Fenyr and Lykan hypercar manufacturer breaks ground on new production facility
After barely 8 years from start, W Motors takes the plunge and splurges on a new $100 million factory to completely overhaul their production capabilities. The facility, expected to cover 11,000sq.m in its first phase, will lie in the Silicon Oasis industrial area of Dubai. Expected to be completed by the end of 2020, it is set to enable W Motors to host dedicated production as well as R&D facilities, and will even count with specific machinery to mold their signature Carbon Composite chassis.
The event was hosted by Mr. Ralph Debbas, W Motors founder and CEO, and attended by H. H. Sheikh Ahmad Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority. Also present, Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, its Vice-Chairman and CEO, showed the support of Dubai and its institutions towards fostering innovation and industry development.
Other than their Uber-Exclusive hypercar and Custom Project vehicles, the company is expanding its outlook into EV and self-driving technologies, in cooperation with Iconiq Automobiles from China. We are yet to see how that will translate into the availability of these models globally.
How many Goliath’s for just a few David’s
Companies with tradition and leverage the size of the Empire dominate the automotive field with and iron grip. These tend to manufacture in countries where the market is massive and access to both ancillary industrial facilities, as well as economies of scale. The choice of W Motors to establish in the Middle East is actually quite unique as well as smart.
True that the network of technical expertise, materials, machinery and support in the region may be somewhat limited. But on the other hand W Motors’ products are extremely niche at this point. Plus the disadvantage of these limitations could be surpassed by the immediate access to one of their core audiences.
Challenging field, but certainly possible
Making inroads into this industry is extremely hard. We all remember the hardships of Jaguar and Land Rover. Petrol heads like me cringed when Saab ceased to be. Lotus seems to live in a continuous state of fright and the name of MG, cornerstone of British Cars, flew to China never to come back. Smaller manufacturers of sportscars are no different. Evidence of this is the recent pause in activity of Mastretta, the Mexican manufacturer.
That said, Pagani is still going strong, Tesla is finally starting to breathe and Koenigsegg keeps on launching new cars. So it’s possible. And the moves W Motors seem to be making make quite a lot of sense. From looking into EVs from the start, to focusing on high margin / high performance exclusives, to partnering up with technology giants. The move to subject themselves to Nasdaq transparency requirements, in order to facilitate access to investors and credit, is both brave and daunting.
And finally, to look into immediate engagement with the local academic environment to enhance the impact a hi-tech company can have in the community. Moves that enhance credibility from every angle.
We wish them the best of luck and expect great things from them in the near future. From our side, we will start saving to buy the wall poster.