Events Coverage

Automechanika Dubai 2018 that’s a wrap

Automechanika Dubai 2018 came to a successful end last week, with newly inked partnerships, innovative product launches, and educational conference programmes sharing the spotlight at the Middle East and Africa’s largest automotive aftermarket trade fair.

The 16th edition of the annual three-day event concluded on 3rd May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, having welcomed through the gates 31,971 visitors from more than 146 countries.


Trade buyers, dealers, workshop owners, and industry professionals were treated to a wide range of products, solutions and services presented by 1,812 exhibitors from 61 countries, as the buzz on the show floor reflected fresh optimism that Dubai’s regional automotive aftermarket trade hub status is on an upward trend.

According to figures released at the event by Dubai Customs, Dubai imported, exported, and re-exported US$10.9 billion worth of spare parts and accessories in 2017, a three percent increase over 2016.  Dubai’s auto aftermarket trade volume also increased year-on-year, with 2.25 million tonnes of tyres, batteries, engine components and systems shipped through the Emirate in 2017, 8.4 percent up on 2016.

“We’re very pleased with the industry response to Automechanika Dubai 2018,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of organiser Messe Frankfurt Middle East.  “Exhibitor stands have been busy throughout, and the feedback we’re getting is that there’s greater geographic reach in terms of where visitors are coming from this year, which is crucial for our stakeholders to continue to expand their business links and distribution networks.

“We wanted to shine the spotlight on new products and solutions that are shaping the future of the regional auto aftermarket, and to that end our new Innovation Zone proved very popular,” Pauwels added.  “It’s also great to see leading global players in the auto services industry use Automechanika Dubai as a platform to announce new partnerships, underling its important role as a facilitator of business success.”

Pauwels referred to the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at Automechanika Dubai 2018 between AutoPro, a subsidiary of ENOC (Emirates National Oil Company) and ACDelco, one of the world’s leading automotive spare parts and services brands.

The MoU will see both companies collaborate on a series of service centre locations across the UAE. In the coming year, up to ten sites will become the first AutoPro locations to be certified as authorised ACDelco service centres.

ACDelco, a division of American automaker General Motors, is a regular exhibitor at Automechanika Dubai.  Mohammed Al Fayyad, Customer Care and Aftersales Director for General Motors Middle East, said: “ACDelco’s collaboration with AutoPro is all about offering UAE customers the highest levels of convenience and peace of mind when it comes to receiving the very best automotive after sales service.

“A trusted brand with over 100 years of experience, ACDelco is a global leader in automotive replacement parts and related services; and now, with AutoPro, a staple of auto maintenance in the UAE, car owners will be able to benefit from the expertise of both companies’ combined expertise in both aftersales parts and service.

Automechanika Dubai covers the six product groups of Parts & Components and Electronics & Systems (1,102 exhibitors in 2018) Tyres & Batteries (221 exhibitors), Accessories and Customizing (219 exhibitors), Repair & Maintenance (200 exhibitors), and Car Wash, Care, & Reconditioning (70 exhibitors).

Wolf Oil from Belgium was one of the headline Repair & Maintenance exhibitors, and was showcasing its latest range of oils and lubricants for both passenger cars and heavy duty, off-road vehicles.

Damien Lecompte, Sales Director of Middle-East & Africa at Wolf Lubricants, said: “Automechanika Dubai is a vital touch point for Wolf, where we can talk directly to our partners, get acquainted with their changing needs, and to show how Wolf constantly innovates to enhance and maintain the performance of customers’ engines in the region.

“The Middle East and Africa is a booming market for us, and we’re looking to expand,” added Lecompte.  “We’ve had a lot of new potential prospects at Automechanika Dubai 2018 from the African region and Saudi Arabia, so it has been a great success.”

Automechanika Dubai 2018’s global significance was underlined by the presence of 23 country pavilions and 36 international trade associations, while more than half of the tens of thousands of trade visitors in 2018 came from outside of the UAE.

Automechanika Dubai returned with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,500 exhibitors showcased products dedicated to the entire value chain in the truck sector, from truck parts and accessories, to workshop equipment, body repairs and care.

An extended Automechanika Academy programme also offered more insights into the present and future of the MEA automotive aftermarket, spearheaded by the Innovation Zone, where global players such as Renault, WABCO, and Beissbarth presented their latest products that’re ushering in a new era in automotive technology.

The Automechanika Academy also presented the 1st Smart Commercial Vehicles Middle East Conference, where the latest developments in smart, connected, sustainable and intelligent commercial vehicles was under the spotlight.

The 17th edition of Automechanika Dubai will return from 10-12 June 2019 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.


Interviews and Reports

Italian companies rev up presence at Automechanika Dubai 2018

World’s 9th largest auto parts exporter looks to Middle East and Africa as key growth market


Italian automotive aftermarket brands are looking to the Middle East and Africa as a key growth market, with leading players from the world’s 9th largest auto parts exporter revving their engines ahead of the upcoming Automechanika Dubai 2018 trade fair.

According to online data aggregator World’s Top Exports, Italy exported US$12.5 billion worth of auto parts and components in 2016 – 3.5 percent of total global exports for the year (US$360.6 billion).

The UAE is among the top ten markets for high quality and genuine Italian auto parts, and now major players are gearing up for more growth using the Automechanika Dubai auto aftermarket exhibition as their launch platform targeting trade buyers from throughout the wider region.

An Italian Country Pavilion comprising 33 manufacturers will be complemented by 37 standalone Italian exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai 2018, which will feature more than 1,900 exhibitors from 55 countries when it opens from 1 – 3 May 2018 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The Italian presence at Automechanika Dubai, now in its 16th edition, has witnessed a steady rise.  Over the last eight years, Italian exhibitor sqm space covered at the three-day event has nearly doubled, from 800sqm in 2011 to 1,500sqm in 2018.

