Saudi Arabia, a major oil giant and head of OPEC, is gearing up to launch the EV brand Ceer.
The country's prime minister and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced the plans on Thursday as the latest in a long list of initiatives supporting his Vision 2030 plan aimed at reducing the country's dependence on oil.
Saudi Arabia, via its Public Investment Fund (PIF) sovereign wealth fund, is already the biggest shareholder in the U.S. EV brand Lucid, with a holding of more than 60%. Now it wants its own EV brand to support local industry and jobs. Saudi Arabia's other automotive-related initiatives include establishing a plant for Lucid vehicles in the country, as well as a battery plant.
PIF estimates that Ceer will create 30,000 jobs (direct and indirect) and an additional $8 billion for Saudi Arabia's GDP by 2034. Both sedan and SUV models are planned, and the first is scheduled for launch in 2025. Ceer will initially focus on Middle Eastern and North African markets, but the plan is to expand to other markets, including potentially the U.S.
Saudi Arabia isn't going it alone with the launch of Ceer. The new EV brand is a joint venture between the PIF and Taiwanese contract manufacturer Foxconn. An Apple iPhone supplier, Foxconn recently launched its own Foxtron EV brand and plans to build EVs under contract for multiple brands, including the development of the Fisker Project PEAR EV and acquiring GM's former Lordstown plant in Ohio to help beleaguered Lordstown Motors.
Foxconn has been tasked with developing the electrical architecture for Ceer, including technologies related to infotainment, connectivity, and self-driving systems.
Ceer vehicles will also use technology licensed from BMW, though no specifics were provided.
The launch of Ceer is also part of Saudi Arabia’s broader sustainability efforts. The country's national oil company, Aramco, is also working with Formula 1 to develop a 100% sustainable fuel to be introduced to the motorsport in 2026.