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AUDI AG: new record year with over 1.74 million deliveries in 2014

AUDI AG: new record year with over 1.74 million deliveries in 2014

476AUDI AG clearly exceeded its goal of 1.7 million deliveries: By year-end, the company handed over around 1,741,100 cars to customers, 10.5 percent more than in 2013. The company once again accelerated its growth pace and achieved around 165,600 additional customers and the second-highest volume increase in its history. The coveted SUV models* (+15.8%) and the A3 family* available worldwide for the first time in 2014 (+53.2%) contributed primarily to the strong sales total. In December, Audi continued to post double-digit growth and concluded the year with sales up 14.7 percent to around 150,000 units for the month. In the Middle East, a record high of 11,130 sales were achieved for Audi in the region.

“2014 is impressive evidence of the Audi brand’s strength,” says Rupert Stadler, Chairman of the Board of Management of AUDI AG. “We accomplished a very successful record year even before the second stage of our model initiative. Meanwhile, conditions in many markets continue to be challenging.”

Sales chief Luca de Meo emphasizes the ongoing globalization of AUDI AG’s business as an important success factor: “Last year, we advanced in all regions around the world and gained market share. We increased our lead in the Chinese premium segment and concluded the year in Europe significantly above the pre-crisis level of 2007. On the U.S. market, Audi is growing at almost three times the rate of total automotive sales.” Overall, Audi achieved new all-time highs in 50 countries in 2014, including the Middle East, with sales of 11,130 (+5%) . Globally, the company’s deliveries increased by more than 100,000 units for the fifth year in a row. Compared to sales of 949,729 units in 2009, almost 800,000 more customers chose the brand with the four rings last year.

In the United States, deliveries more than doubled in the same period of time, from 82,716 automobiles in 2009 to 182,011. In 2014, the brand with the four rings achieved an increase of 15.2 percent in the United States. With 19,238 deliveries, December was the strongest sales month ever for Audi of America, and the 48th record in a row – as in 2011, 2012 and 2013, Audi again succeeded in beating the respective prior-year volume each month in 2014. The Q5* played a significant role in this, rising to become the best-selling Audi model in the United States for the first time with 42,420 units (+5.1%). The full-size SUV Q7* also made significant progress in its ninth year of sales, increasing 15.9 percent. In the compact segment, the Q3* extended Audi’s SUV portfolio on the U.S. market in fall; moreover, the A3 Sedan* celebrated its successful premiere at American dealerships in spring. Canada (+19.5%) and Mexico (+10.5%) also contributed to Audi’s successful year in North America with double-digit growth. Despite difficult market conditions in several countries, sales in South America also increased considerably for AUDI AG, above all in Brazil (+89.9% to 12,350 cars). Demand in that country grew faster than expected, resulting in dealerships running low on cars at the end of the year.

In Europe, Audi sales climbed 4.2 percent in 2014 to 762,900 cars – a new record for the highest selling premium brand in the region. Whereas in Western Europe alone the total market continued to lag behind its pre-crisis level of 2007 by around one fifth, Audi sales in 2014 exceeded those of 2007 by around eight percent. Audi UK in particular recorded a strong boost in sales last year, reaching the 150,000 mark for the first time with a plus of 11.8 percent to 158,829 customers in the United Kingdom. Audi also saw considerable growth in Spain (+9.4% to 38,277 cars); in Germany (+2.2% to 255,582 cars) and Italy (+4.3% to 49,022 cars), the company also sold more cars than one year ago. In the ongoing unstable economic environment in France, Audi reached the previous year’s level (+0.4% to 57,214 cars). The brand with the four rings closed out 2014 in each of the five largest Western European automotive markets as the highest selling premium brand in the passenger car segment. In Russia however, sales didn’t maintain the levels of the previous year. Due to the challenging conditions in the market, 34,014 deliveries for Audi remained 5.9 percent below the 2013 record, while still developing more stable than the market as a whole. Across all European markets, the A3 family (+19.0%) was among the key drivers of Audi’s positive performance in 2014. Launched in the fall of 2013, the all-new A3 Sedan exceeded expectations in Europe, too. In addition, the particularly efficient ultra models provided a strong impetus. Introduced gradually onto the markets over the past months, the ultra portfolio already accounted for nearly 10 percent of Audi sales in Europe in 2014. For the A6*, the share of ultra models in Europe was even around one third.

