is ready to drop its new construction range and 2017 brings with it the promise of a potentially game-changing 6x4 variant – given its popularity in the region. When T&FME catches up with Emrah Ercan Duman and his team, they’re about to go to the Bahrain International Circuit to see if the Ford team can snatch a surprise victory in the GT endurance championship. Whatever the

outcome for the teams on the track, Ford Trucks is well and truly in the tussle for places in the region’s inventories, says Duman. “Sale-wise we have seen momentum (in 2016),” he says. “I can say that in the UAE we will be achieving something in the region of 5% of the total market but we don’t yet have a 6x4 tractor so we have been only playing in 60% of the market. If we don’t include it, then we have more than 10% of the market.” With many construction fleets holding back on renewal, Ford Trucks entered into a shrinking market as an expected infrastructure boom failed to materialise – particularly in Saudi Arabia. T&FME asks whether the timing for its entry could have been better. “Unfortunately, during the second year the fuel prices fell...” rues Duman. “And the truck industry is the first industry to be affected by the

economy: it is the first to be hurt but the first to recover from a crisis. Volume-wise we are still growing but sale-wise we are performing much better.” Tracing the reasons why Ford Trucks has managed to snaffle some market share in the face of the slump, Duman says that the company has set-out to be more progressive than its rivals; compensating for its status as a late-comer and asking each individual to work harder and be better than the competition. Despite being a man who is erudite and calmly spoken, Duman is clearly not above some fighting talk. “Yes. We have to be more aggressive,” he states. Product-wise, Ford Trucks opted to enter into the Middle East concentrating on its transmixer and single tractor variant rather than a broad range in 2014. Duman says that it was able to focus in on the segments it was targeting.

“The Truck indusTry is The firsT indusTry To be affecTed by The economy: iT is The firsT To be hurT buT The firsT To recover from a crisis. volume-wise we are sTill growing buT sale-wise we are performing much beTTer” JANUARY 2017 TRUCK&FLEET ME 13


“We recognised with our trans-mixer, for instance, that because of infrastructure projects in the region we had a very good and unique product for the region.” Duman explains that the two-year lead up to the launch was focused on getting the specification right for the extreme conditions its trucks would face. Commercially, waiting for two years meant there was time to fully understand the market that Ford Trucks was entering. A series of vehicle tests on the robustness of the chassis and the performance of the hot climate package – which had to meet demanding filtration, cooling and air-conditioning targets – were conducted both in the home plant in Turkey as well as in the GCC region (test trucks clocked over 300,000km on the roads of Saudi Arabia). “Two years before we started in the region, we were testing our vehicles,” he says. “Since 2012, we had our test vehicles in the region and we developed our product up to 2014, based on the region’s weather conditions and environment.” While the technology was put through its paces, the commercial team hit the road talking to dealers and their customers to gauge how they should approach the market. Naturally falling back onto the tried and tested Ford dealers in the market, Duman and his team setout to determine whether they could cope with supporting truck sales. And if they didn’t what investment would they need and how could Ford help get to a level comparable to other aftersales operation in the market. “Part of that analysis phase was identifying the resources required to bolster the dealers operation to the level required to support truck sales,” affirms Duman. “Aftersales is so important.”

Duman says that the newly revised lineup features significant improvements over the previous generation.

In the end, Ford Trucks settled for a hub in Dubai and an office in Riyadh as its foundation. It also chose Al Jazirah and Al Tayer, Ford’s existing dealers in Riyadh and the UAE. “They are more familiar with the Ford way of doing things,” explains Duman. “It’s always easier with a company who knows Ford. Even the language we speak at Ford is different.” Over two years on from the launch, Ford Trucks was due at PMV Live a few days after we meet to reveal its 2017 line-up, including the 4143M and 3543M mixers alongside the 1843T tractor. All are powered by the new Ford Ecotorq engine family ensuring that the revised Ford Trucks Construction Series now delivers 430PS of power and 2,150Nm of torque. It is a significant improvement over the previous generation which delivered 350PS and

Countries manager Mustafa Caner Sinanoğlu is one of the architects of Ford Trucks’ regional roll-out.

1.400Nm of torque. Uphill traction on rugged terrain has also been improved, according to Ford Trucks, and the new 400KW engine brake provides the driver with better control while climbing steep slopes in earth-moving and cutting sites. (An optional 6,00kW Intarder option is being offered for even tougher conditions brings the total braking capacity to 1,000kW, ensuring that the heaviest loads can be safely carried on even the steepest slopes and hills.)

feedback To ford Feedback from dealers and owners has been critical in the range’s continuing development. Duman argues that they provide a balanced blend of features. Its presence at PMV Live was going to be an opportunity to show how the new

“There are Two key people in The Truck business. The decision maker and The driver. of course The decision is done by The purchasing direcTor or The owner, buT if The driver is noT happy wiTh The vehicle Then he mighT change The mind of The decision maker as well” 14 TRUCK&FLEET ME JANUARY 2017


On track: Duman, Sinanoğlu and the rest of the Ford Trucks team have taken huge strides in two years.

line-up are trucks that: “land on construction sites with a single purpose; to make your project more durable and efficient.” It was also going to be a chance to talk openly on how the new Riyadh office will enhance its presence in the Kingdom. “As a first step to expand our network with a focus on retaining facility investments, our upcoming office in Riyadh will help us in further improving our service and reduce response times to our customers.” He describes the new office as part of a deliberate strategy now stretching back half a decade ago to ensure that the business and its vehicles were fit for purpose and here to stay. The company had to be committed to a longterm presence, because, “it is very easy to gain momentum but then lose it one day.” The second phase in its progress is now wellunderway. Through 2015 and 2016 it started its operations in Qatar, Oman and Bahrain: “The only country left is Kuwait. We are currently approaching a dealer partner there too. In addition we also sell into the Lebanon.” He tells T&FME that the company has recognised that it needs to improve its coverage within countries. The new Riyadh office has been given the autonomy to handle both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. It will also set-out the blueprint for boosting the dealer’s strength across KSA; ensuring customers in Dammam get the same quality of service as in Jeddah. Duman is forthright when explaining why he feels expansion within a country is important. Without investing time and resources into other regions in Saudi Arabia, Ford Trucks will be unable to support and control its presence in the market,


