Dubai, UAE: The Middle East’s potential as a key growth region for the automotive aftermarket will be underlined by a healthy international presence at the industry’s largest regional trade fair in Dubai, with global players eager to tap into a market that was valued at US$15 billion in 2018.
Automechanika Dubai 2019 is set to welcome more than 1,800 exhibitors from 61 countries when doors open for the 17th time in June at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with participating companies expressing optimism about future business growth.
Connected cars, ride hailing services, and an increasing consumer base are key trends driving the market according to global research company Aranca, while in the Gulf region, the Dubai Expo 2020, and the decision to allow woman to drive in Saudi are other key discussion points keeping industry players hopeful.
According to Aranca, in 2018, the Middle East’s car parc (vehicles in use) crossed 21 million, with new passenger cars sales reaching 1.03 million units and commercial vehicle sales comprising 270,000 units for the year.
Approximately 27 million vehicles are expected to be in operation in the Middle East by 2023, comprising 18 million passenger cars and nine million commercial vehicles. The auto aftermarket is therefore also expected to observe a steady rise, and will reach a value of about US$18.5 billion by 2023 compared to its US$15 billion value in 2018, says Aranca.
The market potential underlines the confidence voiced by exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai 2019, and they’ll put their best foot forward when the annual three-day event opens from 10-12 June 2019.
Among these is Cyprus headquartered ALCO Filters, which will build on its millions of dollars of revenue generated every year in the Middle East with its vast range of 3,500 filters.
Loizos Louca, ALCO Filters’ Managing Director, said a lot of that growth is thanks to its exposure to the regional auto aftermarket via Automechanika Dubai: “ALCO Filters has grown by 480 percent since we started exhibiting at Automechanika Dubai which coincided with our focus on the Middle East and African (MEA) region since 2010,” said Louca.
“Automechanika Dubai has changed over the last five years, becoming more and more prominent regionally and internationally. Our plans to expand in the MEA region are in line with the expansion of the show and its the visitor profile.
“At the show this year, we’ll launch our private label ALCO Lubricants. These are top quality, German-made Lubricants for the complete range of passenger vehicle, light and heavy commercial vehicle applications.”
Italian exhibitor UFI Filters, a global leader in filtration technology, is another returning exhibitor to Automechanika Dubai in 2019, and will this year highlight its Original Equipment (OE) pedigree for both light and heavy-duty vehicle applications.
“We are still new comers to the Middle East market and our growth is still far from the potential we can capture, but our business plan is very aggressive as well as solid,” said Luca Betti, Group Aftermarket Business Unit Director at UFI Filters.
“We foresee 2020 as the most important in terms of growth, nevertheless a double digit increase is ongoing for 2019. As a leading supplier of complete solutions for fluid filtration and thermal management, UFI Filters will present at Automechanika Dubai 2019 its latest innovations, such as its revolutionary OE technology in engine air filtration, UFI MULTITUBE, and its new generation of cabin air filtration.”
Elsewhere, American-headquartered Armolan is another Automechanika Dubai 2019 exhibitor that has high hopes in the region. The manufacturer will this year showcase its wide range of sun protection films along with the launch of its new patented paint protection films.
Tetyana Bianchino, Managing Director of Armolan Middle East, said: “We’re seeing potential growth in Saudi Arabia as they are now issuing driving licenses to women. And of course here in the UAE with the upcoming Dubai Expo 2020 that is expected to create a ripple effect on the whole GCC region.
“We’re optimistic with the investments that will be coming in; in the Dubai Expo 2020; and with the growth of the emerging taxi cab hailing applications that will surge demand,” added Bianchino.
More than 90 percent of exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai are international, making it a truly global gathering for automobile parts, accessories and supplies, while organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East expects a large turnout from the aftermarket trade, with more than 31,000 trade visitors and buyers expected to attend.
Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Automechanika Dubai’s Show Director, said the 2019 edition will also be held with the support of 34 international trade associations, while the participation of 24 country pavilions underlines its global footprint.
“Automechanika Dubai over the years has transformed into a trade event of truly global scale, thanks to its continued track record of innovation, targeting and fine tuning its offerings in line with the particular market requirements,” said Bilikozen.
“Middle East and African demand for the automotive service industry and aftermarket products will remain robust, with growth largely fuelled by demand from existing vehicle parc and the expected improvement of car sales moving forward.
“Automechanika Dubai is relevant for wholesalers, manufacturers, retailers, traders, auto-builders, specialist workshops as well as those who are involved in fleet or transport operations,” added Bilikozen. “The show is a one-stop-shop for those wishing to source their aftermarket needs, from tyres, oils, lubricants, coolants and filters, to batteries, brakes, electrical parts, lights, to other accessories and car components.”
Automechanika Dubai 2019 comprises the six product sections of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customizing; Repair & Maintenance; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Tyres & Batteries. The 2019 edition will also feature four new sub-sections; Agricultural Parts & Equipment; Body & Paint; and Motorcycle parts & components.
Automechanika Dubai 2019 returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,500 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.
Also back is the Innovation Zone – a dedicated feature at the centre of the exhibition floor providing fresh insights into new technologies shaping the future of the global automotive aftermarket.
It will also feature the Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars, presentations, and workshops about key issues and regulations affecting the automotive aftermarket, and IMI CPD workshop certifications.