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Aston Martin showroom opens in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Aston-Martin-showroom-opening-Jeddah

In the presence of Prince Khalid bin Sultan Al Abdullah Al Faisal, President of the Saudi Federation of Automobiles and Motorcycles, and David King, Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Special Operations Officer, Haji Husein Alireza & Co. Ltd. inaugurated its all-new Aston Martin showroom in Jeddah on Wednesday 30th January.

The private reception was also attended by Dan Balmer – President Aston Martin Lagonda Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, and a select group of customers and media representatives.

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The impressive 521-square-metre showroom, the third for Aston Martin in the Kingdom, is centrally located on Tahlia street and showcases a full line-up of the latest second-century Aston Martin models, including the DB11, Vantage and DBS Superleggera. Designed to the highest standards, it consists of a main showroom, an area dedicated to demo cars, an innovative car delivery space, Q Lounge and a specialised configuration zone.

Sheikh Ali Hussein Alireza, Managing Director of Haji Husein Alireza & Co. Ltd. emphasised the importance of the new showroom, “We have seen a vast increase in demand for luxury cars in Jeddah, which encouraged us to strengthen our presence here. This opening is a fitting testament to our commitment to Aston Martin and represents a new era for us in Saudi Arabia, offering a platform for us to solidify our standing as a leading car dealer in the Kingdom.”

Drawing focus to Aston Martin’s commitment to environmental responsibility, use of cutting-edge technologies and its continuous quest to pave the way for development in the automotive industry, a Rapide E cutaway model was showcased at the event. Recognised as the world’s first electric four-door luxury GT, the Rapide E is Aston Martin’s first Battery Electric Vehicle, developed with a limited production run of 155 units with Williams Advanced Engineering.

The Rapide E will be powered by an 800V battery electrical architecture – the first BEV to market with such high capacity – which powers two rear-mounted electric motors producing a combined target output of just over 610PS and a colossal 950Nm of torque. Projected top speed for the Rapide E is 155mph, with a sub-4.0sec 0-60mph time and a 50-70mph time of just 1.5sec, while retaining and enhancing the feel, character and delivery of the V12-engined Rapide S.

The Jeddah official opening also saw the DBS Superleggera unveiled for the first time in the Kingdom. Clad using immaculately sculpted carbon fibre body panels, this latest model has muscular and highly individual styling. A look that’s perfectly matched by epic performance courtesy of Aston Martin’s 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12, tuned to produce tremendous power and immense torque for breath-taking response and extraordinary in-gear performance.

Dan Balmer commented, “Saudi Arabia is an important market for Aston Martin, especially with our exciting line-up of second-century models and women starting to drive. DBS was the third launch of our seven all-new models, which will include our DBX SUV, to be unveiled later this year. As a real highlight for the Kingdom, this is the first time outside the UK that the
Rapide E technology is being showcased. The opening of this stunning new showroom in the heart of Jeddah underlines the successful long-term relationship between Aston Martin and Haji Husein Alireza & Co. Ltd and we are excited to see this relationship grow further in future.”

As the British marque’s magnificent new Super GT flagship, DBS Superleggera replaces the esteemed Vanquish S. With 725PS, 900Nm of torque, a top speed of 211mph and blistering acceleration that dispatches 0-62mph in just 3.4 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.4 seconds, DBS Superleggera is a car dedicated to delivering an unforgettable driving experience and class-leading in-gear acceleration, with 50-100mph achieved in fourth gear in a mere 4.2 seconds.

“The DBS Superleggera goes beyond the limits in celebrating the return of one of the leading names of the Aston Martin brand. Surpassing standards, it boasts remarkable features and dynamics that have been carefully honed to engage drivers wishing to own a car with a distinctive and powerful design and engineering feel, making it a true milestone for Aston Martin,” added Alireza.

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The New Hyundai Kona – You drive it, You define it

Hyundai Kona - Arab Motor World (5)

Hyundai ’s premium subcompact SUV The All-new Hyundai kona has officially arrived in Africa and Middle East markets, with the brand targeting young, fashion-conscious drivers pursuing an active, fast-paced lifestyle. The carmaker believes the model will have a particularly strong appeal to young women, holding the regional launch in Saudi Arabia to celebrate the fact that women in the Kingdom are now, for the first time, taking their place in the driver’s seat.

Hyundai kona is named after an iconic coastal area of Hawaii, famous among thrill-seeking travelers. That energy is reflected in the innovative, passionate and dynamic image of the new Hyundai, strengthening the brand’s SUV heritage. By developing a completely new premium SUV, identifiable by its distinctive and progressive design, and equipping it with the latest technology in drivetrain, convenience, safety and driver assistance features, Hyundai has created an all-new model that meets the highest customer expectations.

