Karwa Motors, Oman’s first-ever bus brand and manufacturing facility, recently commenced its new state-of-the-art production facility, located in Duqm.
Commenting on the operations of the facility, Dr Ibrahim Albalushi, CEO of Karwa Motors said, “This factory is a cornerstone of our commitment towards sustained economic growth for the coming decades – to set the stage for what will become the beacon of automotive and industrial progress in Oman.”
Karwa Motors is a success story in many ways for the diversification of Oman’s economic development. It emphasises four key objectives in its business model, namely: Creating
In-Country Value (ICV), Localising Global Standards and Technologies, Contributing to the Economic Development of Duqm and Oman, and Youth empowerment through direct and indirect employment in the transportation industry. Dr Ibrahim Albalushi added, “Located right here at one of the Sultanate’s most prominent gateways to the world, our facility will now serve as the country’s first foray into Bus production. With our technology transfer partners, we aim to introduce several innovations and industry-leading production practices and technologies to Oman, setting the benchmark for all future production facilities to come.”
The first phase of operations at the Karwa Motors facility will focus on manufacturing buses for the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Doha next year. Due to its strategic location close to the regional market, the project is well-positioned to contribute to the success of this global event by reducing workloads, shipping times, and storage costs. Moreover, this step also reflects Qatar's vision of enhancing the contribution of neighbouring countries to the success of this global event.
The new facility is built on a site covering approximately 600,000 square metres and in its first phase comprises 40 working stations. These are staffed by a team of highly skilled workers who form and manufacture the buses, install their various parts, paint, and check their quality. This new facility is responsible for the production of three Karwa branded bus models – initially focusing on the School Bus, with the Intercity Coach and City Bus to follow in the coming year. The company hopes to achieve an annual production of 500 buses in its first year.
Commenting on the new facility, Dr Ibrahim Albalushi, Chief Executive Officer of Karwa Motors said, “Located on a 600,000 square metre site, the manufacturing facility is outfitted with the latest in technology. It also houses several key sections, including a large warehouse to store raw materials, core workshops for cutting and welding, dyeing, and equipment and motor assembly, a full-fledged inspection yard and testing facility, and a vast number of other auxiliary facilities. Our factory will also create job opportunities for Omanis, whether they are regular job seekers or have experience in the automotive field.
Commenting on the Buses, Dr Ibrahim Albalushi said, “In the first phase of our ramp-up, we plan to focus on producing the first of three Karwa branded buses and which we are proud to say constitutes our first prestigious order; as they will be used at the FIFA World Cup 2022 in Doha next year. Later next year, we will introduce the Intercity Coach and the City Bus.”
The value Karwa Motors, as a company and brand, bring into the country is, however, not restricted just to customers and staff. By opening a vehicle manufacturing plant at a port as strategically significant as Duqm, Karwa is creating valuable opportunities for the birth of new SMEs and empowering the abundant young Omani talent in the country. These could include anything from vehicle logistics and automotive engineering and design, all the way to OEM parts manufacturing; each of whom Karwa aims to avail the services of and support in the future.
The launch of this facility is a truly historic moment, not just for us at Karwa, but also the Nation. The launch heralds the beginning of a new era in automotive production in the country. We can now collectively look on in pride as our label ‘Made in the Sultanate of Oman’ reaches out across the globe on Karwa made buses,” concluded Dr Ibrahim Albalushi.
For more information on Karwa Motors, you can follow the brand on its ‘KarwaMotors’ Facebook page or @KarwaMotors on Twitter and Instagram. You can also visit www.karwamotors.com or call +968 24643033.
About Karwa Motors: Founded in 2017, Karwa Motors is a joint venture between the Sovereign wealth funds of the governments of Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman – the former represented by Mowasalat Qatar, owning a 70% share, and Oman represented by the Oman Investment Authority, owning the remaining 30%. Karwa Motors is the Sultanate’s first-ever bus brand and will soon be launching the country’s first bus manufacturing facility in Duqm.