General Motors has appointed a managing director specifically to lead the company's operations and strategy for Saudi Arabia.

"Saudi Arabia is GM's largest market in the Middle East, so it is absolutely vital that we have a strong leader who has an extensive background in the industry and this market," said Mario Spangenberg, president and managing director of GM Africa and Middle East Operations.

"With his wide-ranging experience in the region, Luay has an in-depth and intuitive understanding of our customers' needs. This will be instrumental in our plans to strengthen our business in Saudi Arabia."

In his newly created role, Al Shurafa will drive key strategic initiatives to drive growth and focus for the company in the Kingdom.

Al Shurafa began his automotive industry career 20 years ago. He has worked with GM in the Middle East for 17 years. For the past four years, he has served as director of customer care and aftersales for GM Middle East Operations. He has also held several positions within the finance, sales and marketing functions.