Interviews and Reports

HATECO a One Stop Destination for all Automotive Needs



Around the year, Arab Motor World Staff receives calls and inquiries about where to go for the best car servicing and what is needed for better car care.

Thus we have decided to shed light on the main companies in the business and highlight their history, present and future.

For this issue, we will be visiting HATECO S.A.R.L. headquarters in Tripoli for an insight about their progress in the automotive servicing industry.

History and the road to the future:

Hamad Ajaje Trading Establishment Company was founded in 1970 by Hamad Ajaje under the name of Hamad Ajaje Trading & Sons to promote tires and batteries in Tripoli, Lebanon. The venture evolved over the years to enter 2001 with its new name: HATECO S.A.R.L.

At present, the firm manages three branches and one main headquarter to efficiently serve its customers and has become one of Lebanon’s key importers and sole distributors of some of the best international brands in the fields of Tires, Batteries, Wheels, Lubricants and other automotive related products.

In addition, HATECO expanded over the years and entered 2013 with the opening of a new Workshop consisting of the latest technology and equipment to introduce new automotive services to the retail industry.

As a result, the company has built a solid reputation of reliability for its stakeholders and will always remain the most trusted name for automotive related products.

HATECO’s vision is to be the major provider of all automotive-related products in Lebanon and the MENA region.

HATECO’s mission is to bring the best automotive-related products from around the world and distribute them to the people of Lebanon and the MENA region.


Here’s a quick look at HATECO’s main services:

  • Oil Change
  • Wheel Alignment
  • Brake Disc Services (Change or Straightening)
  • Brake Pads
  • Wheel Balancing
  • Repair Services
  • Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance
  • Steering and Suspension
  • Rim Straightening
  • Wiper Blade Services

* Use of Bosch products for oil filters, brake discs,
brake pads, and suspension parts.


HATECO S.A.R.L. manages several brands covering all aspects of automotive servicing such as:


In addition, HATECO S.A.R.L. has expanded from a national company covering only the Lebanese territories to a wider international network serving: Syria, Iraq, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Ghana, Gambia, Congo, Liberia.


Interviews and Reports

Jaguar Land Rover insights with JLR executives



During our visit to Dubai International Motor Show this year, we have visited the Jaguar Land Rover stand and were stunned with the amount of new vehicles released for our market. For that purpose, we sat with Mr. John Edwards Managing Director, Special Operations Division from Jaguar Land Rover to explain the strategy set for the upcoming few years.


As MD of the SVO division at JLR, what’s coming in this year and what about future projects?

As you have seen today, we have two global debuts and one regional launch. Let’s start with the main attraction the Project 8. We like to call it the crazy car, it all started after Project 7, we were thinking what’s next? Someone at the division came up with the crazy idea to put our most powerful engine into our most lightweight platform and so the Project 8 was born. It is a car designed and engineered by petrol heads for the petrol heads. Project 8 is a track car with 200 MPH as top speed but we wanted a track car more than a straight line racing car and that meant lots of upgrades on the skin as well under it…
Project 8 is an exclusive car that will be produced in 300 unites only. We also have on the stand two global premieres: the Range Rover Sport SVR with carbon fiber bonnet and the SVAutobiography Dynamic with refined luxury. Both vehicles have improved performance and are positioned as a limited edition. Our operations as SVO division have a vision to build unique and distinctive vehicles that really stand out and make a bold statement while maintaining and improving the vehicle in terms of performance and luxury. This our business: Personalization is a form of luxury.
We have also coming up the Discovery SVX which is built on an already very sophisticated vehicle and we are taking it even further.
There are at least two major launches coming soon, we are busy and we are growing and you have to wait to see what’s coming.


To get a better insight on the JLR in our region, we also got the chance to sit down with Salman Sultan Regional PR and Social Media Manager at Jaguar Land Rover and this is what he has to say.

Where does JLR stands today on the regional level?

