African auto parts market ‘to be worth $15.3bn by 2020’

Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda leading growth in demand

PHOTO: Nearly 22 million vehicles ply Africa’s roads, creating demand for parts and accessories worth more than $8 billion per year. Credit: Shutterstock

Demand in Africa for auto parts and accessories is growing 11% year-on-year and will be worth $15.3 billion by 2020, according to a new report.

The double-digit demand for parts in the continent is led by countries like Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania and Uganda, analysts Frost & Sullivan said ahead of the Automechanika show in Dubai next month.

“Despite its highly fragmented nature, the African automotive aftermarket is among the most promising in terms of potential growth,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “There are nearly 22 million vehicles on the continent’s roads today, creating demand for parts and accessories worth more than $8 billion per year.”

“It’s therefore become an increasingly significant market for global manufacturers of accessories and engine components such as bearings, brake pads, spark plugs and filters – with a large amount of these being re-exported from the UAE.”

More than 3,000 visitors from 40 African countries visited the 13th edition of Automechanika Dubai in 2015, 11% up on the previous year, according to show organisers Messe Frankfurt. The African presence is also underlined by a South African Pavilion at Automechanika Dubai 2016, taking place from 8-10 May at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.

The UAE is a significant market for auto exports from South Africa, said Norman Lamprecht, director of the Automotive Industry Export Council (AIEC), which is exhibiting at the state-backed South African pavilion.

“The South African automotive industry exported a record $9.9 billion worth of vehicles and components to 140 countries in 2015,” said Lamprecht, whose organisation represents the interests of seven motor vehicle manufacturers in South Africa, including BMW, Ford, GM, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Toyota, Volkswagen, various commercial vehicle manufacturers, and 500 component suppliers.

“The UAE was one of 30 destinations to which automotive exports more than doubled on a year-on-year basis to $79 million in 2015, from $33 million in 2014.”

Another South African pavilion exhibitor set to take part in the show this year is Zane Scullard from Unicontinental Natal, a manufacturer of adhesives and sealants. “Through Automechanika Dubai 2016 we’re planning to reach new customers and possibly extend our business into… North Africa,” Scullard said.

“We consider Africa as very important for the growth of our business, while Dubai’s status as a major transhipment and re-export hub plays a fundamental role in fuelling the growth of Africa’s automotive aftermarket trade.”

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