The Saudi automotive aftermarket was in sharp focus today, as industry professionals gathered in Dubai to discuss the increased business opportunities in the Gulf region’s largest market for vehicle sales, auto components and vehicles in use.
More than 85 senior industry figures turned out for the 4th bi-annual Automechanika Dubai Network event, eager to discuss the key to capitalise on a market which, according to the Central Department of Statistics and Information, imported 1,006,248 cars, commercial vehicles, and trucks valued at US$20.9 billion in 2013.
With 7.1 million passenger vehicles on the Kingdom’s roads, demand for spare parts is also on the rise, valued at US$3.8 billion in 2013 according to global analysts Frost & Sullivan, and growing at 7.7 per cent annually over the next five years to reach US$5.5 billion.
And with favourable economic growth coupled with a population of 29.9 million, of which between 30-35 per cent is expected to enter the vehicle market, Saudi Arabia has fully emerged as the new frontier of the Middle East auto aftermarket.
“This is an exciting time for the Saudi automotive aftermarket and all indications are that the Kingdom is on a path of sustained growth,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt, the organiser of Automechanika Dubai and today’s Network event.
“The key is to develop a sustainable and profitable business model in the country and to understand the latest trends that are now impacting the growth of the auto aftermarket trade. The Automechanika Dubai Network event addresses the opportunities and challenges in the Saudi market, where crucial industry insights are shared amongst the industry’s key stakeholders.”
Speaking at the Automechanika Dubai Network event was Subhash Joshi, Senior Automotive Analyst for the Middle East & North Africa at Frost & Sullivan, who said: “The passenger vehicle industry in the KSA is the largest in the Middle East with 714,183 car sales in 2013.
“The industry is expected to grow annually by more than 5.1 per cent to reach one million passenger car sales by 2019/20, and the high demand for vehicles is expected to continue bearing in mind a rising population with high purchasing power, and a high proportion of the younger population between 15-24 years’ old – 21 per cent of the total population. Accordingly, the Kingdom has the largest automotive industry market in the Middle East.”
Prachi Satoskar, Head of Automotive at German Market Research agency GfK, was also on-hand to speak about the key to segmentation of the Saudi Arabian auto aftermarket.
“Saudi Arabia’s love of cars and its fast-growing automobile sector has seen the Kingdom develop into the largest regional market for international car manufacturers and dealers,” said Satoskar. “With new auto manufacturing units and tyre factories on the horizon, Saudi will be the automotive sector hub of the Middle East.
“With the main sector growing so fast, the auto aftermarket has to follow suit, hence Saudi will develop into the Middle East’s most important and largest market.”
The bi-annual Automechanika Dubai Network event is a regular feature of Automechanika Dubai, the wider Middle East & Africa’s largest trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket.
The 13th edition takes place from 2-4 June 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, delivering an unmatched platform for the world’s leading auto aftermarket suppliers and manufacturers to establish long-lasting business relationships with buyers and distributers from throughout the region.
In 2014, Automechanika Dubai featured 1,696 exhibitors from 59 countries, and welcomed 28,709 visitors from 130 countries – 53 per cent coming from outside of the UAE. The global appeal of the three-day event was reinforced with the presence of 22 country pavilions and 37 international trade associations, while 88 per cent of the exhibitors came from outside of the UAE.
Automechanika Dubai 2015 will feature the following product groups: Parts & Systems; Accessories & Tuning; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries and Service Station & Car Wash.
Automechanika Dubai 2015 will also feature the popular Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars and workshops given by leading experts and prominent industry figures. These seminars will focus on key issues that affect the automotive aftermarket.