Saudi International Motor Show (SIMS), the annual five-day automotive industry event, kicks off today (Dec. 24) at Jeddah Center for Forums & Events. It is Saudi Arabia’s 35th International Event for motor vehicles, SUVs & motorcycles. The show is organized by Jeddah based Al-Harithy Company for Exhibitions  and held under the patronage of Prince Misha’al Bin Majed, Governor of Jeddah. The show will be preceded by the launch of a number of new models which will take place before the official inauguration. Visitors will be treated to an array of gleaming latest car models from leading brands from the US, Europe, Japan, Korea and China – all under one roof allowing the discerning potential buyers to choose their favorite brands.  Those seeking public transport and commercial vehicles will also have a wide range to choose and car enthusiasts will be treated to the latest gadgetry from lights, music systems and upgrades displayed by Saudi and international companies. Alongside the show will be attractive features in the form of 4 x 4 test drive circuit, bike stunt show and a display of modified cars. Car enthusiasts have the chance to get a first hand look at the latest models from Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Nissan, Al Jomaih Auto, Honda, Hyundai, Suzuki, Jeely, Jac motors, Lifan, Isuzu, Foton, BYD and Jamjom Vehicles. Zahoor Siddique, Vice President of Al Harithy Company for Exhibitions (ACE), said over the past 35 years, SIMS - the Region’s largest and longest established automotive event consistently provides the automotive industry with a unique and unrivalled direct marketing opportunity, where exhibitors will be able to launch their new models and showcase their latest products and services to a large audience of over 100,000 potential customers. “There is no doubt that this year’s show will be one of the most exciting on record, from the greatest deals to the newest wheels,” he said. He added that SIMS’s unique themed zones offer professionals, businessmen, enthusiasts and consumers a relaxed and enjoyable experience as well as enabling them to find exactly what they are looking for. The outdoor areas are customarily transformed into a huge mart for commercial vehicles providing a singular platform for the Kingdom’s transport and logistics industry. Worth a whopping $ 3 billion, Saudi Arabia is the single largest aftermarket in the Gulf region and fifth in the world. Escalating new automobile sales and the flourishing used cars market are driving sales of all kinds of parts, accessories, components and service & garage equipment. Siddiqui noted that Saudi Arabia’s vehicle sales totaled 759,000 in 2011 and are expected to pass the 1 million per year mark by 2018. He believed that the motor show provided an excellent opportunity for the manufacturers to display latest car models and woo the young consumers. “ Around 70 percent of the Saudi car buyers are 18 to 29 years old” he said. Autocare, held concurrently with SIMS, has developed over the years into a totally dedicated concurrent showcase to serve the ever-changing needs of the dynamic aftermarket sector hosting a multitude of the latest automotive products and services. “Autocare showcases auto parts, accessories and maintenance equipment for around 60 companies” he said. According to Siddique, Saudi Arabia is the largest importer of cars  and automotive parts in the Middle East and a gateway for distribution to the broader Middle East and North Africa region.  Adding to its unmatched popularity, specifically devised features and themed attractions are introduced every year creating a second to none festival atmosphere for all members of the family. The show timings are daily from 5 p.m.to 10 p.m.