Business in Formula 1 forum showcases Bahrain’s sole sports car assembler and manufacturer during Formula One Grand Prix

April 10, 2014

Manama: Mr. Alaa Alshaikh, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vmotion W.L.L. “(VMOTION”) was a keynote speaker at the “Business in Formula 1”, a unique initiative that brings leaders from the worlds of business and sport together, which took place during this year’s Formula 1 Gulf Air Bahrain Grand Prix.
The event, organised by the Economic Development Board (EDB) and Formula One, was hosted at the Formula 1 Paddock Club from April 4th to 6th, and focused on using the annual Formula 1 race to promote Bahrain to international investors and strengthen ties with the local and international business community.
Speaking at the event, Mr. Alshaikh stated: “It is a great pleasure and honor to be speaking at this unique event which helps showcase the opportunities in Bahrain for investors looking to access the region.  The Kingdom has a lot to offer, including unrivalled access to the Gulf market, which is not only one of the world’s fastest growing exotic and sports car retail markets, but is also worth more than $1.5 trillion dollars.  This event also gives us the chance to showcase the Bahraini skill and talent base in the automotive industry, while promoting government backed programmes that support and encourage the manufacturing sector. This makes Bahrain an ideal base from which to do business.”
He added: “In forming VMOTION we sought to accomplish something that most people said was difficult, if not impossible, to achieve; a local, Bahraini established international sports car manufacturer.  We hope that our success inspires a generation of Bahraini automotive entrepreneurs.”
Speaking on the development of the company Alshaikh added, “Currently, VMOTION is based in the Bahrain Business Incubator Center, which is developed and owned by the Bahrain Development Bank, in the Salman Industrial City”
Like many other automotive businesses, VMOTION is keen to exploit any opportunities that may come along to relocate nearer the Bahrain International Circuit (BIC). “We built our first car in the pit garages at BIC in 2008 and the opportunity to build a permanent facility for our company, at the BIC, would be exactly what is required. Proximity to the BIC will allow us to not only establish a research & development facility, but would also maximize the opportunity to test the cars we manufacture here in Bahrain.”
In closing Alshaikh referred to his passion to see the expansion of the Bahrain automotive sector.  “We are very proud to be a Bahraini company employing a majority of highly-skilled Bahraini staff. Although small at the time being with mainly part-time team members, our plans will eventually see us grow to a work force of around 30 employees with the majority of them Bahraini.”
The ‘Business in Formula 1’ forum featured a series of presentations from a variety of high-profile speakers along with the opportunity to network with Chairmen, CEOs, Managing Directors and Senior Management from many local, regional and international companies. In addition, guests were treated to F1 Pit Lane walks, on-stage interviews with drivers and sports personalities as well as spectacular views of the race from the Paddock Club. As an added piece of entertainment the world-renowned magician “Dynamo” thrilled and fascinated guests with his unique from of magic on the Business in Formula 1 stage.
This year’s ‘Business in Formula 1’ speakers also included Formula 1 personalities such as Formula One racing legend, Sir Jackie Stewart who is well known as one of the best business networkers in the sports industry; Claire Williams, Deputy Team Principal, Williams Grand Prix; Mike Flewitt, Chief Executive Officer, McLaren Automotive; Susie Wolff, the only woman in Formula 1 as the development driver for the William Formula One team; and Hussain Rajab, Business Development Manager, Bahrain EDB.
Sunday’s Gulf Air Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix was the tenth year that the Grand Prix has been hosted by Bahrain, with the first race taking place in 2004. Gulf Air is one of the longest running naming-right sponsors in the sport of Formula 1.
– ENDS –
Notes to editors
About Vmotion
VMOTION W.L.L. (the “Company” or “VMOTION”) is a Bahraini limited liability company specialized in the assembly and manufacturing of sports cars. Incorporated in January 2009, the Company’s mission is to anchor the Kingdom of Bahrain as home to the first Middle Eastern sports car manufacturer and then to grow and become a well-respected global boutique assembler of sports cars. The Company’s manufacturing model is based on the Component Based Car Assembly process (“CBCA”) and is modeled around the empowerment of Bahrainis. The Company’s current primary activities are the assembly and manufacturing of motor vehicles as well as the sales and distribution of complete turn-key vehicles initially in the GCC region. Moreover, the Company is currently working on the establishment of a GCC-Regional Distribution and Maintenance Support Network for the facilitation and support of higher vehicles sales.
Further information please contact:
Economic Development Board
Tel: +973 17 589 966
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