(MENAFN Press) Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Experts agree that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with its tactical location, and robust logistic network is a vital link to sustaining the rapid growth of the automotive sector in Africa.
The African continent is the next breakthrough market globally, with governments increasing spending on infrastructure. The International Monetary Fund on its latest World Economic Outlook, revised up its 2013 figures for Africa to 5.7 percent from 5.3 percent.
Significant investor buzz is also moving from the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) nations to also encompass the emerging continent, particularly potential economic powerhouses such as Nigeria, which features the largest African population, as well as notable natural resources such as gold and oil to aid its growth.
According to DHL, South Africa is the UAE's 13th most important market for non-oil exports, while Dubai Exports notes that total exports and re-exports from Dubai to South Africa alone valued at USD408 million in 2011. Trade between Africa and Dubai had previously registered steady growth as more and more African countries continue to adopt free trade policies, and recognise Dubai's position as an international trading hub.
Increasingly African car dealers and businessmen are seen in the UAE, making large purchases, both for used cars and spare parts.
Africa has one of the highest rates of second hand car sales globally, with new car sales increasing every year. Data shows African buyers understand that buying a used car avoids the depreciation hit that new-car owners are burdened with in the first year of ownership, allowing it to retain its value for longer.
A-MAP, specialists in distribution of aftermarket automotive spare parts, automotive batteries, tyres, and lubricants have been servicing the African continent for 11 years, and the company remains bullish on its Africa operations, which is largely down to a burgeoning reputation as a go-to supplier and re-exporter of world-class stock such as Solite batteries, Asimco brake pads, Fenix tyres, and RBI rubber products.
"We have a reputation for getting spare parts to the customer quickly, thanks to our robust supply chain across the African continent. The various brands that we represent and our on-the-ground expertise has helped us service the African market successfully," commented Asad Badami, managing director of A-MAP.
A-MAP has constantly reiterated the fact that genuine parts saves lives. This remains a key message from the company, who clearly understand that given the driving conditions, (which is improving) across the continent, wear-and-tear on vehicles is very high.
"We have always made it clear that genuine parts save lives, especially here in Africa. People only see the short term advantage of using fake parts and miss the larger picture: genuine parts are extremely cost effective and safe over the long term. We bring world class products at very competitive price and urge our customers to be more aware of these benefits," added Badami.
While North and South African automotive markets are thriving, the lack of a mature automotive manufacturing industry within East and West Africa means that companies like A-MAP play a pivotal role in keeping the continent moving. With the surge in automotive demand across Africa, the spare part sector of the automotive industry is equally important.
"From our global headquarters in Dubai, United Arab Emirates we have been successfully servicing Africa and the company now is ideally placed to meet the demands coming out of the continent, particularly where tyres and batteries are concerned," said Badami.
The African continent is deemed as one of the fastest growing markets for the global tyre industry, according to reports. The rapid growth of the middle class in many African countries has caused a surge in demand for vehicles, consequently pushing demand for all tyres. The African Development Bank estimates that 313 million people, or a third of the continent's population, hover between extreme poverty and extreme wealth. Only four years ago, just over 100,000 Africans had a net worth equal to 60% of Africa's GDP.
A-MAP's products for Africa include automotive batteries, tires, lubricants, and automotive parts.