Among the major Asian markets, South Korea reported the highest growth for Audi in the year just ended, up 38.0 percent to 27,647 customers. Thanks to strong demand in particular for the brand’s full-size models, Audi’s sales figures have increased more than four fold in the market over the past five years. Despite their slowed market dynamics, Japan (+9.1% to 31,356 cars) and India (+8.5% to 10,851 cars) also performed positively for Audi in 2014. Audi continued its growth in China as well, increasing sales by 17.7 percent to 578,932 cars in 2014. AUDI AG thus became the first premium carmaker to sell over a half a million units in China within a single year. In December alone, Audi handed over 62,576 automobiles to Chinese customers and registered the highest monthly sales total in its history. In addition to further increasing sales in the full-size category, Audi’s growth in 2014 was also fueled by the locally produced A3 Sedan available since fall and the entire SUV family. In the Middle East, the A3 Sedan represented 9% of all sales in it’s first year and sales of the Q3 increased by 12%.

Also worldwide, all of the brand’s SUVs posted increasing sales figures and together achieved a 15.8 percent growth to 507,500 cars. Almost one in three Audi customers chose an SUV in 2014 – this translates into more than doubled SUV sales compared to 2011. With the Q3 and Q5, both bestsellers of the Q family are the most successful premium models in their respective competitive segments.

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Nissan Sells 1,226 X-Trail Units in 40 Days of Launch

Nissan Sells 1,226 X-Trail Units in 40 Days of Launch

4116Nissan’s recently launched compact SUV, the All-New X-Trail has made its mark with an impressive sales result in the Middle East. A total of 1,226 units were sold within the first 40 days of launch. Dealerships across GCC recorded total sales of 441 units within the first 15 days. Additional 785 units were sold by in the following 25 days.

In Qatar a total of 22.6% market share has been recorded for the All-New X-Trail, outselling its competitors during the first full month of sales. The X-Trail also remained the segment leader in the UAE amongst its competitors, attaining a total of 12% market share.

Samir Cherfan, Managing Director, Nissan Middle East commented on the successful results saying: “With the launch of the All New X-Trail, Nissan set a new benchmark in the fiercely competitive C-SUV segment. Our fundamental ambition is to achieve superiority against our competitors, and these sales results are a clear testament to that. The Nissan X-Trail is currently the leader in its segment and we look forward to maintaining this position.”

Muscular, modern and packed with technology, the new Nissan X-Trail originally made its world debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Building upon Nissan’s respected 4×4 heritage and benefiting from the company’s crossover leadership the new X-Trail re-defines the compact SUV segment.

New X-Trail is one of the most advanced cars on the road. Fully connected, the X-Trail is equipped with the latest generation NissanConnect in-car navigation, information and entertainment system. Drivers will also benefit from a comprehensive suite of assistance features that make up the X-Trail’s Nissan Safety Shield system.

The design brief behind the new X-Trail was to blend the sleek and stylish lines of a modern crossover with the robust appeal of a typical SUV. In place of the rugged, squared off lines of the previous generation, the X-Trail has a premium and dynamic appearance.

The X-Trail adopts Nissan’s advanced electronic four-wheel drive system, ALL MODE 4×4i. Controlled via a rotary switch on the center console, it offers a choice between two-wheel drive, Auto mode or Lock offering permanent four-wheel drive.

Engineering innovation allows the new X-Trail to lead its class in terms of engine efficiency thanks to downsizing. By reducing power sapping friction in its drivetrains, new X-Trail provides excellent performance and the pace of a bigger powerplant with the economy and emissions of a smaller one.

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The power of German engineering unveils new technologies at Jeddah Motor Show 2014

The power of German engineering unveils new technologies at Jeddah Motor Show 2014

483Volkswagen Saudi Arabia participates in Jeddah Motor Show, at Jeddah International Exhibition and Convention Centre. During the event, which runs for 5 days starting from Monday, December 15, participating automotives dealers, both local and international will display their latest new models sedan, Sports and 4X4 vehicles.

