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An upward trend of both vehicle sales and spare parts demand across the Middle East has been welcomed by global automotive aftermarket players, as they ready themselves for the return of the region’s largest automotive service industry trade fair in Dubai.
While macroeconomic factors negatively impacted vehicle sales in 2016, analysts Frost & Sullivan expect renewed growth from 2017 onwards. According to their research, new car sales in the Middle East is estimated to grow nine per cent annually, reaching 4.4 million by 2020, and bringing the total number of vehicles in operation to 44.5 million.
That coupled with an average vehicle age of nearly eight years means demand for automotive aftermarket products and services in the Middle East is also on an upward growth curve; revenue from engine and car components, systems, tyres, and auto accessories, is estimated to reach US$17.27 billion by 2020, growing annually by 5.9 per cent.
A regional market full of opportunity will be underlined by Automechanika Dubai 2017, where more than 2,000 exhibitors from 55 countries will showcase their latest wares to thousands of trade buyers and decision makers from throughout the Middle East, Africa, and further afield.
Taking place from 7 – 9 May 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, the annual three-day event will arrive with the biggest aftermarket brands on-board, spread over six product sections of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customising; Repair & Maintenance;Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Tyres & Batteries.
With more than 1,400 exhibitors combined, Parts & Components, and Electronics & Systems comprise the largest portion of Automechanika Dubai, and features global stalwarts such as brakes manufacturer Brembo from Italy, Delphi from the UK, and Japanese drivetrain systems manufacturer, Exedy.
Toshihiro Abe, the Vice-president of Exedy, said the company hopes it can maintain its market share, with the forecasts in the regional market painting a positive picture for its future business.
“We’ve generated new business for our automatic clutches while trade is also growing in Africa in recent years,” said Abe. “Exedy continues to hold a large share in both domestic and international markets, establishing 40 group companies and covering 23 countries worldwide.
“Our participation at Automechanika Dubai will increase our brand awareness and promote our products, both for existing customers and new prospects. In this way we hope to expand our business to African and the South Asian markets,” he added.
Meritor, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of axles for the heavy duty industry, is returning to Automechanika Dubai 2017 for the third straight year. The American-headquartered Fortune 500 Company views the Middle East and African automotive aftermarket as one of its key growth markets.
Stefan Kaltenbach, the Managing Director for Meritor in Europe and the Middle East and Africa, said: “We want to grow in the Middle East, where we recognise a great potential of cooperation with parts distributors and potential fleets.”
“Automechanika Dubai is becoming one of our most important platforms for meeting customers and having the chance to display our company and our offerings, while it also enables us to explore new territories and meet trading companies operating in their respective markets. We are excited to be able show our competencies in coaches and buses, trucks and trailers with existing and new product ranges.”
Added Kaltenbach: “Spare parts demand for buses and coaches continues to grow across the region, for which we have exciting new solutions that customers in Europe and also in the Middle East trust in.”
Elsewhere, UAE-based Al Dobowi, an eminent global player at the forefront of tyre and battery industry, is among the 200-plus exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai’s Tyres & Batteries section.
From research and design, manufacturing and distribution, to retail and service, Al Dobowi is involved in every aspect of tyre management solutions, and also the largest battery manufacturer in the region.
“Automechanika Dubai has been a good platform for networking ever since we participated in its very first edition,” said Surender Kandhari, the Chairman of Al Dobowi Group.
“It has now grown significantly as showcased by its various versions in other cities. The Dubai exhibition has driven annual increase of exhibitors and visitors alike giving us opportunity to engage with industry partners and peers mostly from Middle East, Africa and Asia.”
Automechanika Dubai’s global influence is underlined by the presence of more than 20 country pavilions and 35 international trade associations, while 90 per cent of exhibitors, and 51 per cent of visitors are expected to come from outside of the UAE.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Automechanika Dubai’s organiser, said: “Automechanika Dubai is already among one of the world’s top five international trade fairs for the automotive aftermarket, and what makes it unique is that it connects suppliers from all over the world with a diverse mix of visitors that would otherwise be virtually impossible to reach.
“But it’s not just a platform to showcase products and meet new customers. It’s an important stage to open dialogue with existing contacts, find solutions to any issues they’re facing, and plan business strategies year-on-year. It’s also an ideal opportunity for automotive aftermarket stakeholders to bring technical awareness to the market, and this is something we’ll look to build on in the coming years,” he added.
Automechanika Dubai 2017 returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,000 exhibitors will showcase their products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, from truck parts and accessories, to workshop equipment, body repairs and care.
It will also feature the popular Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars, presentations, and workshops about key issues and regulations that affect the automotive aftermarket, and the African Buyer-Seller Meet, connecting suppliers with buyers from the world’s second largest continent. More information about Automechanika Dubai is available at: www.automechanikadubai.com.