Dubai, UAE: While experts in the automotive market believe a full recovery could take up to four years, many market analysts and industry leaders have already seen green shoots, spurred on by the implementation of digital tools and the region’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts.
That was the message delivered at yesterday’s (25 May) Automechanika Dubai Network, a one-day hybrid event that brought the region’s biggest players together under a central theme of ‘Let’s Talk Business: Adaptation & Innovation During COVID-19’.
Leading the morning’s sessions was Vishal Pandey, Automotive & Mobility Practice, at Glasgow Consulting Group who presented ‘The State of the Automotive Market in COVID and post-COVID Times’, believing regional government’s initiatives have been critical to boosting the economy.
He said: “KSA and the UAE have managed the pandemic particularly well. They have taken the lead on various measures and austerities that have driven and supported the economy.
“And while we saw the passenger car market dip significantly in 2020, with an expected revival by 2022, it is the introduction of new service models – relying heavily on ecommerce, digitalisation and customer relations – that could offset the impact of the pandemic on the industry.
“Digitally-enabled experiences and access to services that evolve the customer’s expectations have helped rebuild confidence in the industry and generate sales. This means the passenger car market is on track to reach pre-COVID levels by 2025.”
In the session led by Harmeet Singh, After Sales Director at Al Masaood Automobiles, he highlighted figures from a recent survey to decipher customer preferences for digital dealership platforms.
“Like the rest of the industries, the automotive market has adapted to the new changes to ensure business continuity. We focused on rolling out our innovative digital solutions and digitising our operational processes.
The survey uncovered that 95 percent of respondents expected both real time availability of vehicles and prices of cars and services to be displayed, 73 percent expect real-time communication and 63 percent wanted the option to pay for services through the digital platform,” said Singh.
“We further leveraged our digital channels to provide sales and after-sales services and added further simplicity and convenience to our customers’ experience. Our aim was to ensure the uninterrupted delivery of our services without comprising the health, safety, or convenience of everyone,” he added.
Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the Network took place ahead of this year’s Automechanika Dubai which will take place from 14-16 December 2021 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Automechanika Dubai’s Show Director, said, “How companies and organisations have reacted and adapted to the sweeping changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic has already proven the industry’s resilience. With the wider automotive market on its way to recovery, Automechanika Dubai aims to drive the back-to-business message across all participants of the show later this year.”