Well, we brought several global and regional premieres this year at the Dubai International Motor Show as mentioned earlier by John. Our region has the highest market share for SVR sales in the world specifically in GCC, the evoque in Morocco has the biggest market share among JLR brands in the middle east and number 2 is Lebanon and the Velar is sold out till June 2018, thus JLR gives high importance to our market. The E-Pace is here as regional premiere and the XF Sportbrake also which is set for the UAE and KSA as pilot markets and will be followed by XF Sportbrake R ad XF Sportbrake S. Moreover, Project 8 which is produced in limited edition is also part of the regional strategy, we have already sold 25 units in the region which is a great accomplishment and shows our region’s high interest in the SVO products.

What is JLR strategy in KSA after the royal decree allowing women to drive there?

We have been selling cars for women around the world and KSA is no different. Women in KSA have been buying cars for long time, the change now will be: do I buy a car that is Chauffeur driven or self-driven? To us at JLR we see this in two axes: the first one is the increase in sales especially that our lineup allows the change in buying mentality and the 2nd axe is to empower women to move more into the working field of the automotive industry and we are working hard with our partners to enable that option in KSA. I think this is a great opportunity not only in sales but as an improvement for the whole automotive industry.


Interviews and Reports

Exclusive Visit to MOPAR



When we talk about personalized vehicles from the FCA group, we can only talk about MOPAR. Whether it is a personalized Jeep, or Dodge, or Chrysler, or RAM, MOPAR really stands out with its unique parts and design.

For this, we decided to dig further into the MOPAR brand, and we came out with fascinating results proving that MOPAR is not only an accessory brand; it is a huge business.

Let’s start with a brief introduction about MOPAR and get you rolling further into its operations and future plans.

MOPAR is the division responsible for producing original equipment, manufactured accessories, and parts. This division is also responsible for after sales service, customer care, and much more within Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. MOPAR is also behind the design and production of a limited number of personalized vehicles, which will be tackling later in this article.

The name derives from a combination of letters from the words «MOtor» and «PARts». It was first used by Chrysler in the 1920s and was introduced as a brand in 1937, but it truly made its mark in the 1960s during the muscle-car era when car enthusiasts used it as a reference to the parent company Chrysler Group LLC. We all recall the phrase used by MOPAR fanatics “MOPAR or no car”.

To us, this is already impressive; however, we needed to better understand the brand, and so we took a trip to Jebel Ali in the United Arab Emirates for a deeper look. What we found there was even more impressive.

Reaching the MOPAR Regional Distribution Centre facility in Jebel Ali, we saw this huge building with the largest 3D MOPAR sign hanging on the front and a blue line across the building; it screams MOPAR.

To us at MOPAR facility, Speed of delivery and parts availability is crucial. We don’t like to wait when it comes to our suppliers, and we do the same for our customers; it is an international standard at MOPAR

Dr. Igor Egorov

The facility was huge; it currently covers an area of 18,000 sqm, and we wanted to know all about it.

Once inside, Dr. Igor Egorov, Director of the Supply Chain Management for Fiat Chrysler Middle East, accompanied us and explained the size of operations handled currently by this immense facility. We also got some scoops about future expansions.

Dr. Igor shared with us a wealth of information while cruising around the enormous MOPAR facility that blew our minds.

We now know that this MOPAR Regional Distribution Centre serves more than 35 countries spread across the Middle East, most of Africa and CIS countries. The facility, which handles around 35,000 line items and has an average fill rate of 91% and ships, averages $8.4 million in monthly shipments.

Dr. Igor explained that MOPAR chose Jebel Ali to serve as a regional hub due to the facilities provided there in terms of proximity to the ports (today, sea and air, and later rail), and also the use of its already established flexible platform since 2003.

The MOPAR built network is not just composed of machines, suppliers of freight services, and the best warehousing technology, but it is also composed of a very lean and dynamic team which is the essence of motoring this huge facility and capable of dealing with laws and regulation changes, time zone differences, cultural differences, and also language barriers.

Our round came to an end, and we just had to ask Dr. Igor one more question about the Italian brands of FCA. He told us that within just a few days MOPAR Jebel Ali facility would also include a distribution channel to the Italian vehicles’ spare parts that would start mainly serving the GCC countries, and would then expand with time. We also knew that a second facility was being put together as part of the expansion plan and would spread over 3,500 sqm, making it a total area of 21,500 sqm of great MOPAR items.


