French car giant Renault has announced plans to set up a Middle East operational division in a bid to build on sales growth in the region.
Effective from February 1, the company will combine management operations across 12 Middle East countries with a regional office based in Dubai.
The move is part of Renault's plan to become the number one European brand in 2016, it said in a statement.
In 2012, Renault sales in the Middle East grew by 10 percent to reach 116,952 units for a total market share in the region of 4.4 percent, up from 3.5 percent in 2011.
Renault said its new Middle East unit will use the "resources and talents of all Renault teams to maximise Renault's performance and market share".
"As such, Renault will strengthen all its functions in the region through a reinforced proximity to markets," the statement said
From February 1, the following 12 countries will be consolidated under the scope of Renault Middle East - Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria and the UAE.
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Gilles Normand, chairman of the Asia-Pacific region, said: "The creation of Renault Middle East is designed to meet our growth objectives in the overall Asia-Pacific region which represents 50 percent of the worldwide automobile market.
"The Middle East is a very dynamic and high potential market which is strategic for us. This new organisation is clearly a new milestone in our brand development in this part of the world."
Peyman Kargar, Renault Middle East managing director, added: "Our current regional office has shown the way with a significant increase in market share in the GCC from 0.2 percent in 2010 to 1 percent in 2012.
"But Renault deserves more than 1 percent. Our new organisation will be fully transversal between all functions and the 12 countries to seize all business opportunities. Our objective with our partners is to further boost our brand potential and market share in the Middle East."