SAIC Motor has underlined its ambitious plans for the Middle East by announcing the appointment of highly respected Tom Lee, who possesses significant experience and knowledge of the region, as its new regional Head.
Lee’s appointment as Managing Director of SAIC Motor’s Middle East Regional Headquarters marks his return to a region where he previously enjoyed success as Hyundai Motor Company’s Vice President and Head of operations in Africa and the Middle East.
The move is also a major statement of intent by the brand, which is China’s biggest car manufacturer and is ranked 46th on the Fortune Global 500 list. Using his extensive knowledge and understanding of the Middle East, Lee is tasked with expanding the company’s presence and enhancing its sales network and market structure in the region.
Lee, who holds a Master’s degree from George Washington University, worked for Hyundai Motor Company for some 30 years. Prior to taking over the role as Head of the Africa and Middle East office, he worked as Executive Director of the Export Planning Group in Hyundai Headquarters in Korea and as Executive Senior Sales Coordinator in the United States.
Commenting on his new position, Lee said: “SAIC Motor has already made a real impact on the global automotive stage, despite being a relative newcomer, and is now making its presence felt in the Middle East market. I will work closely with our network of distributors to further build the brand image and increase awareness of our model line-up. I enjoyed four successful years working here, making many friends along the way, and am looking forward to bringing this experience to a company that is at such an exciting stage in its history.”
The automotive manufacturer, which owns the brands Morris Garages (MG) and Maxus, and whose affiliated companies include, Shanghai Volkswagen, SAIC-GM and Shanghai General Motors Wuling (SGMW), recently launched the MG 360 in the Middle East. The MG saloon features exquisite design, a range of intelligent technologies and impressive interior flexibility and space. The Middle East was the first region in the world to market the brand’s exciting new model, demonstrating SAIC Motor’s commitment to the region.
Speaking about the MG brand, Lee added: “Built around a promising product line-up that is currently enjoying major investment, focused around improving standards of build quality and offering the highest levels of advanced features, the MG brand is well set to increase its market share in the region. It is a great opportunity to be taking this role as we look forward to the launch of the new RX5 and ZS11 models, both globally and in the Middle East later this year. At the same time, we will be working to enhance and revitalise our regional dealer network.”
SAIC Motor opened its Middle East Headquarters in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone in November 2015 to serve its ambition to expand market share in the region for its brands. With the recent launch of the MG 360 and further additions to the model ranges planned for the remainder of 2017, the manufacturer very much continues to focus on the Middle East as one of its key global markets.