As major participant in the Show, Volkswagen Saudi Arabia displaying its unique lineup of cars, which combine innovative technologies, individuality of driving experience, durability and high reliability. The collection of vehicles include many models, most notably the family car Passat, and the sports and family car model CC. They will also be showcasing the Tiguan, and the legendary car Golf GTI, along with the world’s iconic car the all new Beetle. As well as the new facelift designs of both Touareg and Jetta will be launched.

During the show, VW Saudi Arabia will unveil, the new Golf R car, which is equipped with 2.0 liter TSI engine that produces 280 hp, and linked with a 6-speed transmission model DSG for dynamically unparalleled performance, thanks to the new sports suspension and steering system that adds improved performance and agility to the excitement and fun of driving expected from the Golf R model.

with the verity of displayed cars Volkswagen underlines its leadership of the automotive world and demonstrates its position as the world’s largest company in terms of expenditures on research and development of its products that have become a symbol for innovation, high quality, reliability, accuracy and efficiency.

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Nissan’s innovative, exciting line-up at Saudi International Motor Show

Nissan’s innovative, exciting line-up at Saudi International Motor Show

471Nissan is reinforcing its presence in the Saudi Arabian market and delivering on its commitment to the country’s motoring public at this year’s Saudi International Motor Show with a stunning line-up of vehicles and a wealth of ground-breaking technology.

A broad product range comprising all Nissan vehicles on sale in Saudi Arabia is taking centre stage at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events on the Japanese carmaker’s stand at the auto gala which started on December 15 and runs until December 19. Nissan’s major participation also features a wealth of indoor and outdoor experiences and activities which make its presence at the show unique.

Commanding pride of place on the Nissan stand is the muscular and modern all-new Nissan X-Trail 2015 as well as the legendary Patrol, dubbed the ‘Hero of All Terrains in Life’.

Samir Cherfan, managing director Nissan Middle East, says: “Our participation at the Saudi International Motor Show with such a comprehensive range underscores our commitment to our Saudi customers. The Patrol is a legend in the region while the X-Trail is already a big hit here in Saudi Arabia although it was only launched recently.

“Our presence at the show not only allows the public to witness the innovation in the products we offer, but also the opportunity to experience first-hand these outstanding technologies and features. It’s innovation that excites. It gives them a glimpse into the future of our contribution to the automotive industry in the Kingdom.”

On this occasion, Najeeb bin Abdullatif Alissa, Chairman of Alissa Auto, says: “We are participating in this exhibition for a second year in a row, and can see a large turnout of visitors, especially since we have made great strides in the past in the Saudi automotive market and proven our offering of internationally renowned Nissan cars and high-quality services.”

Nissan’s extensive presence at the Saudi International Motor Show is part of its major product push in Saudi Arabia.

Record-breaking Middle East sales underline Nissan’s intent to quadruple its annual volumes in Saudi Arabia to 100,000 units over the next two years and increase market share to 12 per cent. The manufacturer notched regional sales of 217,685 vehicles in the financial year to March, 2014 – up 20.9 per cent on the previous year’s 180,015 – and is targeting Saudi Arabia as a key growth point.

Cherfan stressed that the Nissan experience at the motor show extends way beyond the vehicles on the stand to a variety of engaging activities.

GT-R fans will not only be able to examine the car’s features, but are also being given the chance to take part in a unique photo activity that places them in a photo with the car in any position.

Nissan’s GT Academy is offering a real-life simulation experience through GT pods, where drivers will experience the physical feeling and excitement of being behind the wheel of some of the most innovative cars.

Visitors can check out vehicles’ special features, including the NissanConnect in-car navigation, information and entertainment system, one of the foremost examples of Nissan’s engineering innovation, which keeps owners connected to the outside world through Smartphone technology.

Football fans also have the opportunity to learn about Nissan’s involvement in the UEFA Champions League and can take part in a simulation activity, through augmented reality technology, where they can show off their football skills.

Motorists can test drive any car available in the line-up, and also jump in the passenger seat of the new Nissan 370Z with top-gun racer Abdo Feghali. Feghali, equally accomplished behind the wheel in rallying or drifting, is putting the 370Z through its paces in a once-in-a-lifetime experience for the passenger.

