Manufacturers and distributors of the GCC's automotive aftermarket recently gathered in Dubai to discuss new opportunities in the region's commercial vehicle (CV) market, as Saudi Arabia spearheads a regional surge in demand for CV spare parts and services.
According to global analysts Frost & Sullivan, there are currently 750,000 trucks and buses on Saudi Arabia's roads, with this number growing 8.4 percent annually to reach 1.2 million by 2020.
The influx of new and used commercial vehicles in the Kingdom means demand for spare parts is also on the rise, valued at US$2.05 billion in 2014, and estimated to reach US$3.65 billion by 2020, according to Frost & Sullivan.
The key to tapping into the Saudi Arabia's lucrative CV market was the hot topic at the 5th Automechanika Dubai Network, attended by more than 90 industry figures of the region's automotive aftermarket.
"Sales of commercial vehicles are on an upward drive in the Gulf region, with Saudi Arabia at the forefront of increased opportunities for the lucrative CV spare parts market," said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, organizer of Automechanika Dubai, during the event. "Saudi Arabia and the UAE are already home to vehicle assembly lines for major manufacturers such as Mercedes, Volvo, and MAN in Saudi, and Scania and Ashok Leyland in the UAE, so the market is really beginning to take shape."
Subhash Joshi, Regional Head of Automotive & Transportation for the Middle East & North Africa at Frost & Sullivan, and a speaker at the Automechanika Dubai Network, said that Japanese CV brands are in high demand in the Kingdom.
"In terms of market share, Isuzu and Mitsubishi have led the light commercial vehicle market with a whopping 70 percent share with limited imports of used trucks in this category," said Joshi. "For the medium and heavy commercial vehicle segment, the dominance of used vehicles was much higher when compared to light vehicles."
The increased focus on commercial vehicles is one of the main features of the upcoming Automechanika Dubai 2015, which will take place June 2-4 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
The three-day event is the Middle East and Africa's largest trade show for the automotive aftermarket, and has a dedicated Truck Competence section. In 2014, 506 of the 1,696 exhibitors had truck competence within their portfolio, with this figure set to grow this year.
Expanding the extensive Automechanika brand profile, Truck Competence covers the entire value chain in the truck sector from truck parts and accessories, to workshop equipment, body repairs and care, according to organizers.
Among the headline international exhibitors with truck competence within their portfolio include WABCO from Belgium; Schaeffler, MS Motorservice, Wulf Gaertner Autoparts, BPW, Jost, ZF, and Herth+Buss from Germany; Asuki Automobile Industries from Singapore; AMP Automotive from Brazil; and AFA Industries from the USA.
Regional companies will also be out in force include Moshref Trading from Iran; NASCO Automotive from Jordan; and UAE-based companies Dynatrade, Europart, Global Autoparts, Al Rostamani, and Al Habtoor.