But carmakers are already putting themselves out there to target millions of potentially new customers in one of the world’s wealthiest countries.
Volkswagen, Ford, Nissan, Land Rover, Cadillac, and Kia already created fresh ads on social media in a bid to be the first to the new market:
According to Bloomberg, Toyota tops Saudi Arabia’s market with 32% of the share, followed by Hyundai, with 24%.
The latter and Nissan are also in discussion to open local plants.
While the announcement that women will finally be able to drive in Saudi Arabia is great news for the country’s human rights, there’s a high probability they’ll still need their fathers’, husbands’ or sometimes even brothers’, sons’ approval to buy a new car.
The male “guardianship” system in the country means men legally control women’s lives from the cradle to the grave, including renting an apartment, filing a claim, being able to work, leave Saudi Arabia, set up a bank account, and so on.
Rebecca Lindland, an analyst for Cox Automotive in the U.S., told The Associated Press:
“If you don’t have credit, if you don’t have money, your male guardian will be the one to decide whether you buy a car or not.”
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