European auto aftermarket manufacturers line-up latest innovations at Automechanika Dubai 2019

Europe’s dominant position as the world’s biggest exporter of spare auto parts and accessories will be underlined by hundreds of European manufacturers presenting their latest innovations at the Middle East’s largest automotive aftermarket trade fair in Dubai next month.

More than 1,800 exhibitors from 60-plus countries will partake in Automechanika Dubai when it opens for the 17th time from 10-12 June 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, with 350-plus companies hailing from Europe.

It’s estimated that global exports of auto parts totalled more than US$400 billion in 2018, and according to World’s Top Exports, an online data aggregator, European countries accounted for 48 percent of that value, or US$195.6 billion.

Auto parts and accessories are also the 4th most valuable export category in the European Union (EU), behind cars (US$420.9 billion), and processed petroleum oils (US$217 billion), making the automotive sector in particular one of highly strategic importance.

This comes as EU aftermarket and Original Equipment Manufacturers continue to make inroads into the wider Middle East and African (MEA) region, with Automechanika Dubai 2019 presenting a gateway to markets that have otherwise proven to be difficult to reach.

“Automechanika Dubai has for many years brought together the world’s leading manufacturers and suppliers with tens of thousands of trade visitors and buyers, over half of which come from outside of the UAE,” said Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Show Director for Automechanika Dubai.

“Regional aftermarket buyers and distributors from the Middle East and Africa are seeking high-quality solutions and services that Europe is well-known for, and this year they’ll be treated to the very best EU brands.

“Seven of the 23 country pavilions at Automechanika Dubai 2019 will come from Europe, while there’ll be more than 25 European exhibiting countries along with eight supporting European trade associations,” added Mr. Bilikozen.  “This is the only annual opportunity for regional aftermarket professionals to see the very best that Europe has to offer, all under one roof over three days in one of the world’s most dynamic cities.”

According to World’s Top Exports, European exports of auto components and accessories in 2018 grew by seven percent year-on-year, while eight of the world’s top 15 exporters come from the Old Continent.

Topping the global list is Germany, with US$67.1 billion worth of exports in 2018, comprising 17 percent of the total international value, and a seven percent increase over the previous year.

France is the world’s 7th largest automotive parts exporter, with $15.7 billion worth shipped in 2018, followed by Italy (US$15.3 billion, 8th largest), the Czech Republic (US$14.6 billion, 9th), Poland (US$14.3 billion, 10th), Spain (US$11.7 billion, 11th), Romania (US$7.6 billion, 14th), and the UK (US$7 billion, 15th).

These countries will also have a strong presence at Automechanika Dubai 2019, where national pavilions from Germany, Italy, UK, Belgium, Spain, France, and Poland will present the biggest names in the business.

The Spanish presence for example has already grown by 50 percent year-on-year in terms of exhibition space covered, and top companies confirmed to participate this year include the likes of Alkar, Air Fren, Cepsa, Gespasa, B CAR Auto Parts, and Cojali, a manufacturer of premium components for braking and cooling systems.

Javier de la Guía, Sales Director at Cojali said the company plans to launch a telematics solution for fleet managers: “In addition to braking and cooling systems components, Cojali produces advanced diagnostics solutions for commercial vehicles, and we’re launching at Automechanika Dubai 2019 the first and only telematics solution with real-time remote diagnostics,” said Mr. de la Guía.

“This solution links all different parties in the transportation field, including fleet managers, drivers, workshop owners and customers.  We anticipate it will be hugely popular in this region, which has a large commercial road transportation network.”

Air Fren is also eager to reach out to professionals in the commercial vehicle sector, and will present its 2019 portfolio of air brake systems for trucks, trailers, and buses.

Jesús Velilla, CEO and owner of Air Fren said large scale construction and a vast logistics network in the wider Middle East and Africa means demand for the company’s aftermarket solutions will continue to grow.

“The massive construction and logistics operations ongoing in the Middle East and Africa means there’re a lot of need for industrial vehicles to accomplish the many important projects in these areas,” said Mr. Velilla.  “This reflects on the aftermarket as well, and these two markets represent an important percentage of our business in foreign countries.

“Our main reason to exhibit at Automechanika Dubai 2019 is to keep in contact with our existing regional customers, while expanding our business with new distributors.”

Alkar is another Spanish heavyweight at Automechanika Dubai 2019 offering the world’s widest range of wing mirrors and auto lighting. Chief Operating Officer Tomax Negro said: “We’re the only company in Europe specialising in the manufacture and distribution of mirrors and lamps for cars, vans and commercial vehicles.

“Our target is to fulfil customers’ needs, and our products have a tested quality equal to OE-products with market competitive prices.  We’re just starting out and building our contacts in the Middle East and Africa but we’re sure there’s very big potential in this region.”

B CAR too is looking to create fresh business opportunities through its presence at Automechanika Dubai 2019.  The Barcelona-based manufacturer specialises in gearbox cables along with car key shells.

“Our products are niche and uncommon in the market and therefore would be very interesting for the MEA region,” said Luis Carbó, Managing Director of B CAR Auto Parts.  “We’re looking for new opportunities in this region and to also maintain current business relationships.”

Almost half of the entire European continent is covered this year at Automechanika Dubai 2019, with other exhibiting countries in addition to the national pavilions, coming from Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.

The annual three-day event is organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, and covers the six product sections of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customizing; Repair & Maintenance; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Tyres & Batteries.  The 2019 edition will feature four new sub-sections of Agricultural Parts & Equipment; Body & Paint; Motorcycle Parts & Components; and Oils & Lubricants.

A key returning highlight is the Innovation Zone, a dedicated area at the centre of the show floor featuring presentations and product showcases that are steering the course for the regional and global automotive aftermarket.

Other features include the Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,000 exhibitors will showcase their products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, from truck parts and accessories, to workshop equipment, body repairs and care.

The Automechanika Academy (AA) also returns, featuring key presentations such as Dubai’s auto parts and accessories trade in 2018 by the Dubai Customs, along with the findings of a survey exploring innovations in the Middle East automotive industry by global research company Explori.  Other AA highlights include a series of sessions by AMENA and Tiqani, as well as AfriConnections, which explores rising opportunities in the African aftermarket.