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AfriConnections in Focus as 19th Edition of Automechanika Dubai Concludes

24 Nov 2022

The Repair & Maintenance section saw a new competition to test skills and knowledge

AfriConnections unites buyers from across the world as the continent aims to double its existing 50 million vehicle fleet by 2040

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Dubai, UAE: Automechanika Dubai, the Middle East’s largest international trade show for the automotive aftermarket industry, taking place at the Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) concludes it three-day run today (November 24) after seeing one of its most successful editions to date. The 19th edition hosted 1,145 exhibitors from 53 countries, indicating a 98 per cent increase from last year’s edition, with a vast showcase of present and future products, services, technologies, and insights from industry experts.

The last day shifted focus towards the African market with AfriConnections, a dedicated conference stream and networking area aimed at uniting businesses and dealers from Africa with the rest of the world. According to a recent report commissioned for Automechanika Dubai, Africa’s rising population is a key growth driver, with the continent expected to be home to 2.4 billion by 2050. Africa’s working-age population, a key economic growth enabler, is expected to increase exponentially and, by 2050, will outstrip that of China and be three times that of the European Union.

The report also predicts Africa’s current vehicle fleet of around 50 million units will grow substantially over the next decade, with the vehicle parc in key markets more than doubling until 2040 when the majority of the growth continues to come from imported vehicles.

Speaking at the opening session of AfriConnections at Automechanika Academy, Erik Deitersen, Director at AfriCon, discussed what future opportunities look like in a changing African automotive aftermarket:

“Africa is huge and diverse, which is in itself an opportunity,” said Deitersen. “The continent has plenty of urban areas with more than a million habitants and with growth in population comes growth in manufacturing. 

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“IMF figures show that Africa is set to overtake Asia, the growth engine of the world, by 2027. We have already seen a 2.8 per cent of growth in income from the year 2000, whereas growth in the aftermarket has seen a nine per cent improvement in automotive parts, three per cent in heavy vehicles and eight per cent in light vehicles over the same period.”

In collaboration with the Dubai Government Workshop, another new feature in the Repair & Maintenance division was the Tools & Skills competition where participants were judged on various characteristics, such as skills, knowledge, agility, accuracy, and more. The tire changing and mounting competition took place throughout the final day and witnessed a great turnout in terms of participation and audiences alike.

Automechanika 2022, organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, covered six product sectors: Parts & Components, Electronics & Systems, Accessories & Customizing, Tires & Batteries, Repair & Maintenance, and Car Wash, Care & Reconditioning across 11 halls at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Throughout the last three days, sustainability and how it is changing the face of the industry have been addressed through conference streams and exhibitor products. Returning for his 10th edition, Ahmed Alhussaini, Managing Director at O2 Proformance, marks this edition with his biggest participation yet; “As we mark a decade of being exhibitors at Automechanika Dubai this year, we have developed to be bigger and better each edition. Every year we showcase innovative products and introduce something different, and this year is no different as we launched a smart washer that works on a process called bioremediation. The machine converts oil and grease into CO2 and H2O and constantly cleans itself. It also turns itself off after 10 minutes assisting with the preservation of electricity”.

“The attendance this year, across all categories, has been truly special. As we close the doors this year and look towards our 20th-anniversary edition in 2023, I would like to take the opportunity to thank all of our stakeholders, exhibitors and visitors for making this year one of the Automechanika Dubai’s largest-ever outings to date; said Mahmut Gazi Bilikozen, Show Director of Automechanika Dubai.

Automechanika Dubai will be returning to the Dubai World Trade Centre from 15 to 17 November 2023.

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