he says. New offices and service real estate is inevitable. As could local assembly beyond the bodybuilding programme that is currently in place. Wherever it pitches up, Duman says that the focus should be on getting as close to the right people in an operation as possible. “We always try to always attempt to visit all the customers with our dealers to explain the unique selling points of the products. Obviously the first few are the most difficult but once you do it and once the customers start to use the product, then they we have the word of mouth to sell our product.” Duman talks about two key people in the truck business: the decision maker and the driver: “Of course the decision is done by the purchasing director or the owner, but if the driver is not happy with the vehicle then he might change the mind of the decision maker as well.” The two teams that are now operating from Dubai and Riyadh have similarly been instructed

to support the dealer and distributors while also being proactive with customers: “They are going to act as consultants for the dealer with the customer – free of charge.” He adds that the truck industry is a very different animal from passenger cars and requires far closer contact between the OEM, distributor and customer. He argues that a high level of face to face contact is not unique to the region but Ford Trucks is trying to, again, outdo its rivals in its contact with the industry. “It is the same everywhere: the US, Europe and in the Middle East. At the end of the day, you are in B2B not B2C. Therefore you need to be in touch with these guys and also the dealer. We are working as if we are one with our dealers.” He may admit to being pleased with the progress Ford Trucks has made to date but the search for new opportunities remains high on the priority list. He adds: “In Saudi we recognised in the last year that there is a demand for municipality vehicles which is also a consolidation area for us, for instance. We are identifying the segments to target: where there is growth, and where there is not.” Pausing before falling back into fighting talk mode, he adds, “then we attack all the segments.” T&FME asks how Ford Trucks undoubted progress has been viewed in Turkey and elsewhere in the Ford hierarchy. “They are always telling us it could be better!” He jokes. “Of course there are areas that we might have done better, but as a start-up I think we did phase one properly.” The two Ford cars ended in fourth and sixth on the track in Bahrain, and second overall in the championship. It rates as significant progress in what is only their second season. You could say the same for Ford Trucks.

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Natural selection

Zaid alqufaidi, managing director enoc retail, talks to T&fME about its cng station roll-out



ENOC expects to see an increase in the number of vehicles running on CNG from 1,000-1,500 by end of 2016 up to 5,000 in the next five years.


espite its abundance in the Gulf, the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) has remained largely the preserve of a few public transport operations. While fuel costs have remained relatively low there has been an historic reluctance to push the cleaner fuel onto forecourts currently shared by petrol and diesel. This has begun to change with the UAE, which has historically been reliant on importing CNG because of the high sulphur content in its own reserves, leading a re-energised push. Progress in processing technology and growing interest from both the private and public sector has begun to stimulate projects and initiatives that could make CNG a mainstream alternative to traditional motor fuels. At current prices, it is estimated that switching to dual fuel engines can halve a fleet’s fuel costs but to be successful, CNG will need to be readily available. With national ambitions for a cleaner economy also gathering pace as part of its ongoing Vision 2021 programme (the wide-ranging plan not only sets out a blueprint for turning the UAE into a greener and smarter economy but is targeting its total energy mix attributable to low-carbon sources to be 24% by 2021), the onus, then is for fuel suppliers in the country, to put the retail infrastructure in place. “When the government put a mandate to drop the sulphur content in diesel from 500 ppm to 10 ppm – they didn’t even go to 250 ppm. This is the equivalent of what you would call the Euro 5 standard,” Zaid Alqufaidi, managing director ENOC Retail, tells T&FME.

Alqufaidi says that ENOC has been ahead of the curve in terms of environmental initiatives dating as far back as 1995 when it was the first fuel retailer to follow the UAE’s government’s mandate on unleaded fuel. He adds that it has continued to place considerable funding into its own sustainability programmes. “We invest heavily in sustainability programmes,” he explains. “To give you an example, in 2007 we came up with the green concept – looking at different initiatives. This was before the announcement of the Vision 2021 and moving towards a green economy.” He recalls the work at a facility designed especially to test its sustainability initiatives and how they were deployed as part of its massive green programme: “We built a site at the time that had a little bit over 20 different programmes. We used solar panels to illuminate the gas stations; we also used water recycling systems (we do car washes day and in day, imagine the amount of water that we use and have to dump back in

the sewage); we replaced all the lights in our network from conventional to LED lights.” “This was a huge investment, all the lights whether it is on the forecourt or in the convenience store. We used a lot of recycled material in our shopping bags for example. Even the lubricants we use at our stations were converted into green products.” It has gone on to introduce other initiatives across its retail network of 112 stations in the UAE and five in KSA. Its Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) scheme is an air-conditioning system that controls the speed of the refrigerant flowing into multiple indoor units, which has contributed to annual electricity savings of 48,506 kW/hr and US$5,947 in utility bills per unit. Its Vapour Recovery System also impressively recovers 99% of gasoline vapour and other fuel emissions via a multistage process that starts on the forecourt to when a 40,000l tanker comes to discharge fuel into underground tanks. “We have worked very closely with the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the Dubai Municipality and put together a huge investment in vapour recovery,” he explains. “A fuel tank is never actually empty it is full of air. When the fuel comes in the vapour has to leave and causes damage to the environment.” He adds that ENOC has now taken the capturing process upstream to when the tankers are loaded: “We wanted a water-tight system.” ENOC recently opened the lid on its achievements over the years, revealing that it had recorded a cumulative total of $7 million in savings since the launch of the savings component of its Energy and Resource Management programme in 2012. It is now over halfway through a $15 million investment programme which began in 2014 and will conclude in 2018. It hopes it will make $6.9 million per year once completed.

“the biggest target was the taxi compaNies but the techNology uNfortuNately meaNs we have to iNstall a cyliNder iN the boot” JANUARY 2017 TRUCK&FLEET ME 19


emirates traNsport goes dual fuel Emirates Transport says it is to begin converting its diesel vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG) dual fuel systems. The transport company recently completed a successful six month trial of the systems and will now begin a conversion programme of all its diesel vehicles throughout the region. Technical services centre manager says the move will help the federal operator to cut down its carbon footprint. “We have successfully tested diesel vehicle conversion to CNG and, from december, we will start it for public and private transport,” said Maher al Refai, technical services centre manager at the

alqufaidi says that driving schools have been particularly enthusiastic triallers and adopters of CNG.

