Saudi Arabia will begin manufacturing buses to meet the increased demand for mass transportation, Arab News reported today. Domestic demand for buses is expected to increase 30 percent annually to meet the demand for school buses and the transport of Haj and Umrah pilgrims.
“We have started collaborations with international specialists to manufacture buses locally,” Ali Husein Alireza, chairman of Haji Husein Alireza & Co. Ltd. (HHA), said to Arab News. HHA represents many of the world’s leading automobile and truck manufacturers in Saudi Arabia and was the first company to produce automobiles for the domestic market, the daily reported.
Mr. Alireza estimated that annual domestic demand for buses is over 30,000 and is expected to reach 60,000 buses annually over the next 10 years due to the increased demand by schools.
On December 12, the first Saudi-made Isuzu truck rolled out of an assembly plant in Dammam's Second Industrial City. The plant is expected to produce 25,000 trucks by 2017. “We will produce 600 units for the Saudi market as of now, and by the end of 2017, we will be producing 25,000 light and heavy-duty trucks ... 40 percent of them will be exported to countries in and around the region," Isuzu President Hosoi said
In addition to Isuzu, MAN and Mercedes assemble trucks in Saudi Arabia, and Renault Trucks plans to open an assembly plant in 2013.