Automechanika Riyadh show targets booming Saudi market


RIYADH — The inaugural edition of Automechanika Riyadh opened for business on Monday (Feb. 5), where more than 150 exhibitors from 21 countries are showcasing their latest solutions to the automotive aftermarket in the Kingdom’s Eastern and Central regions.

The show was inaugurated by Eng. Mansour Abdullah Al-Shathri. Vice Chairman of the Board of Riyadh Chamber at Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Spanning 6,500sqm, and running for three days at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Automechanika Riyadh 2018 features country pavilions from Germany, USA, Turkey, Korea and China, underlining the importance of the Saudi auto parts, maintenance, and services industry to the global aftermarket community.

The biennial three-day event is organized by Messe Frankfurt Middle East in partnership with Saudi-based ACE Exhibitions, alternating between the existing Automechanika Jeddah. The two trade fairs combined offer a dual gateway to Saudi’s entire aftermarket and auto services industry, from Jeddah, Makkah, and Madinah to the West, and Dammam, Dhahran, and Al-Khobar to the East.

There was an enthusiastic response on the opening day from trade buyers and transport, fleet and logistics decision makers, as they had direct access to the world’s leading aftermarket brands across six product groups of Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories & Customizing, Repair & Maintenance, Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning, and Tyres & Batteries.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “With nearly half of Saudi’s 8,500 aftermarket outlets located in the Eastern and Central regions, it made sense to introduce a dedicated Automechanika trade fair in the Kingdom’s Capital.

“Saudi Arabia is already the Gulf region’s largest auto aftermarket, with revenues from tires, batteries, lubricants, and other engine components and accessories valued at more than $7.1 billion in 2017.

“Early estimates had projected the market to be worth $8.9 billion by 2021, however with the recent decree allowing women to drive this year, the figure will likely be much higher. But for now, Automechanika Riyadh is presenting a vast range of solutions, ensuring visitors this week are up-to-date on the latest innovations keeping trucks and cars running smoothly, from powertrains, lighting, and electrical systems, to oils, lubricants, paintwork and corrosion protection,” Pauwels added.

Automechanika Riyadh’s Launch Partners include O2Proformance, a provider of innovative auto care products that enhance the efficiency and appearance of automobiles, and Samir Odeh Group, which specialises in the distribution of Original Equipment Manufacturer parts from Europe.

They’re joined by some of the biggest names in the aftermarket business, including GIC Brakes from the USA, German companies Alanko and Sortimo, Dongnam Corporation from Korea, Spanish company Blinker, and LEMA from Italy, a manufacturer of spare parts for European trucks and buses.

The brand’s global Truck Competence initiative has also gained traction at the Riyadh instalment, with 36 exhibitors showcasing a range of products that span the entire commercial vehicle value chain, from parts and accessories, workshop equipment, to body repair and care.

Leading UAE distributor and manufacturer Mineral Circles Bearings (MCB), is showcasing its full range of bearings for Japanese, Korean, European, and American car applications. Managing Director Hassanein Alwan said the company has high expectations for Saudi’s automotive aftermarket.

“Apart from its proximity to our home here in the UAE, Saudi Arabia is interesting for us because it has the car market in the GCC, making it an important territory for the automotive industry,” said Alwan.

“Almost 70 percent of our Saudi business is in the central and eastern regions. The west is known for the automotive market while the east is dominated by bearing companies which is beneficial for us.”

As for the expected influx of women driving on Saudi roads, Alwan added: “We foresee a 20-30 percent increase in car sales this year but for the aftermarket sector, we expect a significant growth by year 2020. All in all, this change is a good preparation for Saudi Vision 2030.” — SG