Emirates Transport,” While it has been converting its petrol fleet since 2010, al Refai said that Emirates Transport will now target busses, service vehicles and trucks that are currently running on the higher emission fuel. He explained that the dual fuel engines will be able to switch between CNG and diesel at any time. He added that the authority estimates the dual fuel systems being employed could slash its CO2 emissions by28% and noise levels by as much as 40%. Total fuel savings could almost be close to two-thirds their current level. The authority has opted against a full conversion after it grew concerned about using the fuel safely and, al Refai added, the cost of conversion was too high. Emirates Transport believes that converted dual fuel vehicles save about 13t of CO2 per year, over an annual distance of 70km, burning a litre of fuel every 2km. it has set-up two conversion facilities in abu dhabi, where 75% of its 7,000 taxi fleet has already been converted and dubai to handle the conversion “already we have orders from dubai airports to convert its 1,000 diesel vehicles,” added al Refai. al Refai also told local media that two fuel stations in dubai have CNG terminals but there will also be free mobile CNG filling vehicles available on call. “Now our plan is to equip all adnoc gas stations with one CNG terminal to ease refuelling of CNG,” he said.


Small wonder it has been an important architect of the UAE’s plans to be greener: “There have been a lot of initiatives, but they haven’t all come from the government. We worked as contributors and advisors towards the goal of providing a green environment.” Perhaps with the years of work put into ENOC’s sustainability programmes in mind, Alqufaidi is prepared to defend his industry’s record when it comes to its contribution to the environment. “We come from the energy industry and specifically oil and gas. Unfortunately, the public view the industry as, supposedly the highest polluting contributor when it comes to the environment. Personally, having been involved in the industry for 27 years, I’ve seen it the other way round. It has always been proactive in terms of putting programmes in place to make the environment green.” At Wetex towards the end of 2016, ENOC revealed that it expected to see an increase in the number of vehicles running on CNG from 1,0001,500 by end of 2016 up to 5,000 in the next five years. It is also expanding its CNG network by setting up three daughter stations, one each at Al Ahli Driving Centre, Emirates Driving Institute and Emirates Transport, in addition to its main station, to help meet the current demand for compressed natural gas. The company says that stations serve an estimated 500 vehicles per day. It also aims to soon have a further seven more CNG Daughter stations at fleet customer premises; including government organisations, driving institutes

and vehicle rental companies. Alqufaidi explains how ENOC has become a driver of CNG’s use as part of long- term plan to provide alternative fuels in the UAE. “We are not disconnected from the world and it is going to alternative fuel – without a doubt,” he states. “We do have a plan in the pipeline and have initiated a part of it through the introduction of CNG.” He adds that ENOC has had to work closely again with its colleagues at the Dubai Supreme Council of Energy to access the natural gas. “We don’t have much access to natural gas but they were able to channel some of the natural gas that is used in power generation and smelters to us so we could pilot it; and see if there was a market for it.” Getting the fuel to forecourt was a challenge passed to its subsidiary Emirates Gas when the project started in 2013. By 2015 ENOC was able to commission three outlets and the CNG pumps could be turned on. He says that many fleets have been warmly welcomed the opportunity to look at switching their fleet. “With fleet owners, we were fortunate,” he says before clarifying that taxi operators, were initially unsure whether it could work for their business needs. “The biggest target was the taxi companies. A lot of them have over 5-6,000 vehicles roaming over the city but the technology unfortunately means we have to install a cylinder in the boot of the car… and the taxis were reluctant because they were losing cargo space. But when we flipped over to the other fleet owners, like the driving schools, we had a huge success. They always take the same


ENOC’s next major challenge will be to educate the public on the benefits of CNG.

routes and we were able to install facilities for them and they made significant savings.” While fleets have been generally open to the prospect of using CNG, the next challenge, says Alqufaidi, is convincing the consumer; “It has to

be cost effective and the driver behind the wheel needs to be convinced they are contributing to a cleaner environment,” he remarks. The government has since approved a larger volume to market for ENOC’s CNG programme.

Phase 2 targets such as Dubai Civil Aviation and Emirates Transport now head a list of customers Alqufaidi says that are lining up to switch to CNG. He tells T&FME that it is also looking to expand the number of charging points for electric vehicles. He predicts that Dubai will finally progress to a point where the only alternative will be alternative sources of energy. “Eventually there will be a product mix and endusers will have to shift into alternatives whether it is electric or CNG. The government is throwing a lot of incentives for those that are switching to a cleaner product. Looking at the first draft, you could see they were talking about vehicles being exempt from the registration fee; from the toll; there will be dedicated parking. “You know, this is a little like the chicken and egg; who should come first? The consumer should do this? Or we should provide it? But we have a clear plan. We will be providing CNG and EV and it is up to the end-user to choose which product suits them. are all qreen products and we are moving towards being sustainable.”











MAN’s ProfiDrive programme trains thousands of drivers and fleet managers every year.

Wake up to safety MAN SAfety eveNt highlightS the riSkS of tired driviNg ANd tyreS


ince emerging as a major force in the GCC at the turn of the decade, MAN Truck and Bus Middle East has placed safety training at the forefront of its strategy in the market. It recently held its first ever Road Safety Event in Abu Dhabi in collaboration with the police authority in the UAE capital as well as RoadSafetyUAE, one of the country’s leading campaigners for, as the name suggests, road safety. During the event, representatives from both the private and public sector were presented with a compelling and educational overview of how they can help the UAE to continue on its aim of reducing its road fatalities to three deaths per 100,000 population annually by 2021. According to MAN Truck and Bus Middle East’s managing director Franz Freiherr von Redwitz there is no one size fits all approach to saving lives on the road.


Instead there needs to be adherence to regulations, greater education and better use of the technology that is available. On the latter, the latest MAN vehicles include a series of features designed to reduce the likelihood of something going perilously wrong on the road. It has worked extensively on its active and passive systems on-board its trucks such as: Electronic Damping Control (EDC) to improve safety and handling; Electronic Stability Program (ESP) to limit accidents caused by overturning (its dynamic steering program prevents understeer by braking the inner rear wheel) or straying from the lane (its roll over prevention system reduces torque or brakes before the vehicle slides); and its Anti-Spin Regulator (ASR) provides assists to controlled braking). He describes MAN Truck and Bus’ role goes beyond providing vehicles with state of the art safety features.