Moving on, we left the facility and hit the road to reach the MOPAR offices in Dubai. There, we met with an enthusiastic team of MOPARian guys, composed of Syed Naqi Abbas, Ibrahim Hatem, and Amin Janem from MOPAR division at FCA Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, for a new bunch of information.

They explained to us that the MOPAR division is not just the OEM spare parts for the FCA vehicles. It is more than that; it is actually a full line of after sales services that combines everything needed by the owner of any FCA vehicle from date of purchase of his vehicle until the date of purchasing his second vehicle, and beyond.

The guys further elaborated on the fact that the MOPAR division currently handles spare parts distribution, accessories distribution, customer service, express lanes, warranty service, customer satisfaction, limited edition MOPAR vehicles, as well as Dynamic reception, and much more.


We had talked about the spare parts distribution widely with Dr. Igor, so it was time to seek additional information about the other services handled by the MOPAR team in the UAE.

When it comes to accessories, we were told that the same engineers that design the car itself actually work on designing the accessories and making sure they fit properly and maintain the vehicle’s capabilities without endangering the body or the engine, while taking into consideration the high level of safety requirements and functionality of the vehicle. These accessories sometimes arrive to the shops before the vehicle itself, so according to the guys at MOPAR, “We are after sales and not after thoughts”.

On top of that, MOPAR is now implementing a strategy to reach customers wherever they are. This is done through several initiatives, such as a wide network of MOPAR service centers, the express lanes spread across the world with more than 1,850 MOPAR Express Lane locations globally, and also, the latest, the mobile garage, which can reach customers anywhere in parking lots, shopping centers, etc… to serve them the best way possible while they are out and about.

Moreover, when it comes to warranty, the guys explained that now they are offering a great warranty service that can go up to unlimited mileage and 7 years of bumper to bumper coverage on all parts excluding the wear and tear. All of this guarantees MOPAR customers a great peace of mind when they own the vehicle or, when they decide to sell to a second owner, to buy their new FCA vehicle.


Additionally, and as tuning experts, we had to ask about the special MOPAR editions, as well as what is coming next. The MOPAR team was keen to elaborate on this specific point. MOPAR has been releasing worldwide, special vehicles with limited edition production, such as the Wrangler Sunriser and their latest addition, recently launched in the Geneva Motor Show 2016, the Dawn of Justice Renegade. However, the exciting news was that, for the first time, MOPAR Middle East will have their own designed vehicles that are locally produced as MOPAR special edition vehicles, such as the Dodge Charger Interceptor edition and the Red Level Wrangler produced in 30 units only, making it more unique and tailor-made for the taste of the Arab auto fanatics and their love for personalization. This will make MOPAR Middle East the only region that has its own designed vehicle.

In the end, we asked about the concept of the Dynamic Service Center in Abu Dhabi, and what a surprise it was when we knew that in this service center you can actually sit down and relax in an air conditioned location with a complete MOPAR setup and see your car being serviced in a spotlessly clean environment created specifically to give you that peace of mind you are looking. It is a state of the art reception and service center zone ready to serve you and provide you with the hassle free MOPAR experience.


Feature Coverage Videos Interviews and Reports

The First and One of a Kind Car Wash Touchless Tunnel in Lebanon


When we mention WOOSH in any conversation, the first thing that comes to our mind is the convenience of car washing in malls pioneered by this local Lebanese company back in 2011.

What started in CityMall five years ago grew to hold at present time five prime commercial center locations covering all greater Beirut area, so why not wash your car while you enjoy shopping or sipping your cup of coffee?

All of that is great however that is only half the story; Arab Motor World went deeper and discovered that WOOSH is not just a convenient car wash service, WOOSH is far beyond that.

WOOSH is an eco-friendly car wash service; yes what you are reading is true. A regular car wash usually consumes between 150-300 liters of water, at WOOSH not more than 1 liter is consumed by car and the car owner gets double the shine due to the use of yet another eco-friendly factor: the bio-degradable wash products that don’t contain any chemicals or toxins.

