The expected influx of Saudi drivers from 2018 will have a significant impact on the auto parts, maintenance and services industry, with manufacturers and suppliers advised to stake their claim early in a market full of new opportunities, the chief of the Kingdom’s only dedicated aftermarket trade show said.
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Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, co-organizer of Automechanika Riyadh 2018, said Saudi’s decision to allow women to drive from June 2018, along with other recent economic initiatives, bodes well for many industries, however the Kingdom’s automotive aftermarket is among those that could benefit the most.
“Saudi already has more than seven million passenger vehicles in operation, and this will increase significantly in the coming years, with potentially nine million new drivers added to the roads,” said Pauwels.
“Automakers will be the first to benefit, along with banks and insurance companies that finance and underwrite new car purchases, however the aftermarket comes next, when these millions of additional cars require regular repair and maintenance, replacement parts, tires, batteries, accessories, car care and grooming.”
Pauwels comments come ahead of the inaugural edition of Automechanika Riyadh, the largest dedicated trade show for Saudi’s aftermarket in the Kingdom’s Eastern and Central regions.
The biennial three-day event takes place from February 5 to 7, 2018 at the Riyadh International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and will feature more than 150 exhibitors from 20 countries.
“Revenues for Saudi’s aftermarket, including tires, batteries, lubricants, and other engine components and accessories, was worth more than US$6.7 billion in 2016, so it’s already a significant market, and the largest in the Middle East,” added Pauwels.