How is Automechanika Dubai looking on the run up to the 2013 edition?
Automechanika Dubai 2013 is certainly shaping up well. With a little over a month left for the show, we are expecting it to be at least 15% larger than last year. The countries of the Middle East continue to be an extremely attractive market for the automobile sector. A recent report by Automechanika Dubai's Knowledge Partner Frost & Sullivan, estimated that the consumption in the GCC automotive aftermarket reached as much as US$ 7.54 billion in 2012.
Does the automotive aftermarket continue to be driven by imports and re-exports?
Apart from tyre manufacturing to a certain extent, most of the automotive aftermarket in the region is driven by imports. Re-exports to regions not easily accessed from the source countries also forms a significant part of the trade. According to Dubai Customs, the total value of the auto parts trade in Dubai was worth US$9.9 billion in 2011, with imports comprising $5.9 billion and the rest exports and re-exports. The complete automotive aftermarket figures for Dubai in 2012 will be revealed during the Automechanika Academy taking place alongside the exhibition.
Automechanika has proven to be a very successful exhibition in your portfolio, could you brief us on the reasons why?
Now in its eleventh year, Automechanika Dubai has become the definitive aftermarket trade event for the region. With wide international reach and a footprint across the wider region, including Western Asia, Eastern Europe, the CIS and Africa, the exhibition tracks the development of what is now a highly professional industry that is constantly evolving.
From a single-hall event at the start, today Automechanika Dubai attracts over 21,000 trade buyers from more than 100 countries and features over 1,300 international and regional exhibitors. It is recognised as one of the fastest growing trade fairs in the Middle East.
Automechanika Dubai's metamorphosis into a mega trade event is also due to the industry-wide support as well as the backing of local authorities. The show has also benefited hugely from Dubai's status as a trade and transhipment hub and being the focus of the regional aftermarket trade.
How do exhibitors benefit by participating in Automechanika Dubai?
The regional automotive aftermarket holds out enormous potential which is largely yet to be tapped, with research from Frost & Sullivan indicating that the consumption of auto components across all categories in the GCC is set to grow to US$14.4 billion by 2016.
Participation at Automechanika Dubai brings exhibitors keen to make an impact on new and hard to reach markets in touch with trade buyers from Western Asia, Eastern Europe, the CIS and Africa. Exhibiting at Automechanika Dubai gives manufacturers and suppliers direct access to buyers and decision makers. Exhibitors can enhance their visibility and build brand awareness around the region. The exhibition also provides a valuable sounding board for exhibitors to test market reactions to new product lines and it facilitates the forging of new alliances and helps to generate fresh business leads.
Could you give us an idea of the exhibitor profile for Automechanika Dubai 2013?
There has been a significant increase in the number of UAE exhibitors signing up for Automechanika Dubai 2013, with 22% more local aftermarket companies taking up 31% more exhibition space as compared to last year. Among the international contingent, the US Pavilion is double in size over last year and there are new country pavilions from The Netherlands and Indonesia. Also in the fray for the first time are exhibitors from Macedonia, Malta and Armenia, underlining Automechanika Dubai's growing international stature.
Furthermore, last year we put a greater emphasis on exhibitors with Truck Competence products and as a result there will be a marked increase in visibility of aftermarket products for trucks and commercial vehicles at this year's edition.
Could you detail the products that make up the aftermarket trade in the region?
Some of the important products imported into the region include tyres & tubes, spare parts, auto engines, air & vacuum pumps, electric parts and generators etc. Among the product groups being re-exported to the wider region are spare parts, engines & parts, tyres & tubes, vulcanized rubber & bearings and electric parts. Automechanika Dubai which is divided into five distinct product sections, namely Parts & Systems, Accessories & Tuning, Tyres & Batteries, Repair & Maintenance and Service Station & Car Wash, will showcase the latest trends and developments across the spectrum of the aftermarket trade.
What are the major source and destination countries for the aftermarket trade?
According to Dubai Customs, Japan, China, South Korea, Germany, and USA were the leading countries of origin for aftermarket imports into Dubai in 2011. The leading markets for exports and re-exports in the same year were Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait and Pakistan.
Could you list some of the key areas that will be in focus at this year's exhibition?
Tyres & Batteries are bound to be an area of high interest at Automechanika Dubai. Featured as a dedicated section, the Tyres & Batteries sector is expected to attract keen interest from international manufacturers and suppliers, especially as vehicle battery sales in the UAE have surged by 25-30% since 2010 according to recent research from Frost & Sullivan. Auto components are also another segment under the spotlight with estimates indicating that regional trade in auto components in 2016 is set to nearly double that of 2012.
What about the Automechanika Academy this year?
The Automechanika Academy this year has been attracting an industry-wide response and a large number of delegates are expected to attend. The Academy will feature a high-powered panel of experts making presentations on key issues that affect the international automotive aftermarket. They will explore current market scenarios and discuss future developments and trends in the industry.