And if you think this is impressive, wait till we tell you all about WOOSH latest location in Jnah: The First and one of a kind Car Wash Touchless Tunnel in Lebanon.

Taking the car wash industry to a completely new level, WOOSH established in Jnah the first and one of a kind Car Wash Touchless Tunnel in Lebanon, so to us “car freaks” what does that mean? Why, when and whom will take care of my car?

Till recently, most of us are accustomed to hand wash & automatics that use brushes and cloths. These types of washes will surely create light scratches and swirls all over the paint job, not to forget the chemicals used or salty water that will damage highly the shine of the car and the integrity of paint structure, in addition to the 45 minutes minimum waiting time to get a proper wash assuming that the guys at the car wash know what they are doing. And please don’t get me started on automatic washing brushes creating further severe damages from broken antennas and mirrors….

All the above was valid until Today, So what changed? Imagine that now you can wash your car in 3 minutes and 10 seconds in a car wash service tunnel guaranteed to remove all types of dirt using a one of kind touch Free technique that has NO brushes and where nothing touches your car expect cleaning products, high-pressure water and mighty blowers. This is what WOOSH new Touchless car wash tunnel is all about.

Your car goes through a touchless tunnel composed of 7 stages: The Prep, The Soaps, The High-Pressure Arch, The Triple Foam Polish and Wheels Clean, The Lava Hot Wax, The Protection and Rinse and finally Mighty Drying. Et Voila, Your car is done, washed, shined and ready to drive in no time while you barely had the time to finish your coffee and enjoy your car being pampered while sitting on the wooden bench in a Garden-like environment.

As of now, the answers are obvious; Why? Because I want my car to shine and I don’t need scratches and swirls, When? Anytime as it takes less than 5 minutes and Whom? WOOSH as they are the best in the business and pioneers since 2011.

And by what we started we end, WOOSH new concept in Jnah is following the same environmentally friendly approach embraced by the company since the beginning. WOOSH uses a water treatment center that purifies the water and brings it to RO level as well as full water recycling system that re-utilizes used-water again and again thus preserving the environment while still delivering the shine and cleanliness we strive for.

Oh, & by the way, we didn’t elaborate on WOOSH’s full detailing section that takes care of polish, interior cleaning and engine bay detoxing … We will leave it for you to go and see for yourselves!! Enjoy



Interviews and Reports

Safety at the limit, Tyres for Performance-Tuned Cars


Continental, the German premium automotive supplier and manufacturer, has established itself as a leading developer of bespoke tires for performance-modified vehicles from renowned manufacturers and brand tuners in the Middle East and around the world. In a region where individual modification of cars is steadily growing, ultra-ultra high performance (U-UHP) Continental tires can be relied upon to maintain optimum performance levels at speeds of 360 km/h and above.

After its €45 million investment in the high-performance technology sector, Continental is set to produce around 350,000 U-UHP tyres annually for the tuning market.

Among the elite specialists who fit their modified cars with Continental tyres are Abt, AC Schnitzer, Arden, Brabus, Heico, Lorinser, edo competition and TechArt, to name just a few.

Henry Siemons, Head of the Tuning department at Continental, reports on how new technologies are driven forward in the high-speed sector, how innovations are put to work and how development work for prominent specialist tuners benefits Continental’s own brand.

Henry Siemons, why is there such a strong focus on the topic of U-UHP at Continental?
Henry Siemons: In regions where the automobile market is still growing, the proportion of modern vehicles that demand more from their tires is also larger. Then there’s the growth that we ourselves are fostering. We don’t just observe and follow trends, we actively drive them forward as well. In this respect, we work closely with the tuning firms who we regard as specialist manufacturers. The extremely high standards in this market demand technological developments that will in future find their way into the volume market as well. This way, we have already harnessed these technologies before the volume markets start to demand them.

Which tuners and OEMs choose to rely on Continental’s expertise?
Henry Siemons: I think we’re unique here in that almost all the renowned tuning firms are regular customers. They’re almost all single-marque tuners who have been specialising for years in cars from a single manufacturer and have built a reputation to match, as we have too. We work with these high-end tuning firms on an equal footing.