“With its global expertise in the field of vehicle safety and road safety, MAN can contribute in a number of ways in enhancing road safety in the UAE – such as supporting the introduction of road transport regulations, providing training and education for transport operators and enforcement officers, and supporting the introduction of mandatory vehicle specification standards for new product deliveries.” The truck maker also has its own wellestablished ProfiDrive training programme which trains thousands of drivers and fleet managers globally every year. While it covers a huge series of topics, the focus of ProfiDrive is always on understanding the demands placed on the driver. Looking at the Middle East, Franz Von Reditz argues that the driver should be the main concern, especially as he feels that drivers in the region drive are driving for long stretches and are “very tired.” As he points out, correctly, that driver behind the wheel can turn a very safe and modern truck


truck safety – what do you need to know? • It is not only the gross vehicle weight that can affect safety. Load positioning and distribution too can have consequences for road safety, hence it important to know how to load your vehicle for safety. Severe overloading of the drive axle or under-loading of the trailer axle can adversely affect steering, braking and speed control. • Tyre suitability is a vital link in the load-

Both public and private stakeholders were shown around modern and safe truck technology.

to-road chain. Care must be taken to ensure that the maximum load rating for a tire is never exceeded. • Driver alertness is critical. If a driver

into a dangerous or hazardous truck. He adds, however, that most drivers can be turned into safer drivers when given the proper education. “The driver can be educated, if it is done in a very good way he can make the vehicle safe,” he opines. He adds that fleet owners and managers should take greater responsibility in improving driver safety. “The impact of driver education and training on vehicle performance and safety is hugely underestimated in the region. As a result, many fleet owners are reluctant to invest in driver education. He adds: “Also, there is a common misconception that the current situation can be changed solely by focusing on driver education and training. While driver education is of course hugely important, the driver basically executes what a supervisor or transport manager requires, so it is paramount that fleet owners and managers adopt a more proactive approach to safety. “However, when it comes to accidents involving trucks, the results are usually deadly. For instance, a semi-trailer truck takes roughly three times more to stop than a car and hence one must never pull in front of a semi-trailer truck and brake abruptly.” Much of the event in November explored the various road safety initiatives and programmes currently underway in the UAE. As well as providing its own insight, MAN provided two trucks for those at the event to learn how technology is reshaping the safety aspects of its vehicles.

Franz Von Reditz was also given an opportunity at the event to highlight the dangers of driver fatigue and the importance of educating all road users. To him everyone on the road should understand the limitations and special considerations for stopping distances of trucks, the event was a much needed chance to show how different types of vehicles use the road differently. All through the event, the message to fleet owners and operators was that they need to understand the benefits to their operation and other road users of proper monitoring and support for their drivers. Franz Von Reditz and MAN understands that it will need to continue to bring together the commercial sector and other stakeholders if its campaign is to prove a long-term success. “Through our safety campaign, we aim to highlight the top reasons that impact road safety from a commercial vehicle perspective such as load of the vehicle, driver alertness, worn tyres and incorrect/incomplete maintenance,” he explains. “It is an important step towards greater crossstakeholder collaboration that will help make the country’s roads safer. He continues: “MAN has an ongoing commitment to improving road safety and we will continue to offer support and expertise to help the UAE achieve its road safety targets. Targeted initiatives and campaigns aimed at raising road safety awareness and improving driver education are essential to achieving these goals. This will continue to be a focus for us moving forward.”

has not slept in 17 hours, their driving ability is similar to a driver who is driving under the influence of alcohol. Today we have technology alternatives available such as Tachographs - to monitor driver working hours which have a huge impact on accident rates. The Tachograph helps in enabling enforcement of rules related to drivers’ hours, and functions as an aid to road safety. Using a combined speedometer and clock, the Tachograph records automatically on a paper disc the vehicle’s speed, distance travelled, and time spent on the road, helping keep tired drivers off the roads. • When it comes to braking, having an understanding of the complete interrelationship of systems is important. Mismatch of tractor-trailer combinations can result in an unsafe vehicle in operation. • Maintenance has a large part to play in safety. Regular maintenance is essential to ensuring the safety of your vehicle and keeping it running at peak efficiency. • Intelligent technology solutions such as MAN TeleMatics can significantly contribute to enhancing vehicle safety and efficiency by providing drivers and fleet managers with essential data to optimise vehicle usage and plan services well in advance.

“Many fleet owners are reluctant to invest in driver education” JANUARY 2017 TRUCK&FLEET ME 23


Making an impact Dubai Municipality leaDs tHe uae’s Drive towarDs safer roaDs witH tHe launcH of Gulfco’s iMpact protection veHicles



GULFCO wins the product innovation award at the Gulf Traffic Awards.


ith an average annual population growth of 5-8% in recent years, the UAE and Dubai, in particular, boasts one of the highest growth rates in the world. In the Emirate of Dubai alone the active daytime population (which combines permanent residents, temporary residents and tourists) more than doubled in the past decade from 1.6 million in 2005 to close to 3.5 million in 2015. The growth in the number of tourists coming into the country has been a large factor in the population growth and recent statistics indicate that the UAE is on track to reaching the 20 million tourists per year mark by the end of 2020. With more people living in the UAE than ever before, expansion of a number of key infrastructure developments like airports, hotels and the roads network in particular has had to keep pace. “The roads network in Dubai alone increased, in a period of nine years from the time of the foundation of the RTA in 2005 until 2014, by about 50% — which can be considered a great achievement in the field of transportation,” says Maitha Bin Udai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency. The population growth, combined with cars becoming increasingly affordable, has led many to consider the increase in the number of cars on the UAE’s road network as almost epidemic. With a 10% increase in the past three years

alone, the UAE today has close to 3 million cars registered within its seven Emirates. To say that the pressure on the roads and roadsrelated infrastructure is tremendous would be an understatement. Although UAE motorists in general applaud the government’s efforts to improve the road infrastructure, the UAE and the rest of the GCC’s underperforming safety record – with specific emphasis on its road fatalities rates – is

Vision Zero In an effort to position itself as a leader in improving road safety within the GCC, Dubai-based RTA has embarked on a series of initiatives aimed at road users to reduce the number of road traffic fatalities, injuries and accidents by raising awareness for proper conduct on roads and encouraging a safety-first motoring culture. One such initiative titled ‘Vision Zero’ aims at targeting zero fatalities in road traffic and has proven to be extremely popular and effective in countries with some of the lowest road fatalities in the world like Sweden, the United Kingdom and the Nederlands. Although sufficiently ambitious, it clearly places road safety high on the agenda and obliges government authorities not only to achieve safer roads, but to create and launch new instruments towards this goal.



on reducing the rate of fatalities from road accidents in five of the most dangerous roads across the UAE by 21% between 15 December 15, 2016 and 15 February, 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year.


