Regional trade in auto components in the Middle East is currently undergoing a period of considerable growth, with trade and the commercial hub of Dubai at the heart of this boom.
According to research firm Frost and Sullivan, auto parts consumption across all vehicle categories in the GCC was estimated at $ 8.85 billion (SR 33.2 billion) in 2012 and is set to surge to as much as $ 14.4 billion (SR 54 billion) by 2016.
The aftermarket trade — or the trading of spare parts, accessories, tools and equipment — dominates the market for passenger vehicles. These accounted for 85 percent of the auto components market in the GCC in 2012 at a value of $ 7.55 billion (SR 28.3 billion), said Frost and Sullivan.
The components consumption for passenger vehicles in the GCC is expected to exceed $ 12.3 billion (SR 46.1 billion) by 2013.
The research also indicates that the UAE and Saudi Arabia represent the largest auto component markets in the GCC, making up 78 percent in total. Kuwait follows at third place. The UAE is also the largest re-export market in the GCC region, reshipping about 60 percent of its auto components to onward destinations in the Middle East and Africa.
The region’s climate means that batteries, tires and other components need to be replaced regularly, which keeps the industry busy.
“The upkeep and maintenance of cars is big business all over the world and this is no different across the GCC,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Epoc Messe Frankfurt.
Auto parts that are most in demand in the Kingdom are batteries, tires and headlights. Kingdom drivers are required to regularly check their car to obtain car documents.
Muhmut Gazi Bilikozen, senior show manager at Automecanika Dubai, said many individuals in the Kingdom service their cars themselves.
They also buy their own spare parts. Saudi Arabia is home to one of the largest consumer base of spare automotive parts among GCC countries. Other reasons for the growth of the Saudi market for auto components are the low cost of petrol, a high demand for cars and the availability of a wide range in financial support to buy a car.”
“The continued growth of the Saudi demand for cars supports the aftermarket trade. A lot of people in Saudi Arabia have their own cars and they also need to regularly maintain them,” Gazi Bilikozen told Arab News.