Dubai, UAE: Passenger vehicle numbers in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are estimated to increase at an average of 7.4 per cent annually over the next four years, growing from 14.35 million in 2015 to 19.1 million by 2020, new research has revealed.
Despite a slight decline this year, vehicle sales in the GCC will stabilise in 2017, before a cumulative growth phase from 2017-2020 puts the region back on track as the Middle East and North Africa’s largest automotive market.
According to analysts Frost & Sullivan, Saudi Arabia will hold the lion’s share of cars on GCC roads, with 10.03 million vehicles by 2020 – 52.5 per cent of the entire regional market.
The UAE will have 3.53 million vehicles, an 18.5 per cent share, while the rest of the region, which includes Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Bahrain, will have 5.54 million vehicles – Kuwait being the largest followed by Oman and Qatar.
The revised forecast of vehicles in operation on GCC roads was released ahead of Automechanika Dubai 2016, the Middle East and Africa’s largest trade and networking fair for the automotive aftermarket, taking pace from 8-10 May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
According to Frost & Sullivan, the average age of cars in the region will increase to eight years in 2020. By then, 0-3 year-old vehicles will contribute 27 per cent of units in operation, while cars aged 10 years and older will dominate the market, holding a 31 per cent share.
“The growth of car numbers on GCC roads combined with an aging fleet will drive demand for automotive aftermarket spare parts and services,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Automechanika Dubai’s organiser, Messe Frankfurt Middle East.
“Demand for spare parts – excluding tyres and batteries – in the GCC alone will be worth US$11.9 billion by 2020, up from an estimated US$7.6 billion in 2015. The good news is more than 2,000 exhibitors from 60 countries will line-up at Automechanika Dubai 2016, which targets the growing regional market for auto parts, services, accessories, tyres, batteries and auto components,” added Pauwels.
Now in its 14th edition, Automechanika Dubai 2016 will focus on the six core product groups of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Accessories & Customising.
The annual exhibition regularly attracts some of the world’s biggest automotive aftermarket players, including Midwest Truck & Auto Parts, the USA’s largest manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket heavy-duty replacement parts.
Orlando Serna, Vice-President of International Sales at Midwest Truck & Auto Parts, said the company will be looking to grow its customer base in the region with its expanded product line servicing major Japanese makes such as Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Hino.
“Our presence is fairly new in the Middle East and African region,” said Serna. “Our goal is to bring our expertise, our commitment to quality and continual improvement to the wider region’s automotive aftermarket in the same fashion that we provide our current customers in the USA and worldwide.”
UAE-based Central Trading Company (CTC), is a regular exhibitor at Automechanika Dubai, and will represent its entire range of more than 25 world-renowned automotive aftermarket brands this year, including the launch of its Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tyre.
Mohammed Aqel, General Manager of CTC, said they will also showcase No-H2O, a waterless car washing solution from Ireland that’s certified for use on Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft in addition to trucks, vehicles, boats, buses and motorcycles.
“No-H2O uses no water in comparison to traditional car washes that waste an incredible amount of 132 litres of water,” said Aqel. “It’s made from a scratch-free formula which emulsifies the dirt particles, leaving behind a polished finish unlike any other car wash product available.”
Automechanika Dubai 2016 is expected to attract more than 30,000 visitors from 134 countries. Its global appeal will be underlined by the presence of 21 country pavilions and 38 international trade associations, while 88 per cent of exhibitors, and more than half of the visitors are expected to come from outside of the UAE.
Automechanika Dubai 2016 returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 900 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.
It will also feature the popular Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars and workshops given by leading experts and prominent industry figures. These seminars will focus on key issues that affect the automotive aftermarket.