(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) The multi-billion dollar global automobile aftermarket and tuning sector is keenly looking at the high-potential Middle East market whose passion for automobiles is driven by speed, style and performance.
Leading manufacturers and dealers from countries enjoying pole position in automotive customisation and tuning innovations are set to converge on Expo Centre Sharjah to test-drive the market, when the third edition of Middle East Motor Tuning Show gets under way on March 15, 2012.
Saif Mohammed Al Midfa, director-general of Expo Centre Sharjah, announced the details of the three-day show at a news conference on Monday. Keeping in mind the visitor profile, there will be two drifting arenas - one for 4x4s and the other for saloon cars - at the show.
Apart from featuring luxury sport cars, modified vehicles, racing vehicles, spare parts, bodykits, tyres, high performance lubricants, multi-media, tuning clubs, specialist technical publications and accessories, the show has lined up a slew of activities.
Of late, electronic content in vehicles are increasing phenomenally and are not just 'music systems' but are known as 'infotainment systems'. Providing enthusiasts an opportunity to showcase their skills in building the best car audio and multi-media systems, the show will feature a EMMA Car Audio Competition for the third time in a row supported by Pioneer.
"The Middle East is an up-and-growing market. While there is a huge demand for automotive aftermarket and tuning products, we don't have many manufacturers over here. But the number of establishments offering professional fitting and support services is growing. This is an interesting proposition for leading manufacturers of parts and accessories from across the world and the show will help them cater to a market that is expanding in tandem with rising car sales," said Midfa.
Several countries have full-fledged car modification industries that are growing fast, with the size of the US aftermarket sector estimated at 30 billion. It is a high-margin segment that needs to constantly upgrade manufacturing techniques and strengthen innovation capabilities to keep pace with changing trends and customer demands.
"We have a lot of catching up to do. The regional tuning market lacks reliable information on the size and value of the market, demand patterns, market structures, buying habits and supply chains, among others. The show aims to support the growth of the industry by providing clear insights into the true potential of the market in the region," he said.
"Nevertheless, we have a vibrant market. The demand for customization here is fuelled by the passion of people, especially youths, to convert their vehicles to suit their individual tastes, focusing more on style, power and splendour, giving rise to an industry that is now opening up to a new world of engine modifications, interior refinement, hand craftsmanship and complete vehicle individualization," said Midfa.
Analysts point out that the sector does not encounter the same price and cost cut pressures such as those faced by automakers.