Al-Futtaim Automotive has appointed Jacques Brent as the new managing director for Toyota & Lexus UAE.
As he takes the helm of two of the UAE’s most best-selling automotive brands, Brent’s mission will be to propel the business forward across diverse verticals and achieve planned improvements, and develop future-proof solutions to create a seamless omnichannel experience.
Over a nearly 30-year automotive career, Jacques has amassed diverse expertise, including senior level positions in marketing, finance, sales and business management in Ford, while also steering the pre-owned sector advancement of South Africa’s largest independent dealer group, Halfway; a stint which added to his experiences.
Jacques enjoyed a 24-year career with Ford, starting at Ford’s South Africa operation in 1995, and culminating in a role as global director, product marketing at Ford’s HQ in Dearborn, Michigan. In this role, he was responsible for alignment between Ford’s Marketing and Product Development activities, including improving the product planning process, representing the voice of the customer for all Ford and Lincoln products globally, and leading pricing strategy.
Brent’s first experience in Asia-Pacific came with a move to Ford’s Shanghai office to take on the role of executive marking director for the Asia Pacific and Africa region, following a successful term as vice president of marketing, sales and service for Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa. Jacques then served as the president of Ford Middle East & Africa, where he led the company’s operations across 70 markets at the newly-launched business unit headquartered in Dubai.
During the latter part of his career, Jacques was deeply involved in Ford’s transition to electric vehicles, experience which will prove pivotal in supporting Al-Futtaim Automotive’s sustainable mobility strategy.
Commenting on the appointment, Brent shared, “I am extremely excited to join Al-Futtaim Automotive, the UAE’s automotive market leader, in a time of global challenges and huge opportunity. As the industry moves into an era of unprecedented disruption, being able to work with Al-Futtaim Automotive to develop the highly regarded Toyota and Lexus brands, which are household names in the UAE, through this transition will be a highly rewarding experience. I look forward to meeting these challenges with the exceptional level of service excellence that customers have come to expect from Al-Futtaim.”
Also speaking on the future of mobility and aligning the business with the wider vision of the UAE on sustainability, Brent said, “The speed at which the UAE’s National Smart Mobility and electrification objectives are progressing is truly impressive. This, together with vehicle connectivity, will be the largest disruption to the automotive industry in this decade. In the UAE, the government has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050, and I look forward to guiding Toyota and Lexus in supporting the UAE leadership’s efforts towards green mobility and electrification for the years to come.”
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