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Brands make inroads in Saudi’s US$7.6 billion auto aftermarket

26 Feb 2019

More than 80 exhibitors from 15 countries line up products and solutions at Kingdom’s foremost auto aftermarket trade fair

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Saudi’s foremost auto aftermarket trade fair opened today (26 February) in Jeddah, with more than 80 exhibitors from 15 countries tapping into the Kingdom’s auto services and spare parts market that’s estimated to grow six percent annually over the next five years.

Running until tomorrow (27th February) at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel, Automechanika Jeddah 2019 arrives in its 3rd edition as new government policies and a significant boost in car parc (vehicles in operation) fuel rising demand for related auto aftermarket supplies a services.

Initiatives such as allowing women to drive in 2018 coupled with a concerted shift toward implementing cleaner technologies is having a positive impact on the market, as is ongoing infrastructure development.

According to global research company Aranca, Saudi’s car parc stood at 7.7 million in 2018, with 350,000 new passenger cars and 115,000 new commercial vehicles sold for the year.  Around 10.5 million vehicles will ply Saudi roads by 2023, including 6.85 million passenger vehicles and 3.65 million commercial vehicles.

The upshot will be felt keenly by industry professionals in  Saudi’s spare parts and related auto services market, which is expected to be worth US$10.15 billion in 2023 says Aranca, compared to US$7.6 billion in 2018. 

Tires contributed the most to the KSA’s spare parts market revenue in 2018, with a 30 percent share (US$2.28 billion).  That’s followed by lubricants (US$1.44 billion), batteries (US$380 million), and other electronics, accessories, and components (US$3.49 billion).

These key product groups, and much more, are on show this week at Automechanika Jeddah 2019, as the two-day event brings together thousands of Saudi workshop owners, distributors, retailers, traders, and importers with manufacturers and suppliers from across the globe. 

Anticipating an enthusiastic response this week, organiser ACE Group and the Automechanika brand Sub-Licensor Messe Frankfurt Middle East announced extended show timings, with doors opening from 10am-9pm on both days.

“Automechanika Jeddah 2019 arrives as the Saudi automotive sector undergoes a sizeable transformation,” said Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Automechanika Jeddah’s Show Director.  “One of the big developments in recent months has of course been the lifting of the ban of women driving, and as a result, since June 2018, more than 40,000 driving licences have been issued to women across the Kingdom.

“Reports also indicate that 20 percent of the female population, or three million drivers, are expected to be added to Saudi roads by 2020, and so not surprisingly, vehicle parc will also grow.  With this new customer segment, the flow-on effect will be felt in the aftermarket, not only in terms of rising demand for spare parts, but also in related auto services.”

Bilkozen added: “We strive to present an unrivalled platform for global suppliers to tap into emerging opportunities in Saudi Arabia, and in Automechanika Jeddah, we’re offering thousands of Saudi trade buyers and professionals an important information source with the latest products and solutions from the global aftermarket,”

Hadi Al-Harith, CEO of ACE Group, added: “The Automechanika brand has established itself as the leading and only exhibition catering to the automobile aftermarket providing a singular opportunity to this industrial cluster supporting the indispensable and expanding requirements of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

“The increasing infrastructure projects, the annual pilgrimage and the new segment of female drivers to the market all portend a strong and continuous business for the international and Saudi stakeholders and to the specialist visitors a vast investment potential.”

Automechanika Jeddah 2019 is expected to attract a large audience of Saudi trade visitors, as they seek solutions across six product groups of Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Repair & Maintenance, Tyres & Batteries, Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning, and Accessories & Customizing.

Among the many exhibitors shining the spotlight on their latest innovations this this week is American-headquartered Armolan, which is launching its IR Ultimate window tints that effectively block up to 99 percent of UV rays and reduce heat by as much as 90 percent in hot Middle East climes.

Tetyana Bianchino, Managing Director of Armolan Middle East, said its sales in Saudi has vastly improved since women have been allowed to drive: “That change (allowing women to drive) was so important for our business and our KSA sales records have improved almost 60 percent since that time (June 2018),” said Bianchino.

“Customer satisfaction is our highest priority, and that’s why we’re doing our best to reach our customers by attending Automechanika Jeddah.  Saudi Arabia is full of opportunity, and the best way to improve sales performance is to participate in these types of shows to inform and educate the market about our products and solutions.”

Another US-based exhibitor this year is Giant, a manufacturer of premium quality metallic and ceramic non asbestos disc brake pads.   Eli Youssian, Vice President of Giant Manufacturing, was also positive about the future of Saudi’s auto aftermarket: “Giant’s market in Saudi Arabia has been increasing rapidly and we’re seeking to expand our participation with new potential and current distributors,” he said.

“Car sales are expected to grow by nine percent per annum until 2025, boosted by women drivers, thus the highly competitive auto parts market will benefit and grow given the substantial new customer segment.

“Giant is introducing at Automechanika Jeddah its new ceramic disc brake pad formulated and designed in Germany,” added Youssian.  “The pads are designed to combine the benefits of semi-metallic pads, which provide the best stopping power, and ceramic pads, which offer low noise and dusting.  This unique formulation provides long-lasting, dust free, quiet performance that’s seemingly tailored to each driver’s style with coverage focused on passenger cars and light trucks and SUVs.”

Meanwhile, UAE Company National Paints is a debut exhibitor at Automechanika Jeddah, and is launching its Numix car refinishing paint system specifically designed to suit all brands of vehicles with an infinite variety of colours.

“The complete Numix system provides superior and protective quality, comprising undercoats, putties, primers, basecoats, topcoats, and protective clear coats along with a variety of ancillaries,” said Samer Saleem Sayegh, Managing Director and Partner at National Paints.

“Customers can also easily replicate and obtain a specific car colour through our Numix software.  We’re launching the Numix auto refinished range for the first time in Saudi Arabia while the Numix additional product range will eventually be rolled out to the rest of the market.

“As a company with a substantial GCC presence, and which has invested especially in the KSA in protective paints, we see the potential for introducing our line of automotive paints,” he added.

Automechanika Jeddah 2019 returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative for products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, while the global presence is underlined by five country pavilions from Turkey, Korea, China, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Also returning is the Automechanika Academy in partnership with Autolink and Institute of the Motor Industry, where C-Level Recruitment in the auto industry and developments in Electric and Hybrid Vehicles are among the key topics discussed by industry experts.

Automechanika Jeddah is one of 17 instalments of Automechanika worldwide, the most successful automotive aftermarket trade fair brand in the world. It will alternate between the Messe Frankfurt-licensed Automechanika Riyadh, which will next take place in 2020.