Canoo signs dealer agreement in Saudi Arabia

Californian EV startup Canoo has signed an exclusive agreement with GCC Olayan (General Contracting Company) as the exclusive distributor of its electric vehicles in Saudi Arabia.

The first phase of the agreement centres on the sale, distribution, service maintenance and repair of Canoo vehicles. In addition to the sales partnership, Canoo and GCC Olayan have also announced intentions to develop a joint venture to launch a digital vehicle ecosystem for service maintenance repair, local assembly and eventually manufacturing in Saudi Arabia.

“It has been an honor to work with the Olayan group companies over many years. Our agreement to bring Canoo’s award-winning vehicles to the region is grounded in our mutual commitment to customer service. The Olayan Group is a global business leader with decades of experience in distribution partnerships with some of the world’s leading brands and they are a proven partner to support EVs in the region,” said Tony Aquila, Chairman & CEO at Canoo.

“We recognize that there is a growing demand for sustainable mobility solutions in Saudi Arabia, partly driven by the Kingdom’s launch of the Saudi Green Initiative and its pledge to achieve net zero by 2060. With that in mind, we are pleased to sign the product and service distribution agreement with Canoo and are proud to be the exclusive distributor of its electric vehicles in our market,” said Uwaidh K. Al-Harethi, CEO of Olayan, adding: “The new partnership will combine GCC Olayan’s over 75 years of experience in the automotive and adjacent sectors with Canoo’s innovative electric vehicle technology to cater to this need in the market and contribute to global efforts to tackle carbon emissions as well as to Saudi Vision 2030’s sustainability goals.”

Back home, Canoo is still ramping up production of both vehicles and battery modules following a rough 2022. And while some deals, such as a production agreement with the Dutch company VDL, fell into the water, the startup still has major orders from Walmart, as well as Zeeba and Kingbee. Thus the companies future appears stable, although ramping up production will provide significant financial challenges.

Saudi Arabia is also a fast-growing, emerging EV market, as startups such as the Avass Group, Lucid and Foxconn (although Foxconn is hardly a newcomer, their foray into electric vehicles is) are setting up vehicle production facilities in the kingdom, while Siemens is working on expanding the nation’s charging infrastructure.


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