The automobile sector is one of the 12 areas where mandatory Saudization has been implemented by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development.
Prior to enforcing, the authorities had given sufficient time to the traders to comply with the decision.
Al-Baha was the first among the 13 provinces to implement Saudization in the sector as a pilot project before it was made mandatory throughout the Kingdom.
Automobile spare parts market, which accounts for more than SR8 billion in imported parts annually in addition to locally manufactured accessories, is one of the lucrative trade areas in the Kingdom. It used to be dominated by Yemeni expatriates.
Some of the shops were run by expats themselves with collaboration of their sponsors.
Women Drivers to Transform the Automotive Industry in Saudi Arabia
GCC Automation Market to Exceed $10 Billion by 2023
The dominance of the sector by expatriates is believed to be one of the factors for the flow of substandard or fake spare parts into the market.
Jeddah is considered the largest market for auto spare parts in the Kingdom because parts are re-exported to Yemen, Sudan and other African countries from here.
The Old Makkah Road, Bani Malik and Hera host thousands of shops.
Al-Khudria district in Dammam and the old industrial area of Riyadh are two other major markets with scores of shops.
Like in other sectors, in the automobile field big players successfully implement the mandatory 70 percent Saudization while small-scale shops largely managed by expatriates have left the scene for failing to comply with the new rule.
The familiarization of the vehicle operating system and remembering a wide range of parts is one of the main challenges for newcomers to the field, according to experts.
It is easy for outlets belonging to leading automobile companies, as it is well-organized and backed by service centers but the case is entirely different in individually-run shops where salesmen at the counter are required to be familiar with the technical aspects of vehicles to dispense the parts.
Interesting, Saudi women are also gradually entering in the sector successfully handing sales of spare parts.
© Copyright 2019 The Saudi Gazette. All Rights Reserved.