The Jeddah round of the Saudi Star Drift Championship will be staged at the Jeddah show with the top three competitors progressing to the national finals in Riyadh, where they will compete on Nissan 370Z. A karting track is also set up for those not of faint heart who can partake in a fun activity while learning more about Nissan’s presence in the market.

Meantime, the Nissan Patrol, recipient of a Guinness World Record for the ‘Heaviest Aircraft Pulled by Any Production Vehicle,’ is demonstrating drills on kinetic, angle testing, traction test, lateral inclination, weight distribution and suspension testing on a special purpose-built 4X4 track for the occasion.

The full line-up of Nissan vehicles at the Saudi International Motor Show is: Patrol, ‘Hero of All Terrains in Life’, X-Trail, Pathfinder, Juke, GT-R, 370Z, Maxima, Altima, Sentra, Sunny, Patrol Pick-up, 13- Patrol 2 Doors, Navara and X-Terra

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Auto firms set to showcase latest technology at show

Auto firms set to showcase latest technology at show

452The 36th edition of the Saudi International Motor Show 2014 (SIMS) gets ready to kick off Monday at Jeddah Center for Forums & Events.

The show, to be held with the support of Prince Mishaal bin Majid, is organized by Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE) with the National Commercial Bank (NCB) as the main sponsor.

Scheduled to be held in Jeddah from Dec. 15 to 19, the Saudi International Motor Show will feature automobiles from US, Europe, Japan, Korea and China, the world’s leading auto brands including Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Isuzu, Kia, BYD, Lifan, Volkswagen, Geely, GM, Higer, Hino and Nor.

The five-day event offers visitors the chance to discover the latest technology in car manufacturing and design and provides a platform for trade professionals to come together. On display will be the latest models and technology in the automotive industry.

“There is no doubt that this year’s show will be one of the most exciting on record, from the greatest deals to the newest wheels,” said Zahoor Siddique, vice president of Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE).

An action-packed schedule of entertaining and interactive features at the show includes the 4 x 4 test drive, drifting and go-karting organized by Nissan and modified cars to keep the young enthusiasts bound to the show for all an enthralling experience.

At the same time a special feature will be the “Children Test Drive area” which will allow children to test drive miniature vehicles with the sole purpose of introducing them to the rules of safe driving, following the traffic signal and other important aspects of driving.

AutoCare which is held concurrently with SIMS has developed over the last few years into a totally dedicated concurrent showcase for auto parts, accessories and maintenance equipment by more than 100 companies.

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Nissan Tiida ‘Best Hatchback of the Year’

Nissan Tiida ‘Best Hatchback of the Year’

433The Nissan Tiida has won ‘Best Hatchback of the year’ in the ‘Middle East Car of the Year’ awards, bringing another prestigious trophy to the Japanese automaker’s bulging showcase. The ceremony was held recently in Dubai and was attended by top automotive industry players from the region.

The award was received by Monal Zeidan, Director of Marketing in Nissan Middle East who commented saying: “For the Tiida to be awarded as Best Hatchback of the Year is a tremendous honour for Nissan. Middle East Car of the Year is the region’s most reputed awards organization in the automotive industry and Nissan is always delighted to be recognized by this organization.”

“Nissan is committed to delivering innovation and excitement and winning this award at MECOTY is a testament to that”, he added.

Nissan Tiida hatchback, first introduced to the Middle East in 2005, continues to lead the C- hatchback segment with more than 35% market share.

With dynamic styling looks and class-leading spaciousness, the second generation of the Middle East’s best-selling compact hatchback has everything to build on the Tiida nameplate’s established success.

All-new Nissan Tiida hatchback comes with best-in-class fuel economy, advanced technology and features typically expected from far more expensive vehicles.

With Aerodynamically curved body and distinctive racy contours, Tiida comes with 1.6/1.8-litre engine for broader appeal. The car is equipped as standard with Anti-Lock braking system, brake assist and electronic brake force distribution, and dual airbags.

The Tiida also includes satellite navigation, 5.8” QVGA colour display and rear view camera and iPod® connectivity. In addition to an attractive multimedia package is available with the Nissan Tiida including Push to start engine, Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone System and Streaming Audio with iPod® or portable MP3 player through USB port. 5.8” colour touch display, Navigation, rear view camera, auto and rear A/C vents with dual climate control.

