Overview

It’s fair to say UAE residents love their cars. Add in the hot, challenging climate, and the demand for automotive parts, servicing and accessories is always going to be strong. While most cars are manufactured abroad, there is nonetheless a healthy indigenous market for manufacturer and supply, plus import/export, of parts and accessories.

Size

This year, for the first time, the UAE was included in the Scientific American Worldview Report and Bio-Innovation Scorecard. This is a list issued by The UAE is the second largest automotive market in the GCC:
– KSA accounts for 50.1% of the market.
– UAE 17.5%
– Oman 13.4%
– Kuwait 9.8%
– Qatar 5.6%
– Bahrain (3.5%).

This market includes cars, parts and accessories, trailers and semi-trailers, trucks, public transport vehicles and tractors. Source: EmiratesNBD Research.

The UAE relies heavily on imports, with 90% of its entire supply of cars and light vehicles being imported. Parts and accessories account for 8.9% of the automotive import sector. Sources: Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs d’Automobiles (OICA), International Trade Center (ITC).
In terms of exports, the UAE’s share of the market is 16.5%, with more than half of this going to other GCC countries. The key market is Oman, followed by Tanzania and Saudi Arabia. Source: EmiratesNBD Research.
Overall, parts and accessories account for 16.6% of the GCC’s automotive exports to the world, but for the UAE, this rises to 36%. Proportionally therefore, we are exporting more than we are importing. Source: ITC.


Growth

In 2014, the GCC’s automotive trade value reached AED 224bn, up 39% from 2010. Source: OICA.
The UAE’s automotive retail sector grew by 6.5% year on year in 2014. The UAE’s strong economic growth, solid household spending and increased access to vehicle financing are set to be the key drivers for the industry over the coming years. Source: OICA. 


Opportunities

– The strong domestic demand for automotive products is illustrated by the fact that 75% of UAE online consumers plan to buy a new or used car in the next two years. Source: Nielsen’s Global Survey of Automotive Demand. 

– In terms of export demand, the UAE is on the path to becoming a regional hub: not only for cars, but also for vehicle parts and components. As a result, the UAE can become a strategic player in the car parts trade within the GCC region, positioning itself as a major re-exports center. 

– To really take advantage of this, and add value, the UAE needs to create new production plants for cars, light vehicles and trucks, plus assembly lines for manufacturing and remanufacturing of spare parts and accessories. This is underway. For example, the Abu Dhabi Government’s initiative to develop ‘The Auto
City’ in the Mussafah area will create a cluster of advanced workshops and service centres, attracting investment in automotive manufacturing and spare part logistics.
– In terms of remanufactured parts, local government bodies have been showing increased commitment to greener technologies, with commercial vehicles remanufactured parts finding growing acceptance in the country. This is another growth opportunity for the sector.

 

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