IPVs enable crucial road works to continue while keeping workers and road users safe.

potentially damaging to its credibility. Recent figures have shown an average of two people per day were killed on UAE roads last year. Lt General Saif Al Shaafar, undersecretary at the Ministry of Interior said: “A campaign to reduce accidents on roads involving intensified patrols, more speed cameras, and harsher penalties has already paid off with the deaths on roads dropping to 6.5 per 100,000 people in 2014 from 13 per 100,000 ten years ago.” This indicates that although the number of vehicles over the past years has increased, the road fatalities have declined significantly. He added: “After managing to make substantial

achievements in reducing crash deaths, the UAE took up an even bigger challenge by aiming to become one of the countries with the safest roads within the GCC in the next five years.” At the end of 2016, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, vice president and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the ‘Government Accelerators’ initiative to achieve the goals of the national agenda and stressed the need to intensify efforts and mobilise energies to achieve 100 percent of these goals. One of these goals included the Ministry of Interior working

One of the common instruments in the UK and Europe aimed at reducing road fatalities in road traffic operation sites or ‘work zones’, although not really new technology, is an Impact Protection Vehicle or IPV and targets the safety of road workers or construction crews who can be regularly seen conducting a variety of operation and maintenance activities ranging from painting road lines to clearing road debris and who are in constant need of protection from oncoming road traffic. This protection for road workers operating in live traffic comes by placing the site or work-zone in front of the IPV, which is a type of specialised crash truck fitted with a device called a truck-mounted attenuator designed to act as a cushion, absorbing the impact of a possible rear-end crash. Impact brakes, designed to engage the truck’s brakes on rear impact, further protects the road workers from the negative consequences of the truck ricocheting onto workers in the work-zone. One study, published recently in the US Journal of Transportation Research Board, found IPVs cut work-zone injuries and fatalities from rear-end crashes nearly in half. “Truck-mounted attenuators have been around in Europe since the late 1980s,” says Clay Fernandes, business development manager at GULFCO. “In an ideal world, the safest way

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to work on a high-speed road would be to shut the road down temporarily which, in major UAE cities like Dubai, is a task much easier said than done. IPVs provide a sort of compromise between shutting the road and endangering road workers’ lives by lowering the risk of the work zone workforce to safest possible levels whilst making sure that the risk is not transferred to road users.” he added. To make sure the 11 Dubai Municipality supplied IPV units meet the safest standards in the world GULFCO had equipped all units with a suite of specs. Firstly, its Verdegro TMA-US series crash cushion has been designed to meet demanding the highest crash test rating available. It is certified to operate, for example, at 110km/hh (TD 49/07) compared to the industry standard which is only 100km/h (NCHRP 350). It units are also equipped with auto impact brakes which actuates the brakes of the IPV truck on being struck from the rear, drastically reducing the forward shunt distances especially in cases when struck by trucks and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV).

GULFCO says it made the safety of the IPV driver and workforce key during development, which is why all controls for the IPV can be operated from inside the driver’s cabin. Additionally, to aid the operator to use the controls while conducting mobile Temporary Traffic Management (TTM), all vehicles come with fully automatic transmissions. Dynamic conditions like visibility, weather conditions, actual traffic flow and actual speed also play a huge role in safety conditions especially in big metropolitan cities like Dubai. To address these dynamic conditions all units were equipped with high intensity LED Lighting with automatic light-sensitive sensors to adjust the brightness levels to extreme during the daytime and lowered in the night time to make sure it does not blind or distract passing road users. All flashing lights are clearly visible from 360-degrees meeting ECE R65 standards and the IPVs are covered with high visibility micro-prismatic retroreflective material to make sure it is noticed from far distances. To reduce driver or workforce error, all lighting is synced with the static left/right arrow so there is no chance of the lights flashing in a

different direction from the arrow. GULFCO has also incorporated cone-wells with safety harnesses for the safe deployment/pickup of traffic cones during setup/removal of Traffic Diversion Plans (TDPs). Fernandes adds; “Together with a high technical design it is equally important not to abandon areas like investment in driver and operator training, infrastructure, correct maintenance of roads, as well as research and investment to develop new smart technologies. These advances must be complemented by policies concerning driver behaviour and specifically initiatives aimed at raising awareness among road users for proper conduct on roads and encouraging a safety-first motoring culture.” This awareness on road conduct can be spread through education and communication and magazine articles like this one are, in the opinion of this writer, a step in reaching this goal. Road safety awareness should therefore be an objective not only of government entities like the RTA in Dubai and the Department of Transport in Abu Dhabi but also of the public, educational institutions and the private sector.



Out Of the slump

Alpen CApitAl feels positive About A future built on loCAl Assembly And rebounding sAles




new report by Alpen Capital, an investment banking advisory firm says vehicle sales are likely to continue to be sluggish in 2017 before a potential rebound in 2018. “The GCC automobile sector is dynamic and one of the faster growing sectors in the world, primarily owing to the growing population and high disposable income coupled with significant infrastructure developments in the region,” says Sameena Ahmad, Managing Director, Alpen Capital. “The sector however is currently facing a slowdown amid a weak economic environment and low oil prices as consumers scale back new car purchases. Passenger Car sales will remain under pressure in 2017 but are likely to rebound in 2018 and thereon grow at a stable pace in anticipation of a recovery in oil. Other factors fuelling growth include increasing disposable income, growing population and availability of attractive financing options in the country,” says Ahmad. “We are witnessing a lot of activity in the automotive manufacturing sector as well as possibilities of M&A transactions resulting in consolidation. Hence, despite a recent slowdown in demand for automobiles in the backdrop of sluggish economic conditions, the GCC region continues to offer immense opportunities in the areas of automotive manufacturing, aftermarket, and new technology development. New passenger car sales are projected at 1.4 million in 2020, compared to 1.2 million in 2015. Although new sales declined in 2016 and will be under pressure in 2017, we expect to see steady growth starting 2018 as the economic environment stabilises and creates pent-up demand. The anticipated growth is slower compared to that during last five years in view of the near-term softness in economic activity, as consumers tighten discretionary spending and delay buying new cars. “Inherent growth drivers such as an expanding and well-heeled consumer base, high urbanisation rate, government investments to boost domestic manufacturing and the significant upcoming infrastructure and tourism

developments are likely to driving demand for vehicles in the region over a long term and lead to a steady growth in the GCC automobile sector,” says Krishna Dhanak, Executive Director, Alpen Capital (ME) Limited

