RIYADH, February 8 (CIC) – Local, regional and international automotive aftermarket representatives gathered this week in the Saudi capital for Automechanika Riyadh 2018, where exhibitors from across the world pitched their auto parts, maintenance and services.
More than 150 exhibitors from 21 countries participated in Automechanika Riyadh, which took place from February 5 to 7 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Center.
Country pavilions from Germany, the USA, Turkey, Korea and China underlined the importance of the Saudi auto parts, maintenance and services industry to the global aftermarket community. Top-tier global participants included GIC Brakes from the US, German companies Alanko and Sortimo, Dongnam Corporation from Korea, Spanish company Blinker, and LEMA from Italy, a manufacturer of spare parts for European trucks and buses.
According to the event organisers, the Saudi automotive aftermarket is expected to grow significantly thanks to the decision to allow women to drive from June 2018 as well as other recent economic reforms in the Kingdom.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East GmbH, the event co-organiser, said: “Saudi Arabia already has more than eight million passenger vehicles in operation, and this will increase significantly in the coming years, with potentially nine million new drivers added to the roads.
“Automakers will be the first to benefit, along with banks and insurance companies that finance and underwrite new car purchases. However, the aftermarket comes next, when these additional cars require regular repair and maintenance, replacement parts, tyres, batteries, accessories, car care and grooming. The immediate impact on the aftermarket won’t be felt, but certainly in years to come there will only be good news.”
Regarding the size of the automotive aftermarket in KSA and in the region, and the latest growth projections, Pauwels said: “Saudi Arabia is already the Gulf region’s largest auto aftermarket, with revenues from tyres, batteries, lubricants and engine components and accessories valued at more than USD $7.1 billion in 2017. Early estimates had projected the market to be worth USD $8.9 billion by 2021, however with the recent decree allowing women to drive this year, the figure will likely be much higher.”
The fair, which occupied an area of about 6,900 square meters, provided exhibitors with direct access to the world’s leading vehicle-service brands across six product groups: spare parts and components, electronics and systems, accessories and customization, repair and maintenance, car washes and service stations and retrofit, and tires and batteries.
Automechanika Jeddah 2017 took place in February, drawing about 184 exhibitors from 26 countries and more than 5,000 trade visitors to the Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events, according to Saudi-based Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE Exhibitions), the events’ co-organiser in Saudi Arabia.
“Saudi Arabia’s automotive aftermarket is vast. While we already had an Automechanika in Jeddah, we felt that, based on our exhibitor and visitor feedback, it would be beneficial for all stakeholders if we were to introduce another Automechanika in Riyadh,” Pauwels said, explaining the decision to hold the event in the Saudi capital.
“Both shows now provide a dual platform serving the Kingdom’s auto services industry in its entirety, from Jeddah, Makka, and Madinah to the West via Automechanika Jeddah, and Dammam, Dhahran and Al Khobar to the East via Automechanika Riyadh. Additionally, roughly half of Saudi Arabia’s 8,500 aftermarket outlets are located in the Eastern and Central regions, so Automechanika Riyadh is perfectly situated to serve these businesses.”