KAEC ... the location for NAI’s new factory.

National Automotive Industry (NAI), part of Saudi-based Juffali Commercial Vehicles (JCV), is embarking on a significant journey towards greater efficiency and innovation with the relocation of its truck assembly factory.

The decision to move stems from the current facility being located in the heart of Jeddah city, leading to operational logistics challenges that impact the timely arrival of container kits and the transportation of fully assembled trucks, according to JCV, which is the kingdom’s only local assembly partner and distributor for Mercedes-Benz vans, trucks and buses, and an authorised distributor for Mitsubishi Fuso trucks and buses.

This move to a more strategic location opens up a new chapter for NAI, bringing forth various advancements in infrastructure, sustainability, and operational efficiency, it adds.

“We are embarking on a transformative journey, by relocating our truck assembly factory to King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC). This strategic move symbolises NAI’s commitment to efficiency, sustainability, and market leadership,” said Heiko Schulze, CEO of Juffali Commercial Vehicles. “With advanced technologies and a green focus, we’re not just moving our facility; we’re pioneering the future of truck manufacturing in the region. As we break ground, we redefine the landscape, ensuring NAI’s legacy as an industry innovator.”

Schulze ... strategic move.

Schulze ... strategic move.

The new factory promises a leap in technological advancements with the integration of automation solutions. This includes electric tightening tools, robotics, manipulators, and automated guided vehicles, which aim to optimise the assembly process, enhancing efficiency and precision in truck manufacturing.

“We stand on the brink of a transformative chapter with the establishment of our new factory, nestled within the expansive Juffali Industrial Park (JIP). Proudly spanning 170,000 sq m in a grand total of 388,000 sq m, this facility marks a strategic leap forward. Initially focusing on Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) assembly, we envision an exciting future, where the potential for Completely Knocked Down (CKD) assembly and cabin manufacturing awaits in our expansion area,” remarked Khalid Bayounes, Production Director at NAI.

With this move, logistical constraints related to traffic patterns will be alleviated, ensuring smoother operations for the arrival of kits and the delivery of finished trucks. This relocation marks a pivotal moment in NAI’s commitment to meeting market demand for construction and transportation vehicles.

Bayounes ... new factory at JIP.

Bayounes ... new factory at JIP.

The relocated factory plays a crucial role in NAI’s market expansion plans. It will facilitate the assembly of heavy-, medium- and light-duty trucks from Mercedes-Benz and Fuso Trucks, meeting the rising demand for commercial vehicles in the region.

Recognising the evolving landscape in the automotive sector, NAI is strategically planning for the potential assembly of electric vehicles in its new state-of-the-art facility. This forward-looking initiative aligns with NAI’s commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancements and meeting the growing demand for sustainable transportation solutions.

The expansion will also create numerous job opportunities: Engineers, assembly workers, and professionals from various fields will be needed to support the operations of the factory.

The choice of the new location, KAEC, was strategically made, considering its support from King Abdullah Port (KAP) and its potential for future automotive plants.

NAI’s current truck assembly facility is located in the heart of Jeddah.

NAI’s current truck assembly facility is located in the heart of Jeddah.

NAI is committed to environmental responsibility and plans to implement Industry 4.0 and green initiatives. Moreover, there are plans to integrate solar cells into the factory’s roof, showcasing NAI’s dedication to eco-friendly operations.

The relocation process is under way, with production scheduled to start in Q2 of 2025. Key milestones and phases are being meticulously planned to ensure a seamless transition.