IndUsTRy OUTLOOK According to Alpen Capital, the number of passenger cars in use in the GCC is expected to grow at a 5.0% CAGR from an estimated 10.3 million in 2015 to 13.2 million in 2020. New passenger car sales are projected at 1.4 million in 2020, compared to 1.2 million in 2015. Although new sales declined in 2016 and will be under pressure in 2017. It expects to see steady growth starting 2018 as the economic environment stabilises and creates pent-up demand. This is slower compared to that during last five years in view of the near-term softness in economic activity, as consumers tighten discretionary spending and delay buying new cars. Between 2015 and 2020, passenger cars in use in the GCC countries is anticipated to register an annual average growth rate ranging from 3.6%5.4%. Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait collectively are expected to continue holding more than 75% of the region’s passenger car fleet in 2020. New car sales in the UAE are projected to

grow at an annualised rate of 4.5% to over 267,000 in 2020 from an estimated 214,000 in 2015. Sales of new cars in Saudi Arabia is likely to reach nearly 743,000 in 2020, suggesting a suggesting a CAGR of 2.0% from 2015. The remaining GCC countries will register a CAGR ranging from 1.8% to 2.1%. The GCC population is expected to increase at a CAGR of 2.4% between 2015 and 2020. An expanding consumer base is likely to translate into higher demand for new as well as used vehicles and related parts in the region. In addition to the size, the wealth of the population also tends to have a large influence on the demand for vehicles. Despite the projection of a decline in real GDP in 2016, it is forecasted to improve and remain almost steady across the member nations during 2017-2020. A growing economy is likely to translate into increase in disposable income. The wealth of the affluent section in the Middle East is expected to grow at an annualised rate of 6.7% during 2015-2025. The cost of vehicle ownership in the GCC is lower compared to other countries globally, due to a favourable tax structure. Additionally, attractive insurance and financing options makes it easier to own a car in the GCC.

“the sector however is facing a slowdown as consumers scale back new car purchases” JANUARY 2017 TRUCK&FLEET ME 29


KEy TREnds In THE MARKET One of the key drivers of the automotive industry in the GCC is availability of low-cost fuel. Large proven crude oil reserves have enabled the member countries to offer fuel at subsidised rates. Although these oil-based economies have recently resorted to raising energy prices in a bid to reduce subsidies, the cost of fuel is still much below the global average. Fuel price reforms are a part of the broader programme of the GCC governments on subsidy cuts. The increase in prices of petrol amid a sluggish economic environment is likely to negatively impact the demand for vehicles. Automobile dealers in the Gulf come up with several promotional activities to lure car buyers during annual festivals/events. Such seasonal promotions would continue to boost vehicle sales in the region. The public transport system still in a development phase in the GCC has remained an important driver of vehicle sales. Increasing road congestions are a testament to the dependency on motor vehicles in the region. As of July 2016, infrastructure projects worth US$ 407.9 billion were in various stages of construction in the region. The UAE and Qatar have many projects under development ahead of their mega events namely, World Expo 2020 and FIFA World Cup 2022, respectively. The ongoing developments are likely to accelerate demand for trucks and other heavy vehicles for use in the construction and logistics activities. Tourist arrivals in the GCC are anticipated to grow at an annualised rate of 5.7% during 2015-2020. This is likely to stimulate demand for vehicles from car rental and travel companies. The persistent softness in oil prices has disrupted the largely oil-dependent GCC economies and widened their fiscal deficits to an all-time high. The challenging macroeconomic environment is having an adverse impact on automobile sales. The presence of several dealers makes the GCC automobile market highly competitive, resulting in price sensitivity and low brand loyalty among consumers. Existence of a thriving used-car market is also adding to the competitive pressures on new automobile dealers in the region. The authorised car dealers in the UAE are facing the heat from grey imports, which in certain cases affects the dealer’s volumes by around 20%. The Japanese Yen has appreciated nearly 16% against the US Dollar since the beginning of this year. Being the largest source market for vehicle


imports, strengthening of Yen is likely to make imports costlier for the GCC countries. Similarly, appreciation of Euro or the Korean Won can have an adverse impact on the GCC vehicle imports. While the Japanese brands of vehicles remain popular in the GCC and the high-end market continues to be dominated by European makes, Chinese brands are fast closing the gap with low pricing and less maintenance cost. Buyers as well as dealers are also increasingly pleased with the performance of these brands in terms of technology, quality, and safety. Chinese vehicle sales in the UAE are forecasted to rise by 100% annually to capture a double-digit market share by 2020. Recall of vehicles owing to certain manufacturing issues has a negative influence on the brand loyalty and reputation of automakers, thereby affecting sales. In the GCC automobile sector, government regulations such as the law of one dealer per

automobile manufacturer in the UAE act as barriers to entry. A limited pool of local talent, alongside the increasing emphasis on nationalisation of jobs, is posing a challenge for the region’s automobile industry. The increased regulatory oversight on emissions, in view of rising environmental concerns over global warming, is adding to the compliance and technology costs for the automobile manufacturers, ultimately making the vehicles more expensive. Presently there are a limited number of vehicle manufacturers in the GCC. However, the situation is possibly going to change in the future, as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Oman are receiving investments to set up automotive manufacturing plants. The governments are also providing incentives and devising plans to establish regional automobile manufacturing hubs. Additionally, the increasing number of vehicles coupled with hot


climatic conditions and a rugged terrain, which affects the lifespan of tires and batteries, has created a thriving automotive aftermarket in the region. An already ageing vehicle fleet, with the tendency of owners holding on to their cars for a longer duration amid the challenging economy is likely to accelerate demand for parts and services. The UAE is also witnessing a growing trend of vehicle customisation, as can be seen by the growing number of car accessory outlets across the country. Additionally, a persistent demand for car wrapping from companies for advertorial purpose is likely to support the trend in vehicle customisation. Rising number of tech-savvy people and use of social media for reviews and recommendations have encouraged the automobile dealers to establish online presence. On the other hand, internet combined with new technologies is revolutionising the automobile industry, with the advent of connected vehicles. Mobile applicationbased taxi-hailing service providers are gaining presence in the GCC. Uber, which entered the GCC market in 2013 by launching its services in Dubai, has now grown its presence in other major cities in the region. Although vehicle sales in the GCC remained subdued during 2016 and will be under pressure in 2017, the automobile sector is poised for growth in the coming years to 2020 as the region adds more people and vehicles to its population, reinstates economic growth, and invests in new manufacturing units and infrastructure development.

new launches

loaded with a dual VVT-i paired

will arrive with a choice of either a

the GCC, Lebanon and Jordan. The

with an 8-speed multi-mode auto

2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged

1.6-litre Civic comes in two classes,

transmission that produces 362 hp

unit producing 175kW, or a 3.6-litre

the DX and LX. Honda says that the

and 54 kg/m of peak torque. The

V6 engine which boosts performance

2016 Civic that rolled out in April

Land Cruiser TRD comes exclusively

to 206kW. The Atlas comes with an

last year with 2.0l and 1.5l turbo

equipped with a TRD suspension kit

eight-speed automatic all-wheel drive

forms have led to an 86% increase

tuned for desert driving, and the ride

(AWD) system the optional 4Motion

in yearly Civic sales at a time.

height has been increased by 25 mm.