Top returning brands covering the entire spectrum of the automotive aftermarket include Brembo, Dayco, Eni, Ravaglioli, ERA, Fiamm, and Metelli, while UFI Filters, a global leader in filtration technology, is exhibiting for the first time.

The Italian Pavilion is one of 23 country pavilions at Automechanika Dubai 2018, with others coming from Australia, Belgium, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, and the USA.

Automechanika Dubai is the Middle East and Africa’s largest international trade fair for the automotive service industry, encompassing the six product of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customizing; Repair & Maintenance; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Tyres & Batteries.

The annual three-day event returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,500 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.


Aftermarket News

Global automotive aftermarket manufacturers gear up for robust business growth at Automechanika Dubai 2018


Demand for Middle East spare parts and auto services on upward trend with market tipped to surpass US$15 billion mark by 2021

Global automotive aftermarket manufacturers are gearing up for period of robust business growth in the Middle East, while new research indicates car sales and the corresponding demand for spare parts and auto services is on an upward trend.

IQR is a Spanish producer of lubricants under the brand name Matrix, and is launching its operations in the Gulf region to find new partners, while Autopumps from the UK is testing the regional waters for the supply of its aftermarket parts not only for the automotive industry, but for industrial, agricultural, and marine applications.


And Cyprus headquartered ALCO Filters is looking to build on its millions of dollars of revenue generated every year in the Middle East for its vast range of 3,500 filters, after establishing a regional presence years ago.

All three are among more than 2,000 exhibitors from 57 countries at the upcoming Automechanika Dubai 2018 trade fair, the Middle East and Africa’s largest exhibition for the automotive aftermarket and services industry.

The exhibitors’ sentiment is underlined by research from analysts TechSci Research that suggests an uptick in passenger and commercial vehicle sales coupled with an increase of cars-in-use across the Middle East will have a positive flow-on effect on the automotive aftermarket.


According to TechSci, Middle East sales revenue from engine and car components, systems, tyres, and auto accessories, will surpass the US$15 billion mark by 2021, compared to approximately US$12.4 billion in 2017, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 4.9 percent.

That’s welcomed by the likes of ALCO, IQR, and Autopumps, along with the hundreds of other exhibitors making their preparations ahead of Automechanika Dubai’s 16th edition, which will take place from 1 – 3 May 2018 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

A long-time exhibitor at the annual three-day event, ALCO Filters will launch its new filter range for cars, trucks, earth moving equipment, and stationary engines. “We’ve been exhibiting at Automechanika Dubai since 2006, and have since generated cumulatively more than US$10 million of new business in the Middle East,” said Loizos Louca, ALCO Filters’ Managing Director.

“Having a strong presence in the region, we’re keen to meet up with existing clients at Automechanika Dubai 2018 and expand our clientele base through meeting new prospects. The fact that 52 percent of visitors to the trade fair are international coupled with the current value of the Middle East auto aftermarket makes this exhibition attractive to attend.”

José Luis Cid, CEO of IQR, a debut exhibitor at Automechanika Dubai 2018, said participating is part of an overall strategy to find new partners in countries where it has no presence: “We’re now present in 35 countries and all our efforts are focused toward expanding our international network to become a global brand,” he said.

“Also, we’re launching Matrax Lubricants in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and therefore being at Automechanika Dubai 2018 enables us to show participants our brand and our values.”

Meanwhile, Autopumps will launch various products at Automechanika Dubai 2018, including an expansion of its Commercial and Industrial pumps range. “We’re also showcasing our expertise in the manufacture and supply of commercial camshafts, rockers and engine valves for off highway, agricultural, marine and heavy goods vehicle applications,” said Bill Cotton, Owner and Managing Director of Autopumps.


“We’ve identified the Middle East as a strong market, which is growing in the commercial vehicle parts sector. Dubai is the regional hub for business and a standout player on the global stage. Automechanika Dubai is one of the key trade shows in the commercial parts sector, and we’re using the platform to meet with key industry contacts and decision makers, and strengthen business in the region,” added Cotton.

Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Automechanika Dubai 2018 spreads over six product sections of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customising; Repair & Maintenance; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Tyres & Batteries.

Its global influence is highlighted by the presence of 25 country pavilions and 36 international trade associations, while 90 per cent of exhibitors, and 52 per cent of the 30,000-plus visitors are expected to come from outside of the UAE. The 16th edition will also reflect a sense of renewed optimism in the automotive aftermarket, where emerging trends and disruptive technologies are steering the industry toward a bold new future.

And despite the recent slowdown across the region, car sales in the Middle East in the long-term will recover, with analysts Frost & Sullivan (F&S) estimating light vehicle sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of eight percent, reaching 4.1 million units by 2021. That’ll put the total number of cars in operation in the region at 41.36 million according to F&S, compared to an estimated 37 million in 2017.

Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Passenger cars constitute a major vehicle segment in the Middle East and Africa, while stabilising oil prices and significant government infrastructure in a number of regional countries will also boost growth in the commercial vehicle segment in the coming years.

“Over its past 15 years, Automechanika Dubai has succeeded in bringing together leading automotive aftermarket brands to this fast-growing region, providing an important opportunity to connect with new prospects, have face to face interactions with existing customers, create brand awareness, and position themselves as reliable suppliers of premium quality aftermarket products and services.”

Automechanika Dubai 2018 returns with its popular Truck Competence initiative, where more than 1,500 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.

It will also feature the popular Automechanika Academy – a series of seminars, presentations, and workshops about key issues and regulations that affect the automotive aftermarket, and the African Buyer-Seller Meet, connecting suppliers with buyers from the world’s second largest continent.

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