Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: The inaugural edition of Automechanika Riyadh opened for business today (5 February), where more than 150 exhibitors from 21 countries are showcasing their latest solutions to the automotive aftermarket in the Kingdom’s Eastern and Central regions.
Spanning 6,500sqm, and running for three days at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Automechanika Riyadh 2018 was inaugurated by Eng. Mansour Abdullah Al-Shathri. Vice Chairman of the Board of Riyadh Chamber at Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The biennial three-day event is organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East in partnership with Saudi-based ACE Exhibitions, and features country pavilions from Germany, USA, Turkey, Korea and China, underlining the importance of the Saudi auto parts, maintenance, and services industry to the global aftermarket community.
It will alternate between the existing Automechanika Jeddah, with the two trade fairs combined offering a dual gateway to Saudi’s entire aftermarket and auto services industry, from Jeddah, Mecca, and Medinah to the West, and Dammam, Dhahran, and Al Khobar to the East.
There was an enthusiastic response on the opening day from trade buyers and transport, fleet and logistics decision makers, as they had direct access to the world’s leading aftermarket brands across six product groups of Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories & Customizing, Repair & Maintenance, Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning, and Tyres & Batteries.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “With nearly half of Saudi’s 8,500 aftermarket outlets located in the Eastern and Central regions, it made sense to introduce a dedicated Automechanika trade fair in the Kingdom’s Capital.
“Saudi Arabia is already the Gulf region’s largest auto aftermarket, with revenues from tyres, batteries, lubricants, and other engine components and accessories valued at more than US$7.1 billion in 2017.
“Early estimates had projected the market to be worth US$8.9 billion by 2021, however with the recent decree allowing women to drive this year, the figure will likely be much higher. But for now, Automechanika Riyadh is presenting a vast range of solutions, ensuring visitors this week are up-to-date on the latest innovations keeping trucks and cars running smoothly, from powertrains, lighting, and electrical systems, to oils, lubricants, paintwork and corrosion protection,” Pauwels added.
Automechanika Riyadh’s Launch Partners include O2Proformance, a provider of innovative auto care products that enhance the efficiency and appearance of automobiles, and Samir Odeh Group, which specialises in the distribution of Original Equipment Manufacturer parts from Europe.
They’re joined by some of the biggest names in the aftermarket business, including GIC Brakes from the USA, 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.
The brand’s global Truck Competence initiative has also gained traction at the Riyadh instalment, with 36 exhibitors showcasing a range of products that span the entire commercial vehicle value chain, from parts and accessories, workshop equipment, to body repair and care.
Leading UAE distributor and manufacturer Mineral Circles Bearings (MCB), is showcasing its full range of bearings for Japanese, Korean, European, and American car applications. Managing Director Hassanein Alwan said the company has high expectations for Saudi’s automotive aftermarket.
“Apart from its proximity to our home here in the UAE, Saudi Arabia is interesting for us because it has the car market in the GCC, making it an important territory for the automotive industry,” said Alwan.
“Almost 70 percent of our Saudi business is in the central and eastern regions. The west is known for the automotive market while the east is dominated by bearing companies which is beneficial for us.”
As for the expected influx of women driving on Saudi roads, Alwan added: “We foresee a 20-30 percent increase in car sales this year but for the aftermarket sector, we expect a significant growth by year 2020. All in all, this change is a good preparation for Saudi Vision 2030.”
Apex of Gulf meanwhile, as the official Saudi representative for German conglomerate ZF Group, is enticing wholesalers, retailers, as well as fleet and workshop managers with world-renown brands under the ZF umbrella, such as SACHS, Lemförder, and TRW.
Ravi Kumar, Head of Sales at ZF IAM in the Middle East, said: “We’re offering a premium range of quality brands, products and aftermarket service with service partners and trained engineers and technicians across the Middle East. In Saudi Arabia, we expect to achieve a minimum growth target of 7-10 for the first and second quarter of 2018 and up to 15-20 percent growth in 2019.”
Automechanika Riyadh is the 17th global instalment of Automechanika, the world’s most successful automotive aftermarket trade fair brand. It will alternate between the Messe Frankfurt and ACE-organised Automechanika Jeddah, which will next take place in February 2019.
Hadi Al-Harith, CEO of ACE Exhibitions, said: “As Saudi Arabia strides into the New Year with reforms focusing on economic diversification, ACE with its partners Messe Frankfurt Middle East subscribe to this vision in expanding Automechanika to Riyadh – the Kingdom’s capital.
“At ACE, we’re proud to be part of this drive opening new vistas of business opportunities for the Kingdom’s economy, and allowing international companies to be part of this diversification initiative covering the wider regions of Saudi Arabia.
“The aftermarket sector is part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, being one of the focal points of the industrial cluster. Saudi Arabia’s automotive industry is the largest in the Middle East and Africa and this lays the foundation for the spare parts, maintenance and related industries,” added Al-Harith.
More information about Automechanika Riyadh 2018 is available at: www.automechanikariyadh.com.