Innovation Zone trains spotlight on Middle East’s auto aftermarket future at region’s largest industry trade and networking event
May 1, 2018 - Dubai, UAE: The 16th edition of the Middle East and Africa’s (MEA) largest automotive aftermarket trade and networking event opened today (1 May 2018) in Dubai, featuring 1,812 exhibitors from 61 countries.
Running for three days and spanning 63,350sqm at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Automechanika Dubai 2018 was flagged off by His Excellency Mattar Al Tayer, the Director General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors at Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA).
The biggest names in the global auto services industry are out in force, showcasing their latest innovations across the show’s six product groups of Parts & Components and Electronics & Systems (1,102 exhibitors) Tyres & Batteries (221 exhibitors), Accessories and Customizing (219 exhibitors), Repair & Maintenance (200 exhibitors), and Car Wash, Care, & Reconditioning (70 exhibitors).
With 23 country pavilions and a brand new Innovation Zone at the centre of the show floor in Hall 4, Automechanika Dubai 2018 arrives amid a sense of optimism in a MEA market where sales of auto parts and accessories is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of seven percent over the next five years.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Automechanika Dubai’s organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Research shows that the MEA auto aftermarket was valued at US$22 billion in 2017, with sales of auto parts and accessories across the region estimated to reach US$31 billion by 2022. With a fleet size of 92 million passenger and commercial vehicles, the MEA is still a key market for global and regional aftermarket players.
“Automechanika Dubai has over the past 15 years succeeded in bringing together leading automotive aftermarket brands to this fast-growing region, providing an important opportunity to connect with new prospects, have face to face interactions with existing customers, create brand awareness, and position themselves as reliable suppliers of premium quality aftermarket products and services,” Pauwels added.
Automechanika Dubai 2018 is expected to attract an audience of more than 30,000 trade buyers from 135 countries this week. Those seeking insights into the future of the MEA automotive aftermarket need look no further than the newly introduced Innovation Zone, where top global brands such as Renault, WABCO, and Beissbarth are presenting their latest products that’re ushering in a new era in automotive technology.
Renault, the Innovation Zone’s official sponsor, is showcasing in the dedicated area its ZOE Long Range electric hatchback along with its Twizy two-seater electric vehicle.
Marwan Haidamous, Managing Director of Renault Middle East, said the French manufacturer was the first to bring the electric vehicle (EV) to the market: “The Renault ZOE is still the longest range, affordable EV on the market today with a 300km real time range, and is fully equipped to handle the harsh Middle East weather conditions,” said Haidamous.
“Renault is at the forefront of innovation, and with the current market development, it’s essential that Renault as a brand cements its position as the number one EV selling brand in Europe. We plan to build on that to become the leader in the EV segment race which is currently emerging in the Middle East.”
Automechanika Dubai 2018’s global significance is underlined by the presence of 36 international trade associations, while Messe Frankfurt Middle East expects more than half of the tens of thousands of trade visitors this week to come from outside of the UAE.
An Indian pavilion is among the 23 country pavilions out in force, where around 100 exhibitors and manufacturers are displaying products and services spanning the entire auto aftermarket, from components and tyres, batteries, tractor and harvester combine parts, to spare parts for European trucks, trailers, cars and earthmovers.
Bhaskar Sarkar, the Executive Director and Secretary at EEPC INDIA, the Government body that officially backs the Indian Pavilion, said: “India has great engineering prowess in the automotive sector with a skilled labour force that can develop products and services for the aftermarket sector.”
“At Automechanika Dubai 2017, 46 companies participated under the EEPC umbrella as part of the Indian Pavilion, and feedback from them indicated that orders worth US$5.4 million were booked during the show, while enquiries worth US$19.2 million were also generated. We look forward to similar business prospects at Automechanika Dubai 2018.”
SJE Corporation from Korea is another exhibitor looking to build on the success of previous editions of Automechanika Dubai in the show’s Car Wash, Care, & Reconditioning section. The manufacturer of commercial and industrial cleaning products is launching its Optima Steamer aimed at the car wash, auto detailing, transportation and fleet cleaning sectors.
Mohammed Al-Showair, the CEO of EcoClean, met SJE Corporation at Automechanika Dubai 2014. EcoClean has since become the exclusive representative for SJE’s vapour steam machines in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Oman and Kingdom of Bahrain.
“The increase in water charges coupled with water scarcity and Government sustainability initiatives is encouraging car wash operators to embrace eco-efficient products and solutions,” said Al-Showair. “In the UAE alone, the auto industry contributes close to AED367 billion in trade capital. Thus, there is immense scope for growth and in the car care sector.
“Where a pressure washer can use 150 to 300 litres of water, the Optima steam cleaner can cut that amount down to about four litres per car wash. While many cleaners require an air compressor to operate, the gentle pressure of steam works as an air compressor with a natural sanitizer built-in-one. Additionally, steam cleaning doesn’t produce problematic wastewater runoff,” added Al-Showair.
Automechanika Dubai returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,500 exhibitors are showcasing products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, from truck parts and accessories, to workshop equipment, body repairs and care.
An extended Automechanika Academy programme also offers more insights into the present and future of the MEA automotive aftermarket, spearheaded by the Innovation Zone today (1 May), where a presentation and panel discussion of an in-depth industry survey about the regional automotive aftermarket is among the many highlights.
Day 2 (2 May) will commence with the latest figures of Dubai’s trade for auto parts and accessories in 2017, delivered by Dubai Customs, while the afternoon will be filled with CPD training sessions powered by the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).
The Automechanika Academy also presents the 1st Smart Commercial Vehicles Middle East Conference from 2-3 May, where the latest developments in smart, connected, sustainable and intelligent commercial vehicles is under the spotlight.