Traffic on Shaikh Zayed Road in Dubai. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the largest markets for vehicles in the GCC. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News Archive

Countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are becoming increasingly attractive markets for the automobile industry, with vehicle sales expected to reach nearly 2 million units within the next few years.

Due to sustained economic growth rates and continued government-driven investment on transport and logistics infrastructure, vehicle sales in the GCC region are set on a high growth path, according to analysts Frost & Sullivan.

Sales of cars and pickups are estimated to record a cumulative annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9 per cent in the period 2012 to 2017 to reach 1.66 million units. Trucks and buses sales are set to rise at 8.7 per cent annually over the same period to reach 155,000 units.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are also considered the largest markets in the GCC in terms of the number of vehicles on the road.

According to Frost & Sullivan, there will be 16.36 million registered cars and pickups in the GCC three years from now, with the CAGR estimated to be 6.3 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

Over the same period, the number of trucks and buses on the road is expected to reach 1.42 million in 2017, recording a CAGR of 6.9 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

Impact on aftermarket

As more personal and commercial vehicles hits the road in the region and a large amount are re-exported to other countries, this increase will also positively impact the automotive aftermarket, driving up the demand for auto components and services.

Automechanika Dubai 2014, the largest international trade and networking event for the automotive aftermarket serving the wider Middle East, will reflect this increasing interest in the region, with organiser Epoc Messe Frankfurt, expecting a record turnout from international exhibitors at this year’s edition .

Spotlighting innovations and solutions in the fields of parts, systems, tuning, workshop equipment, bodywork and paintwork, car wash, IT and management, tyres and batteries, and the latest automobile services, Automechanika Dubai is part of the global Automechanika family of events.

A wide range of leading international manufacturers and suppliers of auto parts, tyres, batteries, auto products and services will showcase their latest product lines and technological innovations in a bid for a slice of the growing market.