Al-Futtaim Motors receives Australian Head of State

Al-Futtaim Motors, the exclusive distributor for Toyota in the UAE, welcomed Australia’s Victoria Premier, the Honourable Mr John Brumby to the flagship Toyota showroom in Dubai Festival City to view the Australian built Toyota Camry.

The state of Victoria is home to Toyota’s Altona manufacturing plant which builds the market-leading Camry for the UAE. The operation showcases Toyota’s world-class manufacturing talents and plays a vital role in the success of Victoria’s manufacturing industry with significant sales to Australian and overseas customers. Australia is one of only eight countries in the world building Camry and last month the plant celebrated production of the 1.5 millionth Camry. Altona has been exporting the model to the Middle East since 1996 and Toyota predict that by the end of 2010, Australian Camry sales in the GCC will cumulatively reach the 800,000 milestone with 100,000 units being sold in the UAE.

The Victoria Premier was accompanied by Mr John Butler, Commissioner, Middle East and North Africa, State Government of Victoria; Mr Doug Trappett, Australian Ambassador to the UAE; Mr Simon Frith, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Motors; Mr Hugh Dickerson, Senior General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Al-Futtaim Motors and leading Camry fleet customer, Mr Abdul Aziz Abdullah Malik, CEO, Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC).

Mr Frith commented: “We are delighted to receive the Honourable Mr John Brumby, and share our appreciation of the existing fruitful relationship with the Altona plant. For over six years the Toyota Camry has led the UAE’s large passenger car segment and become a symbol of style and value for UAE residents and businesses alike. This is testament to the quality of manufacturing and design at the Altona plant that has created a centre of excellence in car manufacturing and a real asset to Victoria.”

In 2007 the Toyota Camry led the large passenger car segment in the UAE with a 30 per cent share which grew to 32 per cent in 2009 and made Camry the number one selling Toyota model in the UAE. Current year-to-date figures show Camry maintains its market-leading position with 34 per cent share.

Mr Dickerson added: “Whilst the automotive market reduced last year, the Toyota Camry continues to prove itself by increasing market share in an extremely competitive environment. We have just completed a very successful promotional campaign and I am delighted to report that Camry made up an impressive 30 per cent of sales during this period.”

Mr Dickerson continued: “Of course Camry has an historic relationship with the taxi business dating back to 1995. There are over 20,000 operational taxis in the UAE, two thirds of which are Camry. We were therefore delighted to invite Mr Abdul Aziz Abdullah Malik, from the DTC to present a taxi from their fleet to the Victoria Premier.”

Explaining the DTC’s Camry preference, Mr Abdul Aziz Abdullah Malik stated: “The strength of the vehicle lies in its legendary performance and Toyota is known for its quality, durability and reliability which are essential characteristics in taxi operation; especially in extreme climates such as ours (UAE). Another important factor is the low cost maintenance and fuel economy that makes Camry the ideal taxi vehicle. DTC has over 3,500 vehicles of which over 71 per cent are Toyota vehicles, supplied by Al Futtaim Motors.”

Toyota is Australia’s largest car manufacturer and for the past seven years has been the market leader – a title it has retained so far in 2010.

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