DOHA: Sales of luxury cars have increased in Qatar and the region. High-range brands featured at the Qatar Motor Show these days have closed 2012 with a growth in revenue in comparison to the previous year and plan to open new showrooms in Doha to focus on local customers. This is the case of Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini and McLaren, which will launch new state-of-the-art showrooms here for each brand in March. Shiela C Dalumpines, Marketing and Events Coordinator for Alwajba Motors, exclusive distributor of these brands in Qatar, said that there has been a raise in sales, especially Bentley. Thanks to the new showrooms, Alwajba Motors expects to go way beyond its target sales in 2013. In the new stores there will be a display of seven Bentleys, one Bugatti and three Lamborghini, plus a coffee shop revolving around the car concept.
“In the region every year we reach our target and go beyond, the Middle East market is very loyal to the brand and our customers are very stable,” she added. While other sectors were suffering the impact of recession in 2010 and 2011, for luxury cars sellers those were “really good years, affected only in some ways because a number of our customers live in Europe, so we had less visibility in the showrooms.”
The luxury car business is also aiming to improve the after sale service in Doha. This is the case of Bentley, Lamborghini and Bugatti, which will have renovated and bigger customer infrastructures this year. Other brands like Audi are also looking to enhance their showrooms in Doha. During the official press conference to launch a new model in Qatar, Benny Lim, General Manager of Q-Auto — the official Audi dealer for Qatar — said: “Our new Service Centre in the Industrial Area and new Audi Showroom on Salwa Road will open in the second half of this year and we have further plans to expand our infrastructure. It is imperative for us to exceed our customers’ expectations.”
Porsche also closed 2012 with a 95 percent increase in sales in comparison to 2011, selling over 1,000 vehicles in Doha’s dealership.
Visitors at the show said the exhibition “is excellent and much better than last year,” said M Ali from India. While for Kate, a UK national, the event is “definitively worth visiting and a great option to see the latest models and choose among more affordable cars.” However, for some by-passers, like Ghada, from Egypt, “it seems like this year the show is only for rich people.”
Isabele Ovale for The Peninsula