A Japanese country pavilion will debut at the Middle East’s leading international trade fair for the automotive service industry, underlining the vast potential in a regional market that trades more than $1.5 billion (about Dh5.5 billion) worth of Japanese auto parts and accessories every year.
Some of the world’s leading automotive aftermarket players from the Land of the Rising Sun are lining up to take part in Automechanika Dubai 2016, spurred on by huge demand for Japanese cars and parts in key regional markets such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
According to analysts Frost & Sullivan, Japanese brands comprised nearly 69 per cent of UAE passenger vehicle sales in 2015. In Saudi, 54 per cent of cars sold were from Japan for the year, while the Kingdom’s 800,000-plus commercial vehicle (CV) segment is dominated by brands such as Isuzu and Mitsubishi.
Demand for Japanese parts is also at an all-time high. The latest statistics from Dubai Customs show that 23 per cent of Dubai’s auto parts and accessories imports in 2014 ($1.6 billion worth) came from Japan — more than from any other country. Much of this was re-exported into the high volume markets of Saudi, Iraq, and Afghanistan.
Which is why major players such as Denso — the world’s largest auto parts manufacturer by revenue — is spearheading the strong Japanese presence at Automechanika Dubai 2016, which takes place May 8-10 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Denso, which recorded $35.9 billion globally in consolidated net sales for the fiscal year ending March 2015, is returning to the show for the second year running in 2016.
From its stand, the Toyota-owned powerhouse will showcase advanced technology, systems and components in the areas of thermal, powertrain control, electronics and information and safety.
Elsewhere, drivetrain systems manufacturer Exedy, and Hitachi Automotive Systems are taking part in the exhibition to increase brand recognition in the rapidly expanding Middle East and African market.
“With the core technologies specialising in friction, vibration and fluid, Exedy’s products have been highly recognised by car manufacturers around the world,” said Toshihiro Abe, Vice-President and Director of Exedy. “We continue to hold a large share in both domestic and international markets, establishing 40 group companies covering 23 countries worldwide.
“We are participating in Automechanika Dubai 2016 to increase brand awareness and to cater to our valued customers, both local and from abroad. Participating in a major event like this will also give our staff experience and knowledge in better handling customer needs from around the region,” he added.
Hisatsune, Managing Director of Hitachi Automotive Systems, said: “We hope we can get to know more potential dealers in the Middle East and increase the name value of the Hitachi brand. We hope, and are trying to grow our sales in the region by 20 per cent annually.”
Other headline Japanese names at Automechanika Dubai 2016 include spark plug manufacturer NGK, and Tokyo-based KYB, which plans to showcase its latest range of shock absorbers, air suspensions, power steering systems, hydraulic pumps, motors, cylinders, and valves.
The Japanese pavilion is one of four debut country pavilions at Automechanika Dubai 2016, with the other new additions coming from the Netherlands, Peru and Iran. Meanwhile, a total of 24 country pavilions this year marks the largest international turnout in the show’s 14-year history.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Automechanika Dubai, said: “Automechanika Dubai’s global footprint continues to grow, and this is evident not only by having a Japanese pavilion for the first time, but also by welcoming other new country pavilions that complement an already impressive international line-up. This is indicative of the sentiment that persists in one of world’s most promising automotive aftermarkets.”
Other national pavilions returning to Automechanika Dubai include Australia, Brazil, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UK, and the USA.
Automechanika Dubai 2016, the Middle East and Africa’s largest trade exhibition for the automotive aftermarket, will feature more than 2,000 exhibitors from 60 countries, and is expected to attract 30,000-plus visitors from 134 countries.
The 14th edition of the three-day event focuses on the six core product groups of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries; Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning; and Accessories & Customising.
Automechanika Dubai 2016 will also feature the Spare Parts and Maintenance Conference on the May 9 as a part of the Automechanika Academy. The Automechanika Academy is a regular feature bringing together international industry experts, relevant government authorities and key industry players to discuss the most pressing issues in the industry and analyse the changing trends in the market.