The latest automotive brand to enter Oman’s increasingly crowded car market is the BAIC marque, one of China’s largest auto makers, which gained a share of fame when it took over the SAAB brand from GM.
Along with the launch of the brand, its first showroom at Wattayah was shown to the media along with the initial models with which the brand expects to target the market.
Mr. Li Ji, Senior Vice President, BAIC International said, “We are very happy to tie up with Gulf Great Sands which is a reputed name in Oman and have a good understanding of the local market. Oman is one of focus market for BAIC Brand Globalisation for which we are going to get many more products to suit the local market.”
Welcoming BAIC to Oman, Chairman of Gulf Great Sands LLC, Sheikh Ahmed Bahwan said, “BAIC Group has all the experience and expertise which has given us confidence on the product quality and safety standards. We are quite optimistic that customers of Oman will appreciate the BAIC products and therefore will bring success to this new automotive brand.”
Mr. Divyendu Kumar, Managing Director of Gulf Great Sands LLC said- “We are very excited to bring BAIC brand of vehicles to consumers in Oman. As in everything that we do, after-sales customer care will continue to be our major focus area. We have ensured a high level of parts availability and a fully trained team of technicians and technical staffs with the help of BAIC international, before the selling of the BAIC cars commence in the market.”
The first models on offer are the X65 crossover, the A115 entry level sedan and the Grand Tiger TUV (a pickup). The brand hopes to address further segments in the future including the active outdoors type with its BJ (derived from an old collaboration with Jeep).
The X65 has a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbocharged engine capable of 174 HP output with a new Aisin 6-speed auto gearbox. The X65 is expected to meet C-NCAP 5-star ratings.
The A115 comes with a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine with 113hp output and a host of features that beat the norm in the class. The Grand Tiger TUV pickup launches in 2WD and 4WD models, with a 2.4-litre engine of Mitsubishi origin.
An interesting fact revealed at the press conference was that BAIC offers 5 years or 100,000 kms manufacturer warranty on all passenger vehicles and 3 years/100,000 kms manufacturer warranty on commercial vehicles in Oman.