Show organisers have announced that the third edition of Automechanika Riyadh will return to the Kingdom’s capital in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021. Automechanika Riyadh most recently took place in February 2020 at Al Faisaliah Hotel, attracting close to 3000 traders, manufacturers, distributors, retailers, workshop owners and service providers.
The next edition will run from 11 to 13 October 2021 at the Riyadh International Conference and Exhibition Centre, showcasing thousands of products across six aftermarket groups: Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Accessories & Customising; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries; and Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning.
The three-day event, organised by Saudi-based ACE Group under licence by Dubai’s Messe Frankfurt Middle East, usually runs biennially, alternating between twin Saudi counterpart Automechanika Jeddah, which would normally take place in 2021.
However, organisers say the positive industry response to the show earlier this year, from both exhibitors and trade visitors alike, along with “Riyadh’s status as the hub of commercial and industrial activity”, meant running the show in Riyadh again in 2021 was the preferred option.
“This is underlined by government activity in Riyadh and in a post-pandemic world, large government projects will emanate from the Kingdom’s central regions and branch outwards,” said Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Show Director, Automechanika Riyadh. “Saudi [Arabia] has announced a US$30 billion stimulus package to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19, and [the] automotive industry and services sector will ramp up activity quickly to win back lost market share. We’re looking forward to returning again to Riyadh toward the end of next year, which in many ways will be a symbol of a market recovery for 2021 and beyond.”
“Automechanika, organised since 2016 in Saudi Arabia, is the only event focusing on the Kingdom’s aftermarket, carving a niche in the automotive sector where industry stakeholders are keen to be part of,” said Zahoor Siddique, Vice President of ACE Group. “Saudi Arabia through Vision 2030 has taken notable measures to diversify its public sector-dominated economy into a private-sector-driven system, which is hoped to give a fillip to this industry. The automotive market is also part of a major industrial cluster initiative supported by various government agencies.”
As with all sectors, Saudi Arabia’s automotive industry and aftermarket has felt the brunt of the economic fallout in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to global advisory firm Aranca, the Kingdom’s spare parts and automotive services market (passenger and commercial vehicles) will contract 15 per cent year-on-year in 2020, valued at US$6.8 billion compared to US$8 billion in 2019.
Longer-term prospects look better though for the Gulf region’s largest automotive market. Glasgow Consulting Group, a market intelligence firm, predicts Saudi Arabia’s passenger vehicle components market to bounce back as soon as 2021, valued at US$4.5 billion compared to an estimated US$3.7 billion this year.
Moreover, according to Vishal Sanghavi, Head of Automotive Practice at Aranca, the aftermarket has proven to be more robust in times of crisis.
“The aftermarket has typically been the most resilient part of the automotive industry, given its size and the fact that growth primarily depends on vehicle parc, rather than new vehicle sales,” said Sanghavi.
He added that price-conscious consumers will purchase second hand cars that require regular maintenance from independent aftermarket players.
“The shift from new cars to used cars will drive the need for higher spend on repair and maintenance. Changing consumer behaviour will open new avenues for growth for the aftermarket. Maintenance and repair service providers can offer servicing at home, vehicle pick-up and delivery for maintenance, or complete vehicle disinfection. Aftermarket service providers must adapt and tap the new revenue streams to offset the losses sustained due to COVID-19.”
Now scheduled for Q4 2021, Automechanika Riyadh is dubbed as “the ultimate destination to meet global manufacturers and suppliers, explore key trends across the industry and source the latest solutions to meet the evolving needs of the Middle East’s largest market”.
The dedicated trade fair is one of 16 Automechanika shows, the most successful and largest automotive aftermarket trade fair brand in the world. The next regional event will be Automechanika Dubai, held from 7 to 9 June 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre in the United Arab Emirates.