In general, what kind of volumes of U-UHP tires do you manufacture?
Henry Siemons: In our highly-specialised area we’re talking about very different numbers from the OEM sector, for example. We engage in image-building projects through which we aim to show that we’re leading the field in the U-UHP segment, even if only 100 or so of a particular tire are ever built. An initial production volume of 500 units doesn’t sound too large, but you have to consider the price level we’re talking about here and the fact that these tires will only be destined for a single model in a single market. And then there’s the prospect that this product will find its way into standard production.

So, developing U-UHP tires can also be a means of opening up and cornering new markets?
Henry Siemons: We always aim to be among the leaders in the tuning sector, to tell the world: we’re here; this patch is already reserved. And when a new model, from Brabus, for example, makes its public debut at the Geneva Motor Show, we aim to be present on the car with a technology-leading tire. This is a real image-building factor and gives our reputation a further boost.

But surely Continental’s reputation for U-UHP tires doesn’t depend entirely on image transfer from performance-tuned cars?
Henry Siemons: Along with the major auto shows, tuning fairs are also significant events for us. Our discussions with visitors to our booth confirm time and again that tires figure high on the agenda for many sporty drivers. They’re not just wear parts but hi-tech products without which safe dynamic driving would be impossible.

What are the key characteristics that a U-UHP tire must deliver for such high-powered cars?
Henry Siemons: Requirements in the tuning sector go well beyond what we need to deliver for the replacement business. Here, it’s all about attaining the perfect balance between very high speeds, dynamic handling and the weight of the vehicle, while always making absolutely sure that the car retains its unique character.

Which Continental plants are in a position to manufacture U-UHP tires?
Henry Siemons: With the new HPTC, our High Performance Technology Center in Korbach, Germany, we’ve now got a plant that can produce short runs of tires – a kind of specialist tire production shop for very special applications that we can experiment with in the high-tech segment. Like when we’re dealing with new material compounds or constructions. We then try to transfer the knowledge that we acquire here to other production sites, as well.


Interviews and Reports

Bosch, the Future of Mobility


Let’s imagine living in a utopia of the automotive industry, where the air is cleaner due to less emissions, where time is valuable and wasted time in traffic jams is reduced to a minimum, where you are always connected with your family and friends and everything you need to get by is at a click of a button.

Well, imagine no more. We’ve heard that Bosch is working towards these goals, taking into consideration that Middle East countries are introducing increasingly stringent traffic safety measures, and the UAE is working on introducing driverless vehicles on the roads by 2030.

Nowadays, the Internet and Cloud services are taking over every detail of our lives and they are seamlessly being integrated into everything that we do; so why not the automotive sector? Bosch is currently developing connectivity within the automotive sector and shaping what the future of mobility will look like. Self-driven cars, 100% connectivity from within your vehicle, and most importantly, reduced emissions and reduced traffic time. That is what’s coming next from Bosch.

How will all of that get done? Well, we went to Robert Bosch Middle East offices in Dubai to investigate further, and for that occasion we met with Mr. Volker Bischoff – General Manager/Vice President, Robert Bosch Middle East and sat down for a mind blowing discussion on the future of mobility.

Here’s what we have learned so far about Bosch:

  • Bosch has 55,800 associates working in R&D
  • 6.4 billion euros in 2015 on R&D expenditure (roughly 9% of sales)
  • 2,500 Bosch engineers are working on automated driving/parking
  • Bosch engineers invest at least 5,000 hours in the development of a new parking function
  • Parking and maneuvering accidents make up 40 percent of all car accidents where there is material damage

As a business owner who has to drive to meet clients, and I have been doing so for the past 20 years, I can truly say that driving to your destination is something and arriving is something else. I mean, when you have a perfectly running vehicle, you can drive to reach your destination easily; however, finding the parking spot is the hard part. Who among us doesn’t wish for an automated valet parking service that can just take your car away when you arrive, park it by itself and call it back when you are done, and don’t get me started on parking dings and scratches. On another note, did you know that 30% of traffic jams are caused by drivers circulating to find a parking spot?