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Mohamad Yousuf Naghi Motors unveils new BMW X6

Mohamad Yousuf Naghi Motors unveils new BMW X6

416Aimed at catering to the discerning clientele in Saudi Arabia, Mohamad Yousuf Naghi Motors, the official BMW Group importer in Saudi Arabia, has unveiled the all-new BMW X6. The second generation of the Sports Activity Coupé, which has already posted global sales of almost 250,000 units, enjoys a special status among BMW X model rivals thanks to its irresistible allure, intoxicating performance and innovative luxury.

The extrovert design of the new BMW X6 blends the robustness and versatility of a BMW X model with the sporting elegance typical of the brand’s coupés. The interior combines generous space with model-specific sports features and a luxurious ambience, while attractive design and equipment packages further highlight the exclusive style of the new BMW X6.

Commenting on the arrival of the new vehicle, Stavros Paraskevaides, Managing Director of Mohammed Yousuf Naghi Motors, said: “The all-new BMW X6 represents the pinnacle in motoring in the Sports Activity Coupé segment. With the previous generations enjoying tremendous success in Saudi Arabia, we are confident that the latest version will help us to further bolster BMW’s position in the Kingdom.”

Striking design

The Design Pure Extravagance equipment package adds striking, high-quality accents to both the interior and the exterior. Meanwhile The M Sport package includes specially selected features that enhance the vehicle’s dynamic character for an immediately eye-catching effect. Also available from launch are model-specific features from BMW Individual.

Additionally the new BMW X6 comes with a suitably exclusive roster of standard equipment, which goes beyond that of the previous model: bi-xenon headlights, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, automatic tailgate operation and the 8-speed Steptronic sport transmission with steering wheel shift paddles are all included, as are leather trim, two-zone climate control and auto-dimming rear-view mirror. Lending functionality an extra boost are the 40: 20: 40 split/folding rear seat backrests, which allow load compartment capacity to expand from 580 litres to as much as 1,525 litres (75 litres more than the predecessor model.)

More power

The line-up of engines available in the Middle East from December will include the latest-generation V8 developing 450 hp for the BMW X6 xDrive50i with the BMW X6 xDrive35i 306 hp set to join the range in Q1 2015.

Ensuring that the noticeably increased performance of the new BMW X6 is accompanied by an up to 22 percent reduction in average fuel consumption are BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, the standard-fitted eight-speed Steptronic sport transmission, extensive BMW EfficientDynamics technology, weight-saving optimisations and enhanced aerodynamics.

The standard – and permanently active – intelligent all-wheel-drive system BMW xDrive optimises traction, directional stability and cornering dynamics, as the situation requires. For improved dynamics, xDrive can optionally link up with adaptive suspension packages, including Dynamic Performance Control.

Increased performance

For increased performance, Dynamic Performance Control is offered together with Dynamic Drive active roll stabilisation as part of the Dynamic adaptive suspension package to deliver a targeted improvement in the car’s sporty handling attributes. Further enhanced ride comfort can be achieved thanks to air suspension at the rear axle and Dynamic Damper Control, which are included in both the Comfort adaptive suspension package and Adaptive M suspension (part of the M Sport package), which also offers bespoke, sports-oriented suspension tuning. The Professional adaptive suspension package, meanwhile, combines the features of Comfort and Dynamic.

Totally connected

Adaptive LED headlights, Comfort Access (including hands-free tailgate opening and closing) and other high-class options underline the innovative character of the new BMW X6. Driving pleasure and long-distance comfort, meanwhile, can be further enhanced by features including the Navigation System Professional with Touch Controller, Bang & Olufsen high-end surround-sound system and new Rear Entertainment System Professional.

A wide variety of features are available through BMW ConnectedDrive. This includes items such as the BMW Head-Up Display, Driving Assistant Plus with Traffic Jam Assistant, the BMW Parking Assistant, Surround View and BMW Night Vision with Dynamic Light Spot and Speed Limit Info.