“With Kona, we are reaching out to customers who place great importance on design and technology, and who want the newest and best – they want to stand out from the crowd,” said Mike Song, Hyundai’s Head of Operations for Africa and the Middle East. “Kona is a lifestyle statement, expanding our extremely successful SUV range in an exciting new direction, while also ensuring that we offer excellent value to our customers. It’s a unique proposition that will resonate strongly with younger drivers, and we believe the Kona will be a very strong seller among young female drivers.”

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Recognizing the Hyundai kona’s strong appeal to style-conscious young women, Hyundai chose Jeddah in Saudi Arabia as the regional launch venue for the new model, and Saudi Arabia will also be the first market in the region to receive shipments of the Kona to showrooms. Hyundai will offer a special Saudi ladies’ edition, with options including an ‘abaya alert’ function – warning if an abaya is likely to be trapped by a closing door among other extra features.

Hyundai Kona - Arab Motor World (2)

Stylish design and advanced technology enabled for individuality

The Hyundai kona is cool and confident – a completely new character in Hyundai’s SUV line-up. Its front is expressive and powerful, characterized by the Cascading Grille, the company’s family identity. The bold front and rear is emphasized by the car’s wide stance and its voluminous, confident body styling. Optional 18-inch alloy wheels further contribute to the bold character of the car. The two-tone roof and the wide choice of distinctive exterior colors offer a high degree of personalization for buyers: You drive it, You define it.

The interior design reflects the exterior theme. Customers can personalize the interior of the Hyundai kona with three distinctive colors: Orange, Lime and Red. The floating navigation touchscreen, in its ergonomic position, allows drivers to stay tuned to the traffic ahead at all times.

Hyundai’s new Kona features a head-up display which projects relevant driving information directly into the driver’s line of sight. The Display Audio allows passengers to mirror their smartphone’s content onto the system’s 7-inch display via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, where available. An optional 8-inch infotainment system integrates navigation, media and connectivity features. For even more connectivity comfort, the optional wireless inductive charging pad (Qi standard) charges the passengers’ smartphones and connects mobile devices with USB ports and AUX jacks. Kona also offers a high-end, premium eight-speaker sound system by audio manufacturer Krell.

With Hyundai Smart Sense active safety and driving assistance systems, the Hyundai kona is one of the safest vehicles in its segment, proven by a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP. The list of available safety features includes Forward Collision Warning, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with pedestrian detection, Lane Keeping Assist, High Beam Assist with Static Low Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Blind-Spot Collision Warning and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Warning.

Hyundai will initially offer two highly advanced engine and transmission options for the Kona in Africa and Middle East markets: a 1.6-litre T-GDI, or a 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson cycle unit.

The Hyundai ‘Gamma’ 1.6-litre T-GDI petrol engine is offered with four-wheel drive and is paired with a 7-speed double clutch automatic transmission (7DCT). The engine, which delivers 177 PS / 130 kW and 265 Nm torque, handles every environment with ease. The turbocharger is equipped with an electronically-controlled waste-gate actuator which improves fuel efficiency by reducing pumping losses as well as improving throttle response and low-end torque. The unit features a six-hole GDI injector, pressured to a higher-than-average 200 bar, securing a clean combustion.

Hyundai’s in-house developed 7DCT transmission combines the benefits of manual and automatic transmissions. Furthermore, it improves fuel consumption and CO2 emissions up to 20 per cent compared to a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission. The Kona’s four-wheel drive offers customers a true SUV experience with up to 50 per cent torque distributed to the rear wheels. The on-demand system increases traction on difficult surfaces, while enhancing cornering performance on the road. The differential can be manually locked for a torque distribution of 50 percent up to a speed of 40 km/h.

The Hyundai ‘Nu’ 2.0-liter MPI Atkinson delivers combination of power, efficiency and low emissions that’s unique to Atkinson cycle technology. The normally aspirated engine delivers 149 PS / 109.5 kW and 180 Nm torque, and is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission engineered for reduced friction losses and improved power transfer to produce quicker acceleration, lower N.V.H. and better fuel efficiency.

Hyundai Kona - Arab Motor World (4)
Hyundai Kona - Arab Motor World (7)

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Ford and Effat University Further Women Empowerment Efforts with Global Debut of Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her in Saudi Arabia on International Women’s Day

Ford-DSFL-for-Her-Arab-Motor-World

In their continued efforts to further empower women, Ford Motor Company and Jeddah-based Effat University this week complete the inaugural session of Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her, a special variation of Ford’s globally renowned and award-winning safe driving programme for teens and new drivers, Driving Skills for Life. The programme – specially designed to accommodate Saudi female students embarking on their journey to acquire a driver’s licence – made its global debut out of the Kingdom this week, coinciding with International Women’s Day, with more than 250 female students participating.

Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her marks the second initiative the company has launched in Saudi Arabia aimed at empowering women and giving them the skills they need to embark on their journey with confidence. Last year, Ford Fund – the philanthropic arm of Ford Motor Company – debuted its Henry Ford Entrepreneurship Academy in the Middle East, also at Effat University, providing 50 Saudi female entrepreneurs with the tools and knowledge needed to sustain their businesses.

“Providing access to opportunities for people to reach their full potential is core to our mission and Ford’s goal of becoming the world’s most trusted mobility company,” said Jim Vella, president, Ford Fund.

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While visiting the Kingdom specifically to mark this momentous week, Vella added: “The fact that the programme takes place around International Women’s Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic and cultural achievements of women, is no coincidence. We are thrilled to be part of this historical milestone as we bring Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her to Saudi Arabia, to help young female drivers feel safe and confident behind the wheel for the first time, and we look forward to welcoming a new generation of women to the driver’s seat.”

Dr. Haifa Jamalallail, president of Effat University, said: “The wheels of change are constantly moving forward, and finally Saudi Arabia has caught up with the rest of the world with regard to women driving. Statistics show that women are generally safer and more defensive drivers than men.
“At Effat University, we are determined that this becomes the case also here,” Jamalallail continued. “We want women to be behind the wheel, and so we are looking forward to working with all elements of society to improve the safety of all citizens on the road. The Ford Driving Skills for Life programme is a step in this direction.”

Held between March 5-8, Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her is training more than 250 eager Effat University students, incorporating vital skills necessary for new drivers, tips from highly skilled experts, and a deep understanding of safe driving practices, which is of paramount importance for new drivers as they take to the roads for the first time.

The different modules of this new customised introductory programme have been created with the future first-time drivers in the Kingdom in mind.

The sessions include:

  • Learning About Your Vehicle – where students are taught the fundamentals of preparing to drive, such as the importance of adjusting seating position, checking mirrors, and placing hands at the correct point on the steering wheel
  • Braking – which allows students the learning opportunity to safely control the car from being in motion, bringing it to a complete stop, preparing these new drivers to take to the road with confidence
  • Driver distraction – stressing the importance of staying focused on the road at all times, highlighting through practical, hands-on experience the dangers of driving distracted. In Saudi Arabia alone, close to 7,500 road deaths in 2017* have been attributed the use of mobile phones while driving.

During the programme, female students also had the chance to wear specially-designed “impaired vision goggles” – which mimic the effect of tiredness or drowsiness.

Shams Hakim, a Business HR student at Effat University who participated in the programme commented: “I’ve always been a passenger in the car and can’t wait to get behind the wheel! As well as being excited, I have had some apprehension about what is actually involved in driving. Ford Driving Skills for Life for Her has given me the confidence and education I need for the journey that lies ahead to obtain my licence.”

More than 9,000 people were killed in car accidents in Saudi Arabia in 2016**, mainly due to speeding – an average of over 25 per day – a figure sure to cause concern for new drivers and their families. With Driving Skills for Life, Ford aims to instill safe driving practices early on with younger drivers, male or female.
Ford also intends to make the new Driving Skills for Life for Her an on-going programme for the Kingdom’s female drivers, with phase two coming later this year to Effat University, and expanding to other institutions across the Kingdom in the future.

A signature programme of the Ford Fund, Driving Skills for Life is an international initiative for road safety created in cooperation with the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and a panel of safety experts. The award-winning programme captures newly licenced drivers’ interest with free, hands-on ride-and-drive courses that pair new drivers with professional driving instructors and focus on the issues and obstacles that cause crashes, including impaired and distracted driving.

Now in its 15th year, Ford Driving Skills for Life has provided free training to more than one million newly-licenced drivers in more than 40 countries worldwide. In total, Ford has invested more than $50 million in DSFL initiatives globally as part of its long-standing commitment to promoting safety on the road.
Since its Middle East launch in 2013, more than 3,600 students have participated in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme, with sessions in three different cities across Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last year alone.

Driving Skills for Life for Her is part of Ford’s global commitment to providing access and opportunities for women. From its Empower-Her female entrepreneur programme to projects focused on helping end human trafficking, as well as numerous initiatives that provide professional development and leadership training, Ford Fund has long supported programmes that help women succeed by overcoming social, educational and financial obstacles.

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