The Middle Eastern automotive sector remains buoyant despite the global financial crisis, driven by a robust GCC market that accounts for an estimated four million passenger cars, more than 1.8 million of which are in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Kingdom, currently the biggest automotive market in the region, imported more than 38 billion Saudi Riyals (SAR) worth of cars and spare parts in 2008; while auto sales are expected to further increase by 5 per cent in 2009 to surpass the 545,000 units sold last year.
Furthermore, with an estimated GDP per capita of SAR 89,700 as of 2008 according to figures from the World Bank, the country's strong spending power has helped make Saudi Arabia one of the most lucrative automotive markets in the world. In addition, up to 59.5 per cent of the country's population of over 25 million belong to the 15-64 age bracket – the prime target group of the automotive industry – creating a massive market base for all industry players.
The advantageous automotive market conditions are reflected in this year's edition of the Riyadh Motor Show, one of the biggest auto industry events in the Middle East, being held concurrently with Saudi Autoshop. The two events, being organised by Riyadh Exhibitions Company, jointly expect a combined 35 per cent growth in participation over the 2008 edition when they are staged at the newly completed Riyadh International Exhibition Centre from December 12th to 16th, 2009.
“Around 60 per cent of KSA's population is made up of young individuals who have a strong interest in automotive vehicles and accessories – a trend that is contributing to the automotive sector's record growth. The Saudi Government has also greatly influenced the expansion of the automotive and auto parts sectors by offering attractive financial plans and investment incentives," said Kamil Al Jawhari, Project Manager of Riyadh Motor Show at Riyadh Exhibitions Company.
"These factors open up huge opportunities for dealers, car parts and accessories distributors, retailers and aftermarket service providers. In this regard, the Kingdom will clearly benefit from comprehensive and reputable industry forums such as the Riyadh Motor Show 2009, which will gather all stakeholders to showcase market best practices, trends, products, technologies, and prospects,” added Al Jawhari.
Riyadh Motor Show 2009, the 27th International Exhibition for Motor Vehicles, will display the latest models of passenger cars, station wagons, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV), pick-up trucks, motorcycles, Special Purpose Vehicles, 4x4 vehicles, SUV trucks and eco-friendly vehicles. It will also include automobile financing and insurance services.
Saudi Autoshop 2009, the 13th International Exhibition for Auto Repair Equipment, Tools, Parts and Accessories, will feature the latest automobile accessories and repair service equipment; gas station equipment; automobile parts; tires, exhausts and batteries; and automobile care products of 55 exhibitors within a total of 15,000 square metres of indoor and outdoor exhibition space.
The back-to-back events are expected to gather a global participation of individual automobile and automotive companies from KSA, Turkey, China, Thailand, UAE, Germany and other countries.
© 2009 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com )