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Saudi Automotive Manufacturing Company Awarded for Best MAN Assembly Process

Saudi Automotive Manufacturing Company Awarded for Best MAN Assembly Process

3192MAN Truck & Bus, the international leader in truck manufacturing with its assemblies all over the world today announced that SAMCO (Saudi Automotive Manufacturing Company), its truck assembly partner in Saudi Arabia won the first place in a global best practice competition for securing quality and increasing efficiency of its assembly plant. SAMCO secured this award at the xKD Customer Days 2014 competition which took place recently in the MAN Truck Forum in Munich. xKD stands for any level of decomposition (Completely-Knocked-Down/ Breakdown-level or Semi-Knocked-Down) of a truck in the assembly process and describes different truck assembly kits such as TiB (Truck-in-the-Box) or CiB (Chassis-in-the-Box).

The SAMCO Jeddah Assembly plant, which opened at the start of 2009, has been an important pillar of MAN’s Middle East growth strategy in one of the fastest growing regions for MAN across the globe. The plant has a production capacity of 3.000 units per year. The board of MAN Truck & Bus AG represented by Heinz-Jürgen Löw, Sales & Marketing and Dr. Carsten Intra, Production discussed new product development and new processes in global truck production at the MAN Truck Forum.

“The xKD business is important for the company’s growth. We want to increase the quantities in the xKD countries”, explained Löw to the 70 participants of the conference from numerous departments from all areas of MAN, xKD customers and importers from 13 different countries as well as representatives of the TiB / CiB-supplying plants from Salzgitter, Steyr and Pithampur. “We can proudly confirm that we have the highest premium quality standards in our production, irrespective of whether the vehicle is assembled in Europe or in the rest of the world”.

He added, “SAMCO has a very passionate and committed team with a high work ethic. In their best practices, they demonstrated continuous development of the production process such as an efficient supply chain management, innovative equipment designs for the production line and a sophisticated training system for all employees for which SAMCO has been already awarded in 2013.”

“To be recognized by our peers is really the highest accolade we could have ever wished for, as they all work within the same xKD arena as SAMCO, building and promoting MAN as a premium product in the many challenging, different and diverse market sectors throughout the world”, said Mr. Ken McIntosh, General Manager at SAMCO.

The main benefits of the xKD Customer Days are to strengthen the global xKD-network & community, to give an overview of all xKD processes and of the xKD-product portfolio, getting an input for further development of xKD business and a know-how exchange of xKD-assembly plants.

In order to serve the customers of MAN better, the xKD supplying plants, central departments and assembly plants discussed development areas and responsibilities in the workshops and presentations. “The participants left with a lot of enthusiasm and fresh ideas to assemble the premium products of MAN even more efficiently”, said Dr. Intra. The question whether MAN can create an efficient and outstanding assembly process for our premium products with our partners anywhere in the world was clearly answered: “MAN kann”.

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New BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupé to expand BMW’s X model range in Saudi Arabia

New BMW X4 Sports Activity Coupé to expand BMW’s X model range in Saudi Arabia

4141Fifteen years ago the automotive landscape changed when BMW introduced the Sports Activity Vehicle with the launch of the X5 in 1999. What started as a single model has spawned an entire X range comprising the BMW X1, X3, X5, X5 M, X6 and X6 M variants; and now these successful models will be joined by the all new BMW X4 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Visually, the new BMW X4 will combine impressive sports car performance and Sports Activity Vehicle versatility with the elegance of a coupé.

Commenting on the new model, Stavros Paraskevaides, Managing Director of Mohamed YousufNaghi Motors (BMW Group), said: “BMW’s X models have a history of being immensely popular in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With the launch of the all-new BMW X4, BMW further diversifies the Sports Activity Coupé by offering customers a compact option to the larger BMW X6. Our aim at Mohamed YousufNaghi Motors is to provide our discerning customers with the best in premium motoring – something that we are confident the BMW X4 will deliver on.”

From the front, the car is immediately recognisable as a member of the BMW X family: The large air intakes positioned on the outer edges of the front end and the precise character lines in the front apron lend the X4 a more muscular and agile appearance. And the car’s wide track, visually low centre of gravity, long wheelbase and pronounced wheel arches emphasise its good road holding.

The coupé-like roofline of the BMW X4 reaches its highest point over the front seats, reflecting the traditional driver focus of BMW cars, before dropping gently down towards the trailing edge of the tailgate. These stretched lines underline the sporting coupécharacter of the X4 particularly effectively. The standalone design of the BMW X4 is further reinforced by the fresh interpretation of the signature swage line running along the sidesof models.

