The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia has launched Ceer, the first Saudi electric vehicle brand, as part of a push to diversify the economy of the oil rich country.
A joint venture between the kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund and Taiwanese technology company Foxconn, the new company will design, manufacture and sell a range of electric vehicles for consumers in Saudi Arabia and the MENA region, including sedans and sports utility vehicles.
The Saudi Public Investment Fund (PIF) said Ceer will attract over US$150 million of foreign direct investment, and create up to 30,000 direct and indirect jobs. Ceer is projected to directly contribute US$8 billion to Saudi Arabia’s GDP by 2034.
The company will license component technology from BMW for use in the vehicle development process. Foxconn will develop the electrical architecture of the vehicles, resulting in a portfolio of products that will lead in the areas of infotainment, connectivity and autonomous driving technologies. Each vehicle will be designed and manufactured in Saudi Arabia, and tested to the highest global automotive quality control and safety standards.
Ceer electric vehicles are scheduled to be available in 2025.
PIF has made a number of its own investments in EVs and other clean technology. In 2018, the PIF invested $1 billion into Lucid Motors, becoming its largest shareholder. The PIF made an initial commitment in spring 2022 to buy 50,000 of Lucid’s EV with an option to purchase an additional 50,000 vehicles over that same 10-year time frame.
Foxconn has been pushing deeper into the automotive sector, particularly around EVs. Foxconn has landed deals to produce EVs for Lordstown Motors and Fisker. It also showcased new self-developed concept prototype electric vehicles at its third annual Hon Hai Tech Day. At the same time, Foxconn showcased the production vehicle Model C SUV, to be delivered to Taiwanese customers next year.