| GEO Business|
| Saudi King unveils first Saudi-made car|
| Updated at: 2325 PST, Tuesday, June 15, 2010|
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on Monday unveiled Saudi Arabia's first car, which was manufactured by engineers at King Saud University (KSU) in Riyadh. The car is named Ghazal 1.
Higher Education Minister Khaled Al-Anqari thanked King Abdullah for his continuous support of the Kingdom's higher education, adding that this has resulted in the manufacturing of the new car. "This is the fruit of your support," Al-Anqari told the king, adding that students of the university's Faculty of Engineering had been working on the project for the last two years.
"What is achieved today is a clear proof of the ability of Saudi youth to make innovations and inventions ... if they are provided with adequate facilities and given opportunities," the minister said.
He described the making of Ghazal 1 as a turning point in the Kingdom. "It also shows that we have capable people who can transform ideas into products of high economic value," he said. "This is a national strategic product and KSU holds its patent rights and intellectual property rights," he added.
Professor Said Darwish of KSU's industrial engineering department said the car model was based on tests of category development (wheelbase) in collaboration with several major companies such as Motorola, Mercedes and Magna Canada.
The students were given full freedom to design. Ghazal 1 is 4.8 meters long with a width of about 1.9 meters.
"This car is designed for use on all roads and terrain, even in difficult conditions, while the car interior is designed to provide comfort for passengers," Darwish said.