Dubai, UAE: Automechanika Dubai 2018 came to a successful end last week, with newly inked partnerships, innovative product launches, and educational conference programmes sharing the spotlight at the Middle East and Africa’s largest automotive aftermarket trade fair.
The 16th edition of the annual three-day event concluded on 3rd May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, having welcomed through the gates 27,639 visitors from more than 120 countries.
Trade buyers, dealers, workshop owners, and industry professionals were treated to a wide range of products, solutions and services presented by 1,812 exhibitors from 61 countries, as the buzz on the show floor reflected fresh optimism that Dubai’s regional automotive aftermarket trade hub status is on an upward trend.
According to figures released at the event by Dubai Customs, Dubai imported, exported, and re-exported US$10.9 billion worth of spare parts and accessories in 2017, a three percent increase over 2016. Dubai’s auto aftermarket trade volume also increased year-on-year, with 2.25 million tonnes of tyres, batteries, engine components and systems shipped through the Emirate in 2017, 8.4 percent up on 2016.
“We’re very pleased with the industry response to Automechanika Dubai 2018,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “Exhibitor stands have been busy throughout, and the feedback we’re getting is that there’s greater geographic reach in terms of where visitors are coming from this year, which is crucial for our stakeholders to continue to expand their business links and distribution networks.
“We wanted to shine the spotlight on new products and solutions that are shaping the future of the regional auto aftermarket, and to that end our new Innovation Zone proved very popular,” Pauwels added. “It’s also great to see leading global players in the auto services industry use Automechanika Dubai as a platform to announce new partnerships, underling its important role as a facilitator of business success.”
Pauwels referred to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Automechanika Dubai 2018 between AutoPro, a subsidiary of ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company) and ACDelco, one of the world’s leading automotive spare parts and services brands.
The MoU will see both companies collaborate on a series of service centre locations across the UAE. In the coming year, up to ten sites will become the first AutoPro locations to be certified as authorised ACDelco service centres.
ACDelco, a division of American automaker General Motors, is a regular exhibitor at Automechanika Dubai. Mohammed Al Fayyad, Customer Care and Aftersales Director for General Motors Middle East, said: “ACDelco’s collaboration with AutoPro is all about offering UAE customers the highest levels of convenience and peace of mind when it comes to receiving the very best automotive after sales service.
“A trusted brand with over 100 years of experience, ACDelco is a global leader in automotive replacement parts and related services; and now, with AutoPro, a staple of auto maintenance in the UAE, car owners will be able to benefit from the expertise of both companies’ combined expertise in both aftersales parts and service.
Automechanika Dubai covers the six product groups of Parts & Components and Electronics & Systems (1,102 exhibitors in 2018) Tyres & Batteries (221 exhibitors), Accessories and Customizing (219 exhibitors), Repair & Maintenance (200 exhibitors), and Car Wash, Care, & Reconditioning (70 exhibitors).
Wolf Oil from Belgium was one of the headline Repair & Maintenance exhibitors, and was showcasing its latest range of oils and lubricants for both passenger cars and heavy duty, off-road vehicles.
Damien Lecompte, Sales Director of Middle-East & Africa at Wolf Lubricants, said: “Automechanika Dubai is a vital touch point for Wolf, where we can talk directly to our partners, get acquainted with their changing needs, and to show how Wolf constantly innovates to enhance and maintain the performance of customers’ engines in the region.
“The Middle East and Africa is a booming market for us, and we’re looking to expand,” added Lecompte. “We’ve had a lot of new potential prospects at Automechanika Dubai 2018 from the African region and Saudi Arabia, so it has been a great success.”
Automechanika Dubai 2018’s global significance was underlined by the presence of 23 country pavilions and 36 international trade associations, while more than half of the tens of thousands of trade visitors in 2018 came from outside of the UAE.
Among these was Maher Al Houti, the owner of Al Maher Company for spare parts and service centres in Oman, who was looking for spare parts manufacturers: “We’ve visited Automechanika Dubai several times and it has met our expectations as usual,” said Al Houti.
“We’ve identified possible deals with spare parts manufacturers that we’ll look to finalise, and we look forward to seeing how the show will cater to the electric vehicle side of the aftermarket in future years. Other than that, it’s an amazing event for spare parts and other sectors.”
Automechanika Dubai returned with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,500 exhibitors showcased 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 offered more insights into the present and future of the MEA automotive aftermarket, spearheaded by the Innovation Zone, where global players such as Renault, WABCO, and Beissbarth presented their latest products that’re ushering in a new era in automotive technology.
The Automechanika Academy also presented the 1st Smart Commercial Vehicles Middle East Conference, where the latest developments in smart, connected, sustainable and intelligent commercial vehicles was under the spotlight.