17,421 trade visitors from 120 countries attended Automechanika Middle East
Automechanika Middle East 2011 concluded on 9 June with confirmation that it was the largest international automotive aftermarket trade fair in the wider Middle East region. According to data provided by the exhibitions organisers, 17,421 visitors from over 120 countries attended the show, with a 52 per cent of them described as international visitors. In addition there were 1,102 exhibitors from 52 countries.
Overall the show was said to have grown 18 per cent, with a near 9 per cent increase in trade visitors. The top five visiting countries to this year’s exhibition after United Arab Emirates (UAE) were Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India and Kuwait. And all this came at a time when Dubai’s direct trade in the automotive aftermarket for first quarter of 2011 enjoyed an 11 per cent increase over the same period in 2010.
Dubai enjoyed 11 per cent growth in Q1 2011 as preferred logistics hub for auto parts
Ahmed Pauwels, chief executive officer, of organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt expressed his satisfaction on the great results, stating: “This show has grown from strength to strength, year on year. Now in its 9th edition we are absolutely delighted with the results which clearly puts it on the annual calendar for anyone involved with the automotive aftermarket. It really has established itself as a truly international and must attend trade exhibition.”
“The UAE especially has grown in significance as a major importer, exporter and re-exporter of automotive related products and Automechanika Middle East now attracts a large part of this growing interest thanks to its extensive line-up of leading manufacturers and suppliers. We already look forward with gusto to next year’s edition which will represent yet another milestone for the event as it will mark a decade in the market here for us,” Pauwels added.
This year the organisers sought to increase the show’s tyre and accessory focus as well as its well-established aftermarket emphasis. One way of doing this was to feature tyres more prominently in the Automechanika Academy which saw some high profile names share their views on the tyre market including representatives from Bridgestone Tyres, Al Dobowi Group and Zafco (see separate article for more on this).
There were reports of “numerous deals being done and contracts being finalised by key buyers and decision makers from around the Middle East and Central Asia,” but in addition manufacturers chose Automechanika Middle East as the stage to launch a raft of new products into the region – the reach and reputation of the event in the automotive world making it a vital part of most company’s promotional campaigns.
One debutant to Automechanika Middle East was Zafco, distributor of automotive tyres, batteries and lubricants. Company CEO, Gopiraj KV, commented: “Our debut at Automechanika Middle East indicates our clout as an industry leader. Our clear plan is to go in for wider distribution that will give us extensive reach among the customers in this region.” (see separate article for more on Zafco).
Access to regional and international markets
“Automechanika Middle East is a good regional platform for us and gives us good exposure in the Middle East and Gulf countries. This trade show is cost effective for us as we could not possibly visit all the countries in the region to promote our products, but we can reach them here,” said Asad Abbas Badami, MD of A-Map (Al Muqarram Auto Parts). “In this show we are creating awareness for our products Solite Batteries, and Fenix Tyres, which we import from Korea, Indonesia and China.”
Meanwhile according to Derya Deniz, senior marketing consultant for Bosch, the well-known German brand was focusing on UAE and GCC countries in its fourth year in Automechanika: “We are getting clients from Turkey, GCC and Africa and are expecting to grow our business.” KYB sales manager, Feras Hammeh said that the company was also focusing on increasing business contacts in the GCC and Africa in a bid to increase growth in the emerging markets.
NSK and the Rolman Group exhibited the company’s range of bearing products and also spoke of being suitably impressed by the results from the show and the industry in general. NSK European aftermarket director Tim Green stated: “Exhibiting together at Automechanika Middle East is one of several positive steps that we (NSK and Rolman Group) take together as partners to build our business for our clients, as well as to continue making our positive impact on the industry. Recent years have not impeded our business and we look forward to seeing what the future has in store for our companies as well as our clients.”
Ousama Abu Khader, sales and marketing director, business division of Automotive Aftermarket of the Schaeffler Group stated they had taken an even bigger stand for this year’s event, building on their presence from previous years. He said: “Automechanika Middle East exhibition is good for our business and this year we got many new customers from Africa. The show also helped us to generate good inquiries and leads.”
Recovering import/export market moving back towards boom-time levels
In the light of all this it seems clear that the organisers are aiming to do more of the same next year. The dates for Automechanika Middle East 2012 have been announced as 22 – 24 May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.