AWD for the V6.

2017 toYota land cruiser trd

volkswagen tiguan r-line

Toyota Middle East presented the


2017 Toyota Land Cruiser TRD, based

Volkswagen Middle East has

on the top-end Land Cruiser 5.7L

introduced the sporty looking

VXE, at last month’s Oman Motor

R-Line packages for its compact

Show. It features exclusive TRD

SUV , The R-Line packages have been developed by Volkswagen R

accessories both outside and inside that refine the bold appearance

volkswagen 2017 atlas

honda 2017 civic1.6l

for the Tiguan SE 2.0L, SEL 2.0L

of the Land Cruiser. The naturally

VW’s new 7-seater Atlas SUV looks

Honda has launched a new 1.6L

and Sport 2.0L models to enhance

aspirated V8 petrol engine comes

set for a summer release. The Atlas

engine variant of its 2017 Civic in

their visual appeal.


Maintenance, tyres and Parts

mAInTenAnce, TYRes & PARTs


General Motors exec: More owners are optinG to Maintain rather than sell in reGion noticed that people seem to be more keen to hold onto their vehicles and have them maintained or repaired, rather than simply upgrading to a new vehicle.” General Motors’ UAEbased autoparts operation opened a decade ago GM purchased the Jebel Ali parts facility from DHL for $10 million in 2012 . and serves the GCC. The facility handles 90,000 different parts and employs 125 people, General Motors’ Customer Care and aftersales Al Fayyad explained to the newspaper. director, Mohammed Al Fayyad, has told “We have 90,000 different types of parts the Khaleej Times that the company’s on the shelves at any one time and run three parts and aftersales business is booming shifts almost around the clock to ensure we as more vehicle owners are preferring can send out around a million order lines of to maintain rather than upgrade. car parts across the region every year,” he “In 2016, we have seen growth in our parts said. “Over the years, we’ve implemented a sales business. This year in particular we have


A fifth of vehicle buyers will opt for connectivity, Ivan Mishanin, CEO of Bright Box told delegates at Telematics Middle East 2016 last month in Dubai. 32 TRUCK&FLEET ME JANUARY 2017

comprehensive, customised and ever growing suite of processes, policies and systems to make sure we can turn orders around rapidly and get parts to our customers as fast as possible.” Since opening the operation, Al Fayyad said the Michigan headquartered company has: “Implemented a comprehensive, customised and ever growing suite of processes, policies and systems to make sure we can turn orders around rapidly and get parts to our customers as fast as possible.” Al Fayyad added that customer feedback continues to help its aftersales programme to evolve. “We contact our customers every month to collect their feedback on their experience with our dealers. Customer satisfaction with GM dealers has gone up 29% in the UAE over the last two years and is the highest it has ever been.”

DE Rooy opTs FoR GooDyEaR FoR 2017 DaKaR 2016 Dakar winners, the De Rooy team, will defend its crown using Goodyear Offroad ORD tyres. Headed by Gerard De Rooy, the team will fit the ORD tyres onto four race trucks and use Goodyear Omnitrac

mixed service tyres for their service trucks. “The Goodyear Offroad ORD 375/90R22.5 off-theroad truck tyres are fantastic and were a key element in us winning the 2016 event,” said veteran driver De Rooy.

MainTEnanCE, Maintenance, TyREs tyres anD and paRTs Parts

ZeeTeX lAunches #ReTYRed used TYRe socIAl medIA seRvIce

Zeetex is providing inspiration for those wanting to re-use their old tyres.

Following its successful Switch to Zeetex and Don’t drink and drive campaigns; Zeetex has now come out with a new social mediafocussed campaign which has the aim of educating vehicle owners on how to use their

old and used car tyres. Although there is some commercial usage of used tyres – such as fuel for the cement industry and being used for making roads and pedestrian routes – many used tyres still end up in wasteful stock pile and landfills, causing serious health and safety hazards. Zeetex says the company is encouraging people to become more responsible and make use of used car tyres, wherever possible. The brand is reaching out to its audience on social media through a series of animated posts; each of which shares a new idea on how to convert used car tyres into a useful products via a series of Do It Yourself (DIY) ideas. “Zeetex is known for its customercentric approach and has been very active with its educative digital marketing campaigns,” said the company. Zeetex’ previous social media campaign on tyre safety was aimed at both the B2B and B2C segments and addressed the key concerns of users and provided tips on how to care for tyres on topics such as inflation and optimum pressures. Readers on Twitter can follow the campaign at: #reTYREd

QuIck TIPs What can you do with old tyres? T&FME’s own ideas 1. Create a tyre climber. For those stuck for ideas for what to get their children or grandchildren, why not turn your used rubber into a climbing course? Paint them bright colours and remember to make sure they are bolted together! 2. Planter. Stuck for a present for the eco-conscious and green fingered parents or relatives in the family? Why not turn your tyres into the perfect home for plants? All you will need is some lining and a lick of paint. 3. Inner sanctum. Make an old and inflated inner tube into your newest piece of perfect living room furniture. Just dress with material and add a cushion and let the tube take the strain!

EMIRATES glOBAl AlUMINIUM SECURES ThREE-YEAR SUPPlY DEAl wITh BMw UAE giant Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has reached an agreement with BMW to supply the German car maker with “high-quality aluminium” for the production of its engines. EGA says that the agreement is the first time it has secured a direct supply deal with a major automaker, despite being active in the industry for several years. It is unclear how much the deal is worth but EGA will be supplying the Munich-headquartered manufacturer for a minimum of three years.

“Winning BMW as a direct customer is important for EGA because their standards are so high, both for the aluminium itself and how it is made,” said Abdulla Kalban, CEO of EGA. “EGA produces high quality aluminium with world-class efficiency and environmental responsibility,” added Kalban. “We have spent decades developing technology in the UAE to improve our processes and make this possible.” EGA operates two smelters in the UAE and is also building a mine in Guinea.

