(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Arabia has ambitious plans to further expand its lucrative automobile industry. In 2011 alone, the Kingdom announced the sale of approximately 800,000 cars potentially increasing to 1 million vehicles per year by the end of the current decade.
In this context, the country is planning to start manufacturing automobile parts by 2013 in addition to assembling cars. Such new operations are aimed at diversifying domestic revenues and reduce oil dependency, noting that in 2013, the value of car sales is expected to reach SR 94 billion.
Today, the Kingdom stands as a leading automotive market with firm restrictions on the age of imported vehicles, a rapid population growth, an increasing per capita spending power and a robust economy - currently the largest in the Gulf. The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources and the Ministry of Commerce and Industry are both working to reinforce the country's status by funding research and development, design, vehicle assembly and infrastructure initiatives to boost automobile exports.
Running from Nov. 17-22 at the Riyadh Exhibition Center, the Riyadh Motor Show 2012 - the 29th international exhibition for motor vehicles - will showcase the latest models and designs from the world's leading automotive players. The 2012 edition of the biennial show will feature passenger cars, commercial vehicles, motorcycles, vehicle bodies and parts, accessories and tools, and related financial services such as insurance schemes and loans.
"With plans under way to turn the Kingdom into a regional automotive powerhouse, the Riyadh Motor Show provides an ideal platform for automotive players to discuss current and future opportunities, share the latest technologies and best practices, and forge promising partnerships.
The government's strong support provides a crucial motivation for the sector to expedite growth and reinforce local business strategies. This event provides momentum for the automotive industry's expansion drive," said Kamil Al-Jawhari, project manager of Riyadh Motor Show at Riyadh Exhibitions Company (REC).
In 2010, the Riyadh Motor Show witnessed a record participation rate with over 96,000 visitors. This year's edition will cover around 20,000 sqm of prime exhibition space to represent the largest gathering of automotive professionals and consumers the region has ever brought together under one roof.
Riyadh Motor Show 2012 will be running concurrently with Saudi Autoshop 2012 - the 15th international exhibition for auto repair, equipment, tools, parts and accessories - exhibiting the latest automotive accessories and spare parts in a one-stop-shop event.