Business | Automotives

Everything but the kitchen sink in customised cars

Dubai Motor Show to appeal to those who want more

  • By Aya Lowe, Staff Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 November 12, 2011
  • Gulf News

Focus on growth
  • Image Credit: Zarina Fernandes/Gulf News
  • A Ford Focus on display. The carmaker is enjoying good sales in the Middle Eastern region. Ford and Lincoln sales were up 55 per cent year over year while in the UAE they reported increases of over 30 per cent.

Dubai: The UAE's penchant for high-end individuality when it comes to cars is on full display at this year's International Motor Show from the ridiculously expensive to the unique.

According to James Crichton, regional director at Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Middle East and Africa, their growth in the region is driven by the demand for their bespoke Phantom and Ghost models.

Et Designs has come from Spain to showcase their upgraded classic cars in a market which Efroan Triana, custom car builder at Et Designs, believes is very receptive.

"A lot of people have shown interest and we think we're going to sell. Now anybody can own a nice car, but a personalised car is one of a kind.

Modern additions

"People here want a unique model. The UAE has a lot of car collectors and there's plenty of customers here. Here we get Russian, German, British and Emirati customers," said Triana.

The custom car company introduces modern additions such as power steering, new engines and exhausts to classic cars to give them a new lease of life.

According to Triana, the UAE, Germany and the UK are the biggest markets for classic cars.

Gemballa, a UAE based company which offers high-end custom made cars, is also enjoying the interest generated from its two limited edition 30th anniversary cars.

"For our 30th anniversary we're selling the Mistrala based on the Panamera and the Tornado which is based on the Cayenne Porsche models and they're limited to 30 pieces.

"Even while we were just building our booth before the show started, people were already expressing interest in the cars. We expect to sell quite a number here," said Reiner Schlumberger, operations manager of Gemballa.

Uniqueness

The biggest markets for high-end customised cars are the UAE, Russia and the US, according to Schlumberger. China is also coming up very strongly, he added.

"People want to differentiate themselves with a unique car from the stand-up model and with these cars they can.

"High-end customers in the UAE are looking for very individualised items. Even though our cars are highly individualised, customers also want to have logos, monograms and special materials in the interior.

"Even with these cars we are sometimes surprised by the demands of our UAE customers," said Schlumberger.

"Sales have been down the last two to three years but have started to pick up again," he added. Savni Okcu, owner of Okcu which offers high-end customised vans, is also enjoying high sales from the UAE market.

"Sales have been good. We are an old company and our reputation is important. We also offer a two-year warranty which is unusual for customised cars," said Okcu.

"Our biggest markets in the Middle East are Saudi Arabia and the UAE," he added. Last year the company sold 30 cars in the UAE and 40-50 in Saudi Arabia.

Features

The Turkish-based company offers customised vans that can act as luxury mobile offices or comfortable living spaces for those long journeys for the executive individual or corporates.

The customisation features include reclining seats with various options included such as a cooling or massage additions.

How about a mini fridge, an espresso machine, a 42-inch 3D television, a playstation, a Mac mini or an Ipad dock? These are among the many other high-end features available.

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