Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia’s vast automotive aftermarket is under the spotlight this week, as more than 300 industry professionals attend a three-day roadshow examining ways to boost access to the Kingdom’s US$2.6 billion market for auto parts and accessories.
The Automechanika Roadshow to Saudi Arabia is currently touring the commercial centres of Jeddah (today), Riyadh and Dammam, as manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, traders, key buyers, and government representatives discuss the latest industry trends and business processes in the GCC’s largest automotive market.
The annual roadshow is a regular feature ahead of Automechanika Dubai 2017, the Middle East and Africa’s largest automotive aftermarket exhibition, and Automechanika Jeddah 2017, Saudi Arabia’s dedicated aftermarket show.
It comes as Saudi continues to lead the way as a major market for the global automotive industry and aftermarket, fuelled by rising population growth and a relatively high purchasing power.
According to analysts Frost & Sullivan Saudi’s passenger vehicle count is estimated to grow to more than 10 million by 2020, comprising nearly 53 per cent of the Gulf region’s total vehicle count.
The kingdom is also home to 8,440 audited automotive aftermarket outlets according to another analyst GfK, while a further 5,991 spare part handlers are dotted across the country.
“The Automechanika Roadshow to Saudi Arabia is designed to better understand the fundamentals of doing business in the Gulf region’s most significant automotive aftermarket,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organiser of Automechanika Dubai and Automechanika Jeddah.
“Saudi Arabia and the wider regional automotive aftermarket is set to benefit from the overall growth of the automotive sector, driven by a growing youthful population, rising levels of disposable income, and greater public and private investment.”
The Automechanika Roadshow to Saudi Arabia is partnered with WABCO, while key speakers include Prachi Satoskar, Head of Automotive at GfK Middle East, and Fawawz Maalouf of Intertek, who is speaking about the KSA Standards Conformity Program.
The most recent edition of Automechanika Dubai in May 2016 featured 2,017 exhibitors from 58 countries, and attracted 30,018 visitors from 138 countries. The 15th edition will take place from 7-9 May 2017 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Meanwhile, the 2nd edition of Automechanika Jeddah, organised in partnership with Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE), will take place from 31 January – 2 February 2017 at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events, as more than 180 exhibitors from 25 countries take aim at the Kingdom’s thriving aftermarket.
Figures released by Saudi’s General Authority for Statistics showed Saudi imported US$2.53 billion worth of auto parts and accessories, passenger and commercial vehicle tyres, and batteries in 2015, while re-exports in the same year was worth US$51 million.
Parts and accessories was the largest import product group, valued at US$996.5 million, followed by passenger car tyres (US$715.5 million), tyres for trucks and lorries (US$615.3 million), and automotive batteries (US$209.7 million).
Asian producers Japan and South Korea featured predominantly as major source countries, with 64 per cent of batteries coming from South Korea. Japan was the largest source country for passenger tyres (30 per cent of imports) while it also led the way in parts and accessories (24 per cent of imports), followed by South Korea (15 per cent) the USA (15 per cent), Germany (10 per cent), and France (7 per cent).