Taking all of the above into consideration, Mr. Bischoff explained that Bosch engineers are developing a wide range of products and solutions that enable automated and connected mobility. These include several driver assistance innovations that make life safer, easier, and more comfortable for drivers, such as active parking lot management, automated valet parking, park assist, active gas pedal, and maneuver emergency braking, among others.
All of that is great but we wanted to know more, how it works? What’s coming soon? How can my car park itself and most importantly Why Bosch?

Why Bosh?

When it comes to developing and introducing services for the connected world, Bosch’s broad business portfolio from households, aftermarket parts, energy, mobility…offers a particular advantage, as does its competence in software and sensors. Bosch can connect many things across a wide range of domains as no other company can – cars with houses, even entire cities. “Nearly 40% of all Bosch product classes are web-enabled”, Mr. Bischoff explained, adding, “Did you know that most mobile phones nowadays have Bosch parts in them?” We also learned that over the next few years, Bosch plans to launch a host of parking assistance systems. These systems help drivers park accident-free, or even completely guide them into a space at the touch of a button. It is mainly based on ultrasonic sensors, which Bosch has been making since 1993.

So what is coming next for automated parking?

For Bosch, automated parking begins in the vehicle – but it goes much further than that. Bosch offers two solutions:

  • For parking lots: Bosch deploys special occupancy sensors in parking lots or garages that detect and report empty spaces.
  • For curbside parking: Bosch uses the sensors that are becoming standard in an increasing number of vehicles and employs them in the search for curbside parking.

So what can you tell us about the future of parking lots?

“Parking as we know it today won’t exist in the future. Even before the end of this decade, cars will drive themselves to a space in a parking garage. Drivers will simply leave their car in a handover zone outside a parking garage and instruct it by smartphone to search for a parking space. When ready to leave, they call the car back to the drop-off point in the same way. This will be soon available for car owners through the Automated valet parking Function. This Bosch function will not only relieve drivers of having to search for a parking space, but also enables the vehicle to park itself. Fully automated parking will require several things, including an intelligent parking garage infrastructure, on-board vehicle sensors, and connectivity for both.”

And what about the Curbside Parking where there’s no pavement sensors?

“With community-based parking program, we are turning cars into sensors and making cities smarter. Bosch takes the ultrasonic sensors in parking sensors and programs them to detect curbside parking spaces. Cars can then identify curbside spaces between parked cars as they drive past. The information is sent to the respective cloud based system using Bosch’s connectivity control unit (CCU), and then forwarded in anonymized form to the Bosch IoT Cloud (BIC). Using an intelligent process, Bosch pools the data from all vehicles to generate a digital parking map and shares it with all vehicles connected to the server. The system informs the driver about the vacant spots according to the vehicle size and guide him consequently. Bosch expects that by 2020, all newly registered vehicles in markets will be connected in this way.”

One more problem remains unsolved; how can we get rid of dings and scratches resulting from parking maneuvering?

“Well, Bosch can support in this as well, maneuvering a car into a parking space is truly an art. Bosch is offering functions that can help maneuvering your vehicle into the parking space. The smart trailer parking system offers a convenient way for drivers to control their vehicle from the curbside using a smartphone. It is based on electric power steering, the ESP, the electronic gas pedal, and a trailer hitch featuring a trailer angle sensor. Drivers can select steering angle and vehicle speed with an app. As for the Remote Park Assist, vehicles park themselves as if by magic. All drivers need to do is press and hold a button on their ignition key or smartphone. This tells the vehicle to automatically maneuver itself into the parking space it has previously detected and measured using ultrasonic sensors.”

Finally, Mr. Bischoff, wealth of information, left us wondering about the future of mobility and what a utopia of the automotive world would look like in the near future. The future is vast and technology is in constant progress. We can’t wait for 2020 and beyond to see Bosch’s systems in implementation. I personally will be cutting down at least 30% of my time, 30% of my emissions, and most importantly, I won’t have to deal with anymore parking stress.