Regional auto industry veteran Simon Frith to take charge of operations in the kingdom
Nissan has announced the appointment of Simon Frith as the new managing director of Nissan Saudi Arabia, effective from June 1.
Frith, who has spent almost a decade in the GCC’s auto industry, will be based in Jeddah and report to Samir Cherfan, managing director of Nissan Middle East, who until now has been running Nissan’s operations in Saudi Arabia directly. Nissan said in a statement that the new appointment will “accelerate strategic decision making, bring a greater focus on the important KSA market, and enable Cherfan to focus on overall regional management of Nissan’s business in the Middle East”.
“Saudi Arabia is a key market for Nissan. Simon has already demonstrated his auto industry prowess in senior operational roles, and his business acumen and deep regional experience will help us boost our expansion and fuel Nissan’s future success in the Kingdom,” said Cherfan.
The appointment follows Nissan’s establishment of a direct presence in Saudi Arabia in 2013 in the form of Nissan Saudi Arabia, which currently has approximately 50 employees. The company said in the statement that it will ramp-up the number of outlets in its network in the coming months in conjunction with its Saudi partners, Alissa Auto and Petromin. Staff strength could also rise to as many as 80 employees in the future, it added.
Frith joins Nissan from his most recent position as business director of the Lexus Division at Al Sayer Group, which he held since 2015. He has also served as managing director, marketing services, for Abdul Latif Jameel developing customer strategies for Toyota and Lexus, and has spent more than six years as the head of Al Futtaim Motors in Dubai.