(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Leading names in the global auto services industry are out in force at Automechanika Dubai - which opened on Tuesday at the World Trade Centre - to vie for increasing their share of the $22 billion regional automotive aftermarket.
Mattar Al Tayer, director-general and chairman of the board of executive directors at Dubai's Roads and Transport Authority, inaugurated the trade event showcasing the latest innovations of the world's leading players.
The 16th edition, lining up 1,812 exhibitors from 61 countries, features six product groups, including the biggest, the Parts & Components and Electronics & Systems.
With 23 country pavilions Automechanika Dubai 2018 arrives amid a sense of optimism in a regional 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 sales of auto parts and accessories across the region are estimated to reach $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."
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 to the market.
An Indian pavilion comprising 100 exhibitors is among the 23 country pavilions at the show.
Bhaskar Sarkar, Executive Director and Secretary at EEPC INDIA, 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. Indian Consul General Vipul attended the opening of the pavilion.
"At Automechanika Dubai 2017, 46 companies participated under the EEPC umbrella, and feedback from them indicated that orders worth $5.4 million were booked during the show, while enquiries worth $19.2 million were also generated. We look forward to similar business prospects at Automechanika Dubai 2018," said Sarkar.
Korea Tirade-Investment Promotion Agency said 38 auto parts companies are participating.
"The strong Korean participation reflects our automakers' growing regional presence," said Kotra's Regional President Kwon Yongsuk.
He said the quality of Korean auto parts plays a big role in the growing popularity of Korean automobiles in the UAE and the GCC.
Yongsuk said Korean auto parts firms seeking to expand in the GCC market are not thinking short term only. "We believe that the demand for auto parts will bounce back as the economy makes a comeback in the region."
Issac John Associate Business Editor of Khaleej Times, is a well-connected Indian journalist and an economic and financial commentator. He has been in the UAE's mainstream journalism for 35 years, including 23 years with Khaleej Times. A post-graduate in English and graduate in economics, he has won over two dozen awards. Acclaimed for his authentic and insightful analysis of global and regional businesses and economic trends, he is respected for his astute understanding of the local business scene.