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Canoo Announces Deal to Sell EVs in Saudi Arabia

3 min read

Publicly traded electric vehicle maker Canoo Inc. said Wednesday that it signed an exclusive agreement with GCC Olayan for the sale, service and distribution of Canoo fleet vehicles in Saudi Arabia. 

GCC Olayan is a multinational subsidiary of Olayan Saudi Holding Co. (Oshco) of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It owns companies in the food and beverage, restaurants, health and personal care, business-to-business, and energy services sectors.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a news release, Canoo said the first phase of the deal is for the sale, distribution, service maintenance and repair of Canoo vehicles. It also said the two will work to develop a joint venture to launch “a digital vehicle ecosystem for service maintenance repair, local assembly and eventually manufacturing.”

“Our agreement to bring Canoo’s award-winning vehicles to the region is grounded in our mutual commitment to customer service,” Canoo Chairman and CEO Tony Aquila said in a news release. “The Olayan Group is a global business leader with decades of experience in distribution partnerships with some of the world’s leading brands and they are a proven partner to support EVs in the region.”

Olayan Saudi Holding Co. CEO Uwaidh K. Al-Harethi said that Oshco, through its operating companies, has introduced many international brands, products and services in Saudi Arabia. 

“We recognize that there is a growing demand for sustainable mobility solutions in Saudi Arabia, partly driven by the Kingdom’s launch of the Saudi Green Initiative and its pledge to achieve net zero by 2060,” Al-Harethi said. “With that in mind, we are pleased to sign the product and service distribution agreement with Canoo and are proud to be the exclusive distributor of its electric vehicles in our market.”

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman launched the Saudi Green Initiative in 2021, aiming for “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2060. And under the kingdom’s Vision 2030 plan, announced by the prince in 2016, the country is promoting electric vehicle adoption and sustainable mobility.

The companies said Canoo’s vehicles and “advanced mobility digital solutions” will meet fleet needs in the industrial, transportation, delivery, tourism and retail sectors.

Canoo, which has said it is moving its headquarters to northwest Arkansas, has previously announced electric vehicle deals with the U.S. Army, NASA and Walmart Inc. of Bentonville.

The Army is evaluating Canoo’s Light Tactical Vehicle, or LTV, for use in operational and garrison environments. It awarded a $67,500 contract to Canoo in July to develop the vehicle.

NASA has a $147,855 agreement with Canoo for development of astronaut transport vehicles.

The electric vehicle maker also has major orders from Walmart and fleet providers Kingbee Rentals LLC of West Valley City, Utah and Zeeba Co. Inc. of Los Angeles.

Still, Canoo’s losses have widened and cash has been tight. But Aquila told investors in a third-quarter earnings call in November that the company is well-positioned to benefit from the federal Inflation Reduction Act, which includes billions of dollars in incentives for domestic electric vehicle manufacturing.

Shares of Canoo (Nasdaq: GOEV) were trading up almost 8% Wednesday to $1.37 per share.

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