“ZeeTeX Is known foR ITs cusTomeR-cenTRIc APPRoAch And hAs been veRY AcTIve wITh ITs educATIve dIgITAl mARkeTIng cAmPAIgns” JANUARY 2017 TRUCK&FLEET ME 33

Maintenance, TyREs MainTEnanCE, tyres anD and paRTs Parts

QuIck TIPs Ford’s tips to keep air pressure at the right level

Al sAeedI gRouP hAIls cAmso TIRes PARTneRshIP AT dubAI geT TogeTheR

1. Having the correct air pressure is vital to the performance of your car. Too little or too much air reduces road contact, wears your tyres out faster and makes you use more fuel. To save money and protect yourself and your passengers, it’s very important that you check your tyre pressure every two weeks. Never wait for it to get too low. 2. Check them when they’re cold, as measurements aren’t accurate after long journeys at high speed. Always

Camso designs, manufactures, and distributes off-road tyres, wheels, rubber tracks and undercarriage systems.

screw the valve cap on tight and replace

Anish Malattiri, director of the Al Saeedi Group, has hailed the UAE company’s longrunning partnership with tyre-maker Camso. Al Saeedi’s relationship with the Camso brand stretches back 28 years. Speaking at a tyre customer event, Malattiri said the longevity of the partnership has seen the profile of Camso products rise across the UAE in almost all the industrial and construction equipment segments. It has also contributed to the wide product range and success of the Al Saeedi Group, he told senior executives from Camso. The Sri-Lankan-based Camso produces a complete range of industrial tyres.

lost caps immediately, otherwise the valves will begin to leak. Also check valves and valve seals for damage. 3. To find out how much air pressure your tyres need, check in your owner’s manual. It can vary depending on load, speed and types of tyres, so if you’re not sure, just ask your dealer. 4. You should always fill your spare tyre with 0.1 to 0.3 bar extra pressure. However, pressure should never exceed the maximum level for driving with a full load.

aiR BaG FaULTs sEE 5.8 MiLLion ToyoTa RECaLL Toyota Motor Corp says it is recalling 5.8 million cars at home and abroad over potentially faulty air bag inflators made by Takata, including those used as replacement parts following a 2010 recall. A defective inflator and propellent devices may deploy improperly in the event of a crash, possibly firing metal fragments towards the driver.

JUBAIlI BROS hOSTS wORkShOP TO PRESENT ITS DIESEl gEN-SET OffERINg TO REgION Generator set sizing, installation, control and advanced applications were covered in depth by Jubaili Bros’ Solutions department engineers at a recent Dubai seminar. Perkins Engines, Leroy Somer Alternators and Deep Sea Electronics also gave presentations during the seminar which aimed to provide technical knowledge about diesel generators to customers as well as consultants and contractors. The event was attended by 116 individuals from across the region and included an overview of Jubaili Bros and how it can offer comprehensive and customised power solutions throughout the region.

Tyre margins can be as much as 33% by importing from China or India, says Sameer Africa.

Engineer Naim Odeh, senior project engineer of the Solutions Department, talked about the factors that affect the proper sizing of a diesel

gen-set. In addition he highlighted how Jubaili Bros’ Solutions Department can assist in the proper sizing and installation of diesel generator sets, as per customer requirements and needs. Salim Ghamrawi, Projects Engineer at Jubaili Bros presented a detailed presentation on generator control and advanced applications. To close the event, a lively question and answer session was conducted by Keith Johnston, business development manager at Marapco, UK, where all participants had the opportunity to ask technical as well as general questions, to which the presenters responded.

“JubAIlI bRos’ cAn AssIsT In The PRoPeR sIZIng And InsTAllATIon of dIesel geneRAToR seTs, As PeR cusTomeR ReQuIRemenTs And needs” 34 TRUCK&FLEET ME JANUARY 2017

Maintenance, tyres and Parts

Saudi Arabia’s leading regional trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket industry 31 January – 2 February 2017

The next chapter in the growth of your business begins right here. Visiting Automechanika Jeddah will connect you with the key international and regional players in the automotive aftermarket supply chain. Discover, review, compare and source from hundreds of new brands, products and equipment all under one roof.

Register online to skip the queues at

Organised by



The Drift Kings Gulf drifters dominate oman’s biGGest ever motorsport event


otorsport is a hugely popular sport in the GCC. The region has proven it can host global events such as the Grand Prix in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi. It is also starting to produce its own talent. August 2016 saw Emirati Saeed Bin Towq become the first driver from the region to score a podium finish in RX Lites Cup class at the Canadian stage of the FIA World Rallycross Championship. His success in Trois-Rivieres is only the tip of the iceberg. Hussain Hassan and Talal Beshara lead a clutch of young and talented Bahraini drivers who made their mark during the kingdom’s November Motorsport Festival. The year ended with Oman’s Port Sultan Qaboos hosting the sold-out Red Bull Car


Park Drift Final 2016 and Gulf drifters were at the sharp end of the competition. In the end, it was Omani Haitham Al Hadidy who was crowned as the ‘King of Drift’. Competing for the first time, the 18-year-old Al Hadidy twisted his steering wheel to first place and 390 points beating fellow drifters from across the Middle East including the GCC, Mauritius, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Lebanon and Tunisia. Among them was the Emirati drifter, Faisal Al Zaabi, who qualified to the final after clinching victory in the UAE Qualifier held in Ajman, and Oman’s long-time champion Ali Al Balushi. Al Hadidy said his dream was to put his country on the map for drifting and motorsports: “I feel so happy; I really wasn’t expecting to win. It is fantastic that this year it was an allOmani podium. All the competitors had great

performances, everyone put on a great show. I only got my driver’s licence three months ago so I am ecstatic about this win. If you love your hobby, you will do anything for it.” Al Zaabi struggled to hide his disappointment but said: “A single mistake in the first round was enough to put and end to our hopes. I extend my apologies to the supporters and to the team who worked hard to get the car ready. Now is the time to put the mistakes of the past behind us, and look forward to a stronger performance next year.” Official partners for the event included one of the world’s leading motor companies Nissan, global oil and gas company Total, online shipping delivery service Shop and Ship and ultra high performance tyre maker Falken Tires GoPro.





20 years of proven trust and reliability. The Actros. Tried and tested, even beyond a million kilometres mileage. The Mercedes-Benz Actros is the leading heavy-duty truck in the region since its debut in 1997. Over the past 20 years, the Actros has delivered unmatched versatility, durability and quality – acknowledged by more than 100,000 Actros sold in the MENA region. Now, our ‘Actros Mileage Millionaires’ further impressively prove the exceptional reliability of the iconic Actros. More than 1,000,000 kilometres and tens of thousands operation hours in heat, dust and heavy-duty operations are nothing unusual for an Actros. And the story of success and trustful partnership continues… To find out more about the Mercedes-Benz Actros and the Actros Mileage Millionaires, please visit our website:

Truck & Fleet ME January 2017  

Truck & Fleet ME provides you with everything you need to know about purchasing, owning and operating commercial vehicles.

Truck & Fleet ME January 2017  

Truck & Fleet ME provides you with everything you need to know about purchasing, owning and operating commercial vehicles.