Start-up Saudi Arabian EV manufacturer Ceer has named James DeLuca as the company’s CEO.
DeLuca has over 40 years of experience in automotive, including senior leadership roles at General Motors and VinFast. He will be in charge of development, manufacturing, and sales of Ceer EVs, which are planned to be iconic with advanced features and technologies.
DeLuca was Vietnam car manufacturer VinFast’s first CEO, and before that, he ran manufacturing for General Motors’ worldwide, acting as the manager of the company’s production processes and being responsible for over 200,000 employees at 171 factories in 31 countries.
“Saudi Arabia recognises the importance of the automotive sector when it comes to economic growth and job creation, and I am looking forward to shaping Ceer into a car brand that is admired by both Saudi consumers as well as the wider industry,” said DeLuca. “Ceer will help ignite Saudi Arabia’s automotive sector and create synergies of scale that the automotive industry will benefit from as more automotive manufacturing moves to the Middle East to make electric vehicles mainstream in the country and the wider region.”
Saudi Arabia has laid out a number of targets for its own automotive sector, with a focus on creating a sustainable industrial base that will contribute to the country’s GDP growth, promote the transfer of knowledge to the Kingdom and spur job creation. Today, Ceer has more than 400 employees who have already started designing and engineering Ceer’s vehicles.
Ceer was established as a joint venture between Taiwanese tech company Foxconn and the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, the Public Investment Fund (PIF). With 400 employees today, it is expected to create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, mostly for citizens of its home country, Saudi Arabia. The company will design and make vehicles for customers in Saudi Arabia, along with the greater Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Construction will begin early in 2023, and Ceer expects to produce vehicles for pick up in 2025.