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SAUDI ARABIA - Transport

Heiko Schulze

CEO, Juffali Commercial Vehicles (JCV)

Bio

Heiko Schulze is a highly experienced top executive with over 30 years of experience in the automotive industry and is currently the CEO of JCV and the National Automobile Industry (NAI). Before joining Juffali, he worked for Mercedes-Benz, serving the organization in various progressive roles. He has a wealth of expertise in management and leadership owing to his international exposure to different countries such as Germany, Poland, Brazil, Russia, and Saudi Arabia. He has a proven track record in change management, turnarounds, and business development. He graduated from Germany with a degree in business administration.

"We are in the commercial transportation business and sell heavy trucks."
The boom in Saudi Arabia’s economy and demand for commercial vehicles give reason for JCV to be optimistic about its growth prospects in the country.
What have been the milestones and achievements of the company in the last year?

We are in the commercial transportation business and sell heavy trucks. We have had a high demand for this kind of product over the past year, though we currently cannot fully satisfy this demand. The automotive industry was heavily affected, as were companies that provide heavy trucks, which is why we do not get sufficient products here to assemble and sell on time. The technologies we are introducing are not new. Mercedes-Benz trucks used to be assembled in the Kingdom over 50 years ago. Mercedes-Benz is the market leader in the heavy truck sector because its trucks are reliable and offer great value for money.

Where do you see most of the demand coming from?

The construction and investment infrastructure are causing a demand. Economic development causes demand for other commercial vehicle products as well. We offer a wide range of commercial vehicle products, such as light and medium duty trucks. We are covering the entire product portfolio with commercial vans, serving many of them in the private sector.

How do you envision the future of the automobile sector in Saudi Arabia?

The trend of localization and the demand for it will continue. We have talked about Vision 2030, and Saudi Arabia is striving to be more independent of oil and develop different industry sectors. In this regard, localization is essential, which is why we have decided to not only assemble the Mercedes Benz heavy trucks here but also light and medium-duty Mitsubishi models as well. We have decided to invest in a completely new factory in King Abdullah City. There, we will assemble the Mercedes-Benz truck line, and our neighbor will be Arabian Metal Industry. It manufactures specific customer-oriented body solutions. We will also have a third company with us there that focuses on heavy construction machinery. This is how we are approaching the future of the industry—through localization. Without localization, it will be much more difficult in the future to do business in KSA.

Do you have plans to invest in other cities of the Kingdom or elsewhere?

We have an expansion plan. To be successful in the market for commercial vehicles, you need to cover the entire Kingdom and offer the service and products that are in demand in all the relevant locations. We plan to expand to the north, and we are currently present in all other areas. Even in existing locations, we are investing in bigger and more modern workshops. In January, we opened a new workshop facility in Riyadh. We need to satisfy our customers’ needs by being present and delivering great quality services.

Can you highlight any investment opportunities?

When we talk about the economic development of Saudi Arabia, I am optimistic about the coming years. We have seen good economic development over the last year. With Vision 2030, the Kingdom has chosen the right direction, and the way in which this vision is being executed is positive. Future regulations, when it comes to our industry sector, will also ensure our customers will renew their equipment. That is why, in general, I see positive developments on the horizon, particularly for our industry.

What are your goals and objectives for the next 12 months?

We want to focus on growth. I believe we need to grow in all the sectors of our industry through the use of different approaches. We need to prepare ourselves to participate in the economic growth of the Kingdom and strive in being relatively better than our competitors We also need to have better solutions for customers than others do. We always question ourselves to see if we are on the right track, what needs to be enhanced, what needs to be changed, what needs to be reduced, or what needs to be strengthened. This is an ongoing process.

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