By Shereen Shbnam
How businessman Mohammad Redha transformed Deals on Wheels into a leading independent luxury automotive dealer in the UAE
The timing could not have been less opportune. UAE businessman Mohammad Redha started Deals on Wheels, one of the most exclusive and trusted names in the luxury automotive segment, in 2007. This was a year before the bottom fell out of the global economy. Millions of jobs were lost worldwide, businesses collapsed, and to say the exotic automotive segment was struggling would be a desperate understatement.
But fortune favours the brave. Despite Herculean challenges, and there were several, Mohammad chose to focus on building a resilient business. His single-minded focus on his vision meant the problems soon receded into the background and Deals on Wheels began to grow at an unprecedented pace. ‘’I avoided the distractions of the negative market sentiment and focused on my vision. I am a market leader, not a follower,’’ says Mohammad.
As CEO of Deals on Wheels, Mohammad plays a key role developing new business and client relationships fostered on trust. ‘’I spend a great deal of my day maintaining positive communications with new and existing clients.
A large part of my job entails taking care of the needs of my clients, text messages, phone calls, face to face meetings, you name it, I am always available when my clients need me,’’ he adds.
This customer-centric approach, combined with the relationships and trust he has built in the exclusive one-percenter circle, has catapulted Deals on Wheels to the spearhead of independent dealers of luxury cars in the UAE.
The showroom has Porsches, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and even limited edition one-of-a-kind Bugatti Veyrons. For a marque that starts at about AED8,000,000, these limited run models are incredibly rare and virtually impossible to come by. Deals on Wheels has sold some of the most expensive and desirable vehicles in the world.
‘’With cars like special edition Veyrons, money isn’t enough to snag one. Securing these cars is extremely difficult and we have managed to do that for our exclusive clientele, who rely on us for these very large purchases. In fact, we’ve sold around 10 Veyrons in the past 10 years,’’ says Mohammad.
To put that into context, Bugatti approximately sold 50 Veyrons in the UAE. In essence, a tenth of all the Veyrons on the UAE’s roads are from Deals on Wheels, a massive achievement indeed for a boutique dealership. ‘’There isn’t a day that passes without the delivery of a supercar. I have had many proud moments, but opening our new state-of- the-art showroom on Sheikh Zayed Road was a great achievement,’’ adds Mohammad.
The Sheikh Zayed Road showroom, which is the third Deals on Wheels outlet in the UAE is one of the largest of its kind in the country. Walking into the stunning dealership is akin to stumbling upon petrol head utopia.
It’s a veritable candy shop for someone who loves cars. ‘’We have one of the most remarkable selection of cars in the country. Cars like the 1,150-horsepower Koennigsegg Agera. With a global annual production of just 15 units, it isn’t exactly common place. As well as the Aston Martin Logonda which is one of few in the UAE.,’’ says Mohammad.
But it’s not just about multi-million dirham motors. Deals on Wheels also boasts substantial inventory of entry level sportscars and SUVs too. ‘’Our business strategy is continuing to grow our share within the local market and to attract new clients whilst looking after existing clients.
There are key drivers to our growth but the one that I focus on most is sourcing new stock. We achieve this by purchasing cars outright, trading them in or consigning them. We are the leaders in consigning vehicles and will continue to offer customers the opportunity to consign their cars and only pay a small commission once their car has been sold,’’ explains Mohammad.
Like any deft organisation at the heart of Deals on Wheels’ operations is the customer. Everything the company does places the needs of the customer ahead of anything else. This means understanding their customers’ desires is of paramount importance to Deals on Wheels.
‘’We like to get involved with exhibitions and keep up to date with social events to ensure we network with as many people as possible. It’s important for us as a brand to stay current and know what’s going on in the market and what customers want,’’ adds Mohammad.
While Deals on Wheels regularly organise special events for their customers, charity is something that figures prominently on their corporate agenda. ‘’Deals on Wheels are also very much into giving back, charity is important to us. Our most recent event was hosted at IMG Worlds of Adventure where we raised AED 75,000 for The Al Jalila Foundation,’’ says Mohammad.
With growing economic uncertainty, the future of the luxury automotive market is decidedly uncertain. No one knows the challenges it may throw up or the shape of things to come. Deals on Wheels would likely be just fine. They’ve done it before after all.