PM inaugurates 2012 Qatar Motor Show
Doha The Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al Thani opened the second edition of the Qatar Motor Show2012 by cutting the ribbon at the Doha Exhibition Center on Monday. He also visited the stalls of different exhibitors and examined the latest models of cars on display.
On the first day of the six-day Qatar Motor Show various automobile companies unveiled many of their latest models. While some of them had their Middle East launch on Monday, many others unveiled their 'beauties' for a Qatar launch. Volkswagen launched the new Passat 2012 and presented its other premium cars. Skoda had the launch of its new five-seater family car Mission L' á. Skoda also revealed its plans to launch new cars, every six months. Audi launched four new cars of which R8GT has only 333 units worldwide. The other three models were RS5, S7 and S8. Bentley had the Qatar launch of its new Continental GTC while Porsche had the Middle East launch of the Porsche Panamera GTS.
Earlier, the 2nd Middle East Automotive Summit was opened by the Chairman of Qatar Tourism Authority Ahmed al Nuaimi who said that the auto show would be a major element of tourism promotion plan of Qatar. He added, "We want the Qatar Motor Show to be a source of inspiration for manufacturers of cars and to provide a rare and unique experience to automobile lovers. The 2nd Middle East Automotive Summit not only represents the latest developments in the field, but also reflects the direction of the industry in general." Ali Abdullah al Dabbagh, director of Business Development Department, Qatar Holding, said, "Qatar Holding is honoured to support this show for a second year in a row. Our backing of the event is part of the efforts to modernise Qatar and make Doha an international hub for science and research and Qatar a knowledge economy." Other speakers at the opening ceremony, coming from Qatar Shell, Scuderia Ferrari, Volkswagen, Qatar Automotive Gateway (Qatar Ag) and Qatar Holding, reiterated their support to Qatar emerging as the driving force of the global automotive industry with the country moving closer to realising its vision of a knowledge-based economy. During a panel discussion on emerging trends in automotive industry, representatives of various organisations presented a variety of views which helped to present a bigger picture. During the discussion, they forecast the future of cars and transportation amidst growing populations and rising demands. Herald Hamprecht, editor-in-chief of Automotive News Europe, began by pushing the often complex question of changing demographics and their effect on sustainability under the spotlight. He said, "The global population is getting larger, older and more urbanised. By 2050, it is estimated to be 9.2 billion. Today, we have 700 million cars and by 2015 are expected to have three billion vehicles." But, he warned, lack of specialists and scarcity of raw materials would hamper growth. Luigi Piero Ippolito, Product Strategic Scenario & Innovation, Magneti Marelli, highlighted the continuous neglect of the actual stakeholder in the equation as a major challenge, whreas V.G. Ramakrishnan, senior director of Automotive and Transportation for the region, Frost & Sullivan, said that commuting in future would be multi-modal and rest on integration.