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Automechanika ends on successful note

DUBAI, May 14, 2016

iAutomechanika Dubai 2016, the largest automotive aftermarket exhibition in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region ended on a successful note wrapping up three days of busy networking in a diverse market that remains on the radar of the world’s biggest suppliers of auto parts and services.

The 14th edition of the annual showcase, which took place from May 8 to 10 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, featured 2,017 exhibitors from 58 countries, and attracted 30,018 visitors from 119 countries.

The strong turnout from the international trade reinforces the decision by leading global players to continue investing in the MEA, as they showcased their innovative automotive technologies across six product groups of Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries; Accessories & Tuning; and Service Station & Car Wash, said the organisers.

The largest two sections, Parts & Components, and Electronics & Systems, featured 1,408 exhibitors, a six per cent growth over the previous edition, they stated.

Meritor, the world’s largest independent manufacturer of axles for the heavy duty industry, was one of the headline exhibitors.

Exhibiting for the second time at the expo, the American-headquartered Fortune 500 company views the MEA automotive aftermarket as one of its key growth markets.

“The MEA is one of core strategic topics for the next three years, so this is really a very important market,” remarked Janusz Zielinski, the sales director for Europe, MEA at Meritor.

“We’re showing that we’re coming from the OE (Original Equipment) side; we’re not just a spare parts manufacturer. It’s important to communicate that our products are of OE quality, because what we sell to the OE is the same as what we sell to the aftermarket," said Zielinski.

At the forefront of the 118 Repair & Maintenance exhibitors was Caltex, the show’s Gold Sponsor and Official Lubricant Partner.

Exhibiting for the first time, Caltex showcased its Havoline lubricant range for passenger vehicles, Delo (Diesel Lubricating Oil) for commercial vehicles, and its Techron fuel system cleaner.

Adriaan de Kok, the area business manager for the Gulf and Middle East at Caltex’s parent company, Chevron Lubricants, said: "The standards and vehicle requirements are rapidly advancing, and the demands on today’s engine are not what they were ten years ago."

“We are seeing an adoption of really high standards by regional governments, and an aspiration to be responsible when it comes to environmental criteria, engine protection, and fuel economy,” he stated.

Meanwhile, stealing the spotlight from the 191 exhibitors in the accessories & tuning section was Japanese company Kuhl Racing, which launched its fully customised gold-coloured Nissan R35 GT-R.

The unique golden sheen was hand painted and engraved with intricate patterns by master engraver Takahiko Izawa. The dazzling car, which comes with a 3.8 litre V6 twin turbo 545 hp engine, had a special Automechanika Dubai price tag of $750,000.

Kazuyo Furusho, Kuhl Racing’s representative at Automechanika Dubai, said the show-stopping sports car had already attracted the interest of buyers in a region that loves gilty pleasures.

"The reaction from visitors has been amazing, and everyone thinks its real gold, or wrapped with golden paper,” remarked Furusho, who added the whole customisation process took six months to complete, and includes enhanced aerodynamic features, a reinforced body and precision handling.

“So far we’ve had interest from buyers in Saudi Arabia, and the UAE.  It’s not a car for everyday use.  It’s exclusive and unique, and buyers here like this type of thing,” he said.  

With 232 exhibitors, Tyres & Batteries was the fastest growing section at Automechanika Dubai 2016, having grown by 21 per cent over the previous year.  UAE-based Al Dobowi, the section’s stalwart, returned in 2016 with the announcement of the opening of the Middle East’s largest battery manufacturing plant.

“Our new battery plant in Techno Park in Dubai will open in September this year, and will have the capacity to produce 1.2 million car batteries every year,” said Surender Kandhari, the chairman of Al Dobowi.

“We’ve partnered with Exide, one of the world’s largest producers and distributors of batteries. Now Exide batteries will be proudly made in the UAE, and distributed throughout the MEA,” he added.

Ahmed Pauwels, the chief executive of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser, said: "Automechanika Dubai 2016 has raised the bar again, delivering real business opportunities, while shedding light on the latest advancements in automotive aftermarket services and technologies."

“While it’s positive to see the show grow in-line with industry expectations, what’s more important is that our customers – the exhibitors and visitors – leave every year having come away with both tangible and intangible benefits that are measured in more ways than dollars and signs. This is how we know Automechanika Dubai will continue to be a force for many years ahead,” he added.

The 15th edition of Automechanika Dubai will take place from May 7 to 9, 2017.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Batteries | Automechanika | Auto parts |

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