Dubai, UAE: The upward trend of commercial vehicles on GCC roads and corresponding demand for aftermarket parts and services is leading global manufacturers to stake the region out as a key growth market.
Driven by continued investment in commercial, logistical and industrial infrastructure, demand for trucks and buses in the Gulf remains high. Analysts Frost & Sullivan (F&S) estimate that sales of commercial vehicles (CVs) in the region increased 13.4 per cent yearly between 2009 and 2014, bringing the total of units in operation to 1.2 million.
That number will rise to 1.8 million by 2020, which in turn will fuel demand for CV spare parts and accessories, the value of which is estimated to reach US$5.49 billion by 2020, up from US$3.38 billion in 2014, and representing a compound annual growth rate of 8.4 per cent.
According to F&S, maintenance and mechanical parts such as bulbs, filters, spark plugs, belts, brakes, pumps, alternators and thermostats make up nearly 71 per cent of regional demand, while collision parts in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait are also highly sought after.
The good news is some of the world’s largest aftermarket players that provide automotive replacement parts and services for trucks and buses are gearing up for next month’s Automechanika Dubai trade show, which takes place from 8-10 May 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
More than 900 of the three-day event’s 2,000-plus exhibitors will be part of the Truck Competence initiative, covering the entire CV value chain, from parts and accessories, workshop equipment, body repair and care.
“Truck Competence has enjoyed remarkable growth since it was first introduced at Automechanika Dubai in 2012, with exhibitor numbers having more than doubled over the past five years,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Automechanika Dubai.
“This underscores the increasing interest that exists in the wider Middle East CV aftermarket, which is particularly relevant within sectors such as vehicle fleet operations and maintenance, shipping companies, construction, freight or logistics, auto builders and specialist workshops.”
Among the foremost Truck Competence exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai is German manufacturer SAF-Holland, one of the world’s leading trailer axles and suspension system manufacturers, and Mann+Hummel, an industry leader in filter technology.
“We are the only German manufactured filter company that stocks automotive and industrial filters for the Middle East market,” said Axel Grossman, Managing Director of Mann+Hummel Middle East.
“The Middle East and Africa has always been a high growth market which is why there are many international companies setting up offices in the region, and especially in the UAE which is the most preferred trade hub. Since we began stocking our own automotive and industrial filters in Dubai in 2012, we have racked up a CAGR of 20 per cent.”
Elsewhere, Indian manufacturer BKT is launching its latest series of tyres in the All Steel OTR (off-the-road) segment, specifically targeted toward port, construction, earthmoving, and materials handling applications.
Rajiv Poddar, Joint Managing Director at BKT, said: “BKT operates in the ‘Off Highway’ segment where there is an ongoing requirement of new sizes and patterns for various applications. Due to this, product development is at the forefront in BKT and Automechanika Dubai provides an excellent platform to showcase our new range developed specifically for Middle East market.
“Our new manufacturing facility at Bhuj, Gujarat is now fully operational, which has given us additional capacity and range for our All Steel OTR Radial sizes required for this region.”
Wolf Oil, a lubricants manufacturer from Belgian, and one of Europe’s leading independent blenders, is one of the headline Service Station and Car Wash exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai 2016 with a strong Passenger Car and Truck Competence portfolio.
Nicolas Bailly, the Regional Sales Manager for Wolf Oil, said: “At Automechanika Dubai, we will focus on innovative products adapted to the Middle East for the PCMO (Passenger Car Motor Oil) and HDMO (Heavy Duty Motor Oil) markets. We will also present new and innovative products for the automotive industry, with a special focus on new products for Volvo, Ford and BMW.”
“The Middle East and Africa is crucial for us, and we plan for the region to represent around 40 per cent of our Wolf and Champion lubricant brands’ business over the next five years,” added Bailly. “We can even say for this region, we could triple our volume in that period. An ambitious plan, but it’s a challenge we are ready to face with full confidence.”
Other major international aftermarket names at Automechanika Dubai with considerable Truck Competence portfolios include American companies Johnson Controls, the world’s largest manufacturer of automotive batteries; Jost International, which specialises in products such as landing gear, fifth wheels, and hydraulic cylinders; Meritor; and Dana, a worldwide supplier of powertrain components.
Magneti Marelli, an Italian manufacturer of systems, modules and high-technology components, will also be out in force alongside fellow European heavyweights from Germany, Schaeffler Group, BPW, and ZF.
Automechanika Dubai 2016, the Middle East and Africa’s largest trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket, will feature more than 2,000 exhibitors from 60 countries, and is expected to attract 30,000-plus trade visitors from 134 countries.
The 14th edition of the three-day event focuses on the six core product groups of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries; Service Station & Car Wash; and Accessories & Tuning.
Automechanika Dubai 2016 will also feature the Spare Parts and Maintenance Conference on the 9th May as a part of the Automechanika Academy. The Automechanika Academy is a regular feature bringing together international industry experts, relevant government authorities and key industry players to discuss the most pressing issues in the industry and analyse the changing trends in the market.