Dubai, UAE: The record-setting run of Automechanika Dubai continues to roll on unabated, recording a 19 per cent year-on-year visitor growth in 2014.
The recently concluded 12th edition of the Middle East’s premier auto aftermarket trade event attracted 28,882 trade buyers from more than 130 countries at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
With 1,696 exhibitors from 59 countries, the three-day showcase, which took place from 3-5 June 2014, featured a greater variety of international participation, product launches, regional debuts and market interaction than ever before.
This comes as recent figures reinforce Dubai’s position as a leading import and re-export hub driving the auto aftermarket trade between Asia and Europe with the Middle East and Africa.
According to Dubai Customs, the Emirate’s slice of the aftermarket trade in 2013 grew by eight per cent over the previous year to total US$10.8 billion. While imports rose by four per cent, exports and re-exports rose by as much as 13 per cent in 2013.
“Automechanika Dubai continues to assert its role as the leading barometer for the regional automotive aftermarket,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt.
“Dubai’s growing importance as a crucial hub driving regional aftermarket trade underlines the tremendous growth potential of the industry. This is reflected in Automechanika Dubai as the premier platform for international brands to interact with the regional market.”
With 22 country pavilions and 37 international trade associations, the global flavour at Automechanika Dubai was evident throughout. Exhibitors were upbeat about the large number of trade enquiries and business leads generated, while international and local players pulled out the stops to interest visitors in their latest innovative product lines.
Regular German exhibitor Schaeffler Group was highly positive about their 2014 outing. Managing Director Ioannis Marios Vrantzoglou said: “We’ve exhibited at Automechanika Dubai almost since the beginning because it’s the most important exhibition for the automotive aftermarket in the region.
“The show is at the top of our marketing activities, and we attract a lot of visitors from Iran, the GCC, Egypt as well as from Eastern Europe that are looking for different trade connections. The show has been brilliant, we’ve had more visitors to our stand than previous years, and we are very happy to be a part of the German Pavilion this year.”
Munetaka Kamiya, General Manager of the Aftermarket Business Unit at Japanese company Denso Corporation, spoke about the potential of the region: “The Middle East and North Africa is expanding year by year, which means there is a huge potential to grow here,” he said. “We see a bright future in the industry, and this positive outlook is reflected in the overall impression at Automechanika Dubai 2014.
“The event has been very successful for us. We’ve had a lot of quality business leads to our stand this year and we will definitely come back next year.”
Mirroring this positive mood was Oweis Zahran, Regional Director of Saudi company OWS Autoparts, which recently established itself in the Middle East. “This is our second time exhibiting at Automechanika Dubai,” said Zahran.
“We will make Dubai the hub for us to reach the rest of the Middle East and Africa because of the market reception we’ve been getting here. It’s been a great show for us and the reception that we’ve had has just been phenomenal.
“About 40 per cent of the business generated so far in 2014 has come about as a result of exhibiting at the Automechanika Dubai last year, so it’s important for us. Most of our customers are government customers from around the region, and we receive a lot of customers from Africa and Russia.”
Marcel Van Eeuwen, CEO, of Dutch powerhouse Intertruck Group, added: “Automechanika Dubai is the ideal platform for us to be here because 60 per cent of all the exhibitors here are in the truck and trailer business.
“The show covers the whole of the Middle East as well as East Africa so we can reach more customers here. We first exhibited at Automechanika Dubai seven years ago when we entered the market because we knew that everyone involved in the automotive aftermarket comes here. The show has grown from then on, and we have picked up loads of contacts from being an exhibitor at the show, not only from within the Middle East, but also from Africa and even back in Europe where we are based.”
While exhibitors were beaming at Automechanika Dubai, visitors also reaffirmed the event as the favoured hunting ground to source reliable suppliers of auto spare parts and accessories.
Chidi Iwuanyanwu, Director of Two Ocean Oil & Gas in Lagos, Nigeria, said: “Automechanika Dubai offers us the ideal platform to meet suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors from across the world.
“We can source any kind of products and establish new business partnerships here. I’ve been visiting since 2011 and will return for many years ahead.”
Tunden Anokoya, also from Nigeria, who was sourcing new auto suppliers, added: “Automechanika Dubai makes it very easy for us to do business, which separates it from other Western markets where complications can arise. The exhibition is unmatched in terms of convenience, location, and scope and it’s never a waste of time coming here, we always come away with something.”
Automechanika Dubai covers a wide spectrum of products, including automotive parts, systems, tuning, workshop equipment, bodywork & paintwork, car wash, IT & management, tyres & batteries, and the latest automobile services.
The two-day Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars and workshops given by leading experts and prominent industry figures, continued to be extremely popular, with a large number of trade visitors, industry professionals and government representatives attending the informative sessions.
The record-breaking run of Automechanika Dubai returns next year bigger and brighter than ever, taking place from June 2-4, 2015 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Show website: www.automechanikaDubai.com