Ralph Debbas

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Ralph Debbas
Ralph Debbas on Amwal Mag.jpg
Debbas in 2020
Born1987 (age 34–35)[1]
NationalityLebanese
Other namesRalph R. Debbas
EducationLebanon American University
Coventry University[2]
OccupationCEO of W Motors
Years active2006-present
EmployerW Motors
Known forFounding W Motors
Board member ofChairman and CEO of W Motors
Awards2009
New Designer of Excellence
Trophee de L’Argus[3]
2013
The Visionary Entrepreneur of the Year
2015
The Luxury Arab World Award
BIAF 2015 Award[4]
2019
Automotive CEO of the Year[5]
40 And Under 40[6]
WebsiteOfficial website
Signature
Signature of Ralph Debbas

Ralph R. Debbas (born 1987) is a Lebanese automotive entrepreneur, designer, and businessman. He is best known as the CEO of W Motors, which he founded in 2012, and the designer of the Lykan HyperSport.

Early life and education[edit]

Debbas was born in Lebanon in 1987 to a family of industrialists.[6][7]

Debbas studied economics and began to study graphic design at the Lebanese American University.[4][8] He quit his graphic design course to study automotive design, which he studied with honours at Coventry University[4][2] after turning down an offer from the Pratt Institute in the USA.[9]

Career in the automotive industry[edit]

Before starting development of W Motors, Debbas worked as a designer for Land Rover[10] and Aston Martin.[10][11]

In 2009, Debbas launched Wolf Design and Innovation Group (WDI Group), of which he was listed as Executive Head of Design.[12] WDI Group worked on a variety of projects including boats, furniture and interior design, consumer goods, and graphic/web design,[13] and was active in Beirut and Paris.[14]

The Lykan HyperSport, the first car produced by W Motors and the first of Debbas's production designs

He began development of W Motors and design of the Lykan in 2006,[7] and in 2008 had several design projects sponsored by the European Union.[15] W Motors was officially founded in 2012[16] with the launch of the Lykan HyperSport.[11] It is the first Middle Eastern car manufacturer, making Debbas the first automotive executive in the Middle East.[17][18][16] According to Debbas, the Lykan HyperSport was deliberately extravagant because:

If I had launched an affordable car from the Middle East, nobody would have talked about it… But when you create a shock by selling a $3.4m car – and back in 2013 it was the most expensive car in the world – people will talk, whether it’s negative or positive.[19]

He contributed to the design of the ICONIQ Model 7.[20] The Fenyr SuperSport followed with production beginning in 2018, but was not designed by Debbas.[21]

Debbas launched the W Motors consultancy division in 2019, which now makes up 70% of the company's business.[19] As of 2020, he owns shares and is a director of W Motors Automotive Group Holding Limited.[22] He continues as the CEO and chairman of W Motors S.A.L.[8]

Views on the automotive industry[edit]

Debbas has often spoken on the future of the transportation industry, particularly the impact of automation and electrification on vehicle ownership and manufacture.[19]

Debbas believes that electrification of cars will become widespread and that as the development of self-driving technology advances, traditional car ownership will decline to the point were road transport is provided in a manner he compares to airlines: the role and importance of manufacturers will decline, and cars will be owned by providers.[19][23] Because of this, he predicts his son Karl (born 2016) will never need to or may be unable to own a car or hold a driver's license.[19][23]

He has stated that the Middle East has great potential for a local automotive industry, but lack of relevant knowledge in the region is a limiting factor.[24]

Awards[edit]

Debbas has been the recipient of several business and design awards during his career.

Year Award Conferred by Ref.
2009 New Designer of Excellence ND London [2]
Trophee de L’Argus ARGUS Paris
2013 The Visionary Entrepreneur of the Year CCS [4]
2015 The Luxury Arab World Award Luxury Arab World
BIAF Award Beirut International Awards Festivals
2019 Automotive CEO of the Year CEO Middle East Awards [25]
40 And Under 40 Arabian Business [6]

Personal life[edit]

Debbas has an extensive personal collection of cars produced in the 1990s.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Parasie, Nicholas (19 February 2020). "Dubai Maker of $3.4 Million Supercar Seeks Funds to Go Electric". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c Gallina, Eric; 2012 (27 December 2012). "W Motors: The First Arab Supercar". Form Trends. Archived from the original on 11 May 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  3. ^ "Ralph Debbas". Arab Fashion Council. Archived from the original on 8 September 2018. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  4. ^ a b c d "Ralph R Debbas". World Usability Congress. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  5. ^ "Ralph R. Debbas Automotive CEO of the year". W Motors Blog. 3 October 2019. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "40 Under 40 2019 Ralph Debbas". ArabianBusiness.com. 2019. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  7. ^ a b "Meet Ralph Debbas the man behind the new FENYR SuperSport and Chairman of W Motors". A&E Magazine. 18 November 2015. Archived from the original on 17 May 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  8. ^ a b Debbas, Ralph. "Founder & CEO". W Motors. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 3 December 2019.
  9. ^ Danon, Suzanne, ed. (2017). "Life in the fast lane" (PDF). Rise. No. 1. Coventry University Alumni Office. pp. 34–37. Archived (PDF) from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  10. ^ a b Derhally, Massoud (13 January 2013). "W Motors to make $3.4m sports car in UAE, Qatar". ArabianBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Qatari Sheikh First Owner of the Priciest Lebanese-Made Supercar". Naharnet. 1 February 2013. Archived from the original on 27 December 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2020.
  12. ^ Anderson, Peter (23 July 2012). "W Motors Teases Extravagant Hyper Sport Limited-edition Supercar". Drive. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  13. ^ Gallina, Eric (15 November 2013). "Inside W Motors, Creators of the Lykan Hypersport". Form Trends. Archived from the original on 3 December 2019. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Welcome". WDI Group. Archived from the original on 29 November 2011.
  15. ^ "Ralph R. Debbas: The Innovation Interview". Brulte & Company. 9 December 2013. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  16. ^ a b "W Motors: History". wmotors.ae. 2020. Archived from the original on 9 November 2019. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  17. ^ "W Motors, UAE". info.japanesecartrade.com. Archived from the original on 20 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  18. ^ Webster, Joe. "W Motors: The First Middle Eastern Supercar Maker". A-1 Auto Transport, Inc. Archived from the original on 20 July 2020. Retrieved 20 July 2020.
  19. ^ a b c d e f Hamdan, Lubna (6 April 2019). "Look at me now: W Motors CEO Ralph Debbas". ArabianBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  20. ^ "Studiotorino". Studiotorino.com. Archived from the original on 2 August 2018. Retrieved 29 May 2020.
  21. ^ Workman, Adam (30 November 2017). "Hypercar manufacturer W Motors opens its new Dubai boutique – in pictures". The National. Archived from the original on 19 January 2018. Retrieved 2 March 2020.
  22. ^ "W Motors Automotive Group Holding Limited". Dubai International Financial Centre. 11 November 2019. Archived from the original on 25 February 2020. Retrieved 25 February 2020.
  23. ^ a b Hamdan, Lubna (9 April 2019). "Car brands 'will not exist' in future as shared mobility grows, says W Motors CEO". ArabianBusiness.com. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  24. ^ Monks, Kieron (27 March 2020). "W Motors is set to open the first hypercar factory in the Middle East". CNN. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 24 May 2020.
  25. ^ "Ralph R. Debbas Automotive CEO of the year". W Motors Blog. 3 October 2019. Archived from the original on 28 September 2020. Retrieved 3 December 2019.

External links[edit]