The generously sized interior of the new BMW X4 combines sportiness and exclusivity with high-level functionality. Every control element is angled towards the driver, for optimal ergonomics. Occupants in the new model enjoy an elevated seating position, with the front and rear seats. Equally impressive is the load capacity available (500–1,400 litres), which can be used in a wide variety of ways thanks to the standard 40:20:40 split rear seat bench. Everyday usability is further enhanced by the standard-fitted automatically opening tailgate. This can be further specified with the Comfort Access Option for extra convenience, which allows it to be opened with a movement of the foot.

The BMW X4 is equipped with BMW ConnectedDrive features that comprise a plethora of Driver Assistance systems that provide the driver with safety, convenience and infotainment at an unmatched level. Some of these include high-resolution, full-colour Head-Up Display, which projects all important driving information and the assistance systems displays into the driver’s field of view. What’s more, the latest-generation Navigation System Professional with ECO PRO route guidance now teams up with the iDrive Touch Controller whose touchpad allows texts e.g. a navigation destination – to be easily inputted by using a finger.

Safety and convenience can be further enhanced by optional premium features like the anti-dazzle High Beam Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus including Pedestrian and Collision Warning, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function and Lane Departure Warning. Available as options are Lane Change Warning, Surround View and the Parking Assistant, which steers the car autonomously into parking spaces parallel to the road.

The BMW X4 will be available with two powerful engines, all with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. Topping the range is the BMW X4 xDrive35i with a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine deliveringa maximum output of 225 kW/306 hp and propelling the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds. In addition, the xDrive28ihas a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine delivering 180 kW/245 hp and goes from 0-100 km/h in 6.4 seconds.

The all-new BMW X4 will be available across Mohamed YousufNaghi Motors showrooms in Saudi Arabia from the 25th of October.

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2014 Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants Receive Record Number of Applications

2014 Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants Receive Record Number of Applications

4173The Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants programme has received over 300 entries for its 2014 edition, setting an all-time record in the number of projects competing over their share of the $100,000 grants. The overwhelming response received from individuals, community groups and NGO’s, also came from all participating countries including the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Yemen, indicating the ever growing popularity of one of the largest corporate initiatives of its kind in the region which is due to mark its fifteenth anniversary next year.

The Ford Grants makes available a total of USD100,000 to help fund existing environmental and conservation projects in the Middle East region. For the first time this year, the programme extended to Yemen bringing the number of participating countries to ten. Non-profit and on-going environmental initiatives from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Yemen needing extra funds to expand the scope of their work or ensure continuity, are qualified to apply.

“We are pleased with the number of applications received this year which shows that more and more grassroots environmental projects are initiated by concerned citizens and community groups as they act to preserve the environment,” said Kalyana Sivagnanam, director of Ford Middle East & North Africa. “This level of response is encouraging and clearly indicates the Ford Grants growing popularity as it nears its 15th anniversary next year. We are proud more than ever of this unique initiative which has become a much awaited annual programme, and of all the projects it has helped go further.”

Over USD1 million has been granted to more than 150 projects since the initiative first started in 2000 and Ford’s green initiative has helped support projects to study and conserve the region’s rich biodiversity, support recycling schemes and green building initiatives, as well as raise conservation and sustainability awareness.

Individuals, community and non-profit groups that have projects currently running in the areas of preservation of the natural environment, environmental education or conservation engineering can apply for a share of the USD100,000 grants.

Winners are chosen by an independent panel of jurors consisting of academics, as well as experts from environmental organisations. The judges – who are carefully selected in association with UNESCO Doha, based on geographical coverage, age and gender equality – look for initiatives that demonstrate a well-defined sense of purpose, a commitment to maximizing available resources, and a reputation for meeting objectives and delivering planned programmes and services. This year’s winners will be announced in mid-November.

The Ford Motor Company Conservation & Environmental Grants has seen support from various governmental and non-governmental environmental authorities from around the Middle East, including the World Wide Fund for Nature, the Emirates Wildlife Society, the Arab Forum for Environment & Development (AFED) and UNESCO Doha.

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