Saudi Arabia’s new car brand Ceer is aiming to produce “hundreds of thousands” of electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.
James DeLuca, CEO of Ceer, told an event building a state-of-the-art manufacturing cluster at King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC) would attract international carmakers and tier one suppliers to the country.
Speaking at the LEAP tech conference in Riyadh, DeLuca said: “We will be using tech to improve the ownership experience as it relates to the region.
“Think air-conditioning that is designed for our ambient temperatures and a surface finish that will hold up in our harsh environment.”
DeLuca’s comments came after Crown Prince and prime minister Mohammed bin Salman announced in November 2022 the launch of the Ceer EV brand, which will include sedans and sports utility vehicles designed and manufactured in Saudi Arabia for sale across the MENA region.
DeLuca said the EV manufacturing cluster at KAEC would create “tens of thousands of high tech jobs in the kingdom, primarily for young Saudi nationals”.
“Many of the jobs that the automotive industry will produce are going to be technology-focused,” he said.
“Long term, we are focused on designing and building Saudi-made electric vehicles that are loaded with features – with technology – that will wow customers in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf.”
DeLuca said the factory would use advanced tools including smart maintenance, remote assistance, and the use of digital twins to model changes.
“Software is helping automotive OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] become more agile and faster, so that we can design and test new concepts in shorter periods of time,” he said.
“KAEC will be one of the most advanced manufacturing complexes in the world.”
Ceer is a joint venture between Saudi’s Public Investment Fund and Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (Foxconn), best known as a key supplier to Apple.