The automotive sector in the Middle East remains upbeat despite turbulence in many countries in the region. Almost every car maker has reported sales growth in double digits, ranging between 20 and 40 per cent in the region.
“Majority of these brands expect over 25 per cent growth in 2013,” said Ibrahim Mohammad Al Janahi, Deputy CEO of Jafza and Chief Commercial Officer of Economic Zones World (EZW), the parent company of Jafza.
“The automotive aftermarket in the GCC countries in 2012 was equally vibrant and estimated to have grown between 15 and 20 per cent. By 2016, the Aftermarket sector is predicted to hit $14.4 billion,” Al Janahi said. He was referring to a recent report by Frost and Sullivan.
According to the Frost and Sullivan report, the total consumption within the automotive aftermarket in the GCC countries in 2012 posted more than 15 per cent growth to reach $7.5 billion. With consumption worth $2 billion, UAE was the second largest automotive market in the GCC after Saudi Arabia.
The report predicted a growth between 15 and 20 per cent across parts and accessories, tyres and tubes, batteries and lubricants over the next five years.
“The positive outlook provides huge growth opportunities for Jafza based automotive companies. These opportunities need to be capitalized on. Through this forum we want to discuss how we can work together to benefit from the market upsurge,” Al Janahi said.
The automotive sector is one of the most dynamic and innovation-driven business sectors in Jafza. The free zone is currently home to over 500 automotive companies. The sector generated trade worth $4.2 billion in 2012 posting a growth of 15 per cent on 2011. In the last 10 years, the number of companies in the sector has grown seven-fold.
According to Dubai Custom’s statistics, the auto parts trade in Dubai has grown over 27 per cent in the last four years. The main trans-shipment destinations for automotive-related products from Dubai were Iran, Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan. Dubai’s automotive exports were led by automotive parts and accessories, tyres, body parts and engine parts.