Monday, 9 December 2013


Motoring manufacturers report record sales at region’s largest and most influential automotive event

A combination of spectacular sales by manufacturers and impressive visitor footfall at the 12thDubai International Motor Show, which ran November 5-9 at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), demonstrated why the Middle East’s largest and most influential automotive event continues to drive the burgeoning regional car industry.
With 108 global and regional launches including 15 concept cars and more than 600 cars on display - from futuristic concepts to timeless classics - the five-day show saw a line-up of the world’s top automotive manufacturers attract 105,268 visitors - a five per cent increase on 2011.
Additionally, more than 150 international exhibitors, comprising over 60 global car manufacturers, covered over 65,000m² of DWTC exhibition space, up 15% on the previous show.
An unprecedented number of luxury vehicle manufacturers reported sold-out stands and record sales and bookings. Lamborghini closed deals for 10 models, Lebanese carmaker W Motors’ received three orders for its US $ 3 million Lykan Hypersports supercar and Aston Martin took orders for 20 cars, while manufacturers from high-end marquees such as Bentley, Bugatti and McLaren, and mass market brands including Toyota, Hyundai and Ford all reported strong sales.
Away from the manufacturers, Brabus, the German-based high-performance aftermarket tuning company, and Rumble Cycles, an independent motorcycle store in the UAE, were other big winners.
“Significant sales and high footfall at this year’s Dubai International Motor Show evidence robust consumer confidence in the market potential of the region’s motoring industry,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), organiser of the show. “The positive post-show feedback we are receiving from exhibitors is matched only by the enthusiasm of our motor-hungry public to use the show as a purchasing platform.”
With the Middle East luxury car segment forecast to double by 2015, high-end manufacturers recognise the show as a platform to connect with a receptive, high net worth target audience. Al Habtoor Motors, the UAE’s distributor for luxury marquees such as Bentley, Bugatti and McLaren, was among them.
“This was our most successful Dubai International Motor Show to date in terms of luxury sales and ROI,” said George Duncan, Director, Prestige Division, Al Habtoor Motors. “Although we keep specific sales numbers confidential, we can say that Bentley, Bugatti and McLaren all reported best-ever sales returns at the show. Every Bentley on the show floor was sold and we saw strong sales traffic for Bugatti and McLaren – all in all, we reported a great improvement in terms of on-floor transactions.”
Widely recognised by the world’s leading luxury manufacturers as one of the top markets in the world for bespoke and personalised models, several marques enjoyed exceptional response during the show.
“The Middle East has the biggest uptake on Rolls-Royce Bespoke models with 100% of delivered cars containing at least some element of customer personalisation,” said Geoff Briscoe, Regional Director, Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Middle East, Africa and Latin America. “The Dubai International Motor Show presents an opportunity where we can meet with our regional clientele, get a first-hand feel of the market and gauge public response. The show is a great stage to showcase what our engineers, designers and craftspeople are capable of achieving for clients via our Bespoke personalisation programme.”
Several other manufacturers were quick to praise the show for its enduring role in nurturing the regional automotive appetite – with luxury vehicles, concept cars and the growing hybrid segment proving increasingly popular.
"The Middle East is a discerning market for luxury vehicles; customers are very knowledgeable about cars and place a lot of emphasis on what they drive,” said Osman Abdelmoneim, General Manager, AGMC, which distributes Rolls-Royce, MINI and German luxury manufacturer BMW across the UAE.
“In a market that embraces heritage and welcomes innovation, the Dubai International Motor Show was the perfect platform to showcase the BMW i8 – an all-new, revolutionary, plug-in hybrid sports car that combines futuristic design with sporty performance and outstanding efficiency. The car generated a huge amount of interest with many customers wanting to buy one on the spot – the show has given us great confidence ahead of our regional launch in Q2 next year."
Ford Middle East, which secured its own share of the show spotlight by showcasing two concept vehicles - the Ford Atlas and the Lincoln MKC - for the first time regionally, was another satisfied customer.
“The Dubai International Motor Show has always been an integral platform for the region’s automotive industry and for Ford Motor Company in particular,” said Larry Prein, Ford Middle East’s Managing Director. “It’s why we chose this illustrious stage to announce the introduction of 17 new or refreshed models in the next 24 months, which kicked off with the regional debut of the Ford Fusion and EcoSport models.”
The volume of visitors generated a new level of success for exhibitors running on-site activations and social media competitions to generate additional brand engagement.
“We leveraged the regional premiere of the all-new Corolla and FT 86 Open Concept to register personal data of more than 10,000 stand visitors who expressed interest in buying a new Toyota,” said Jon Williams, Managing Director, Al-Futtaim Motors, the Japanese manufacturer’s UAE distributor. “We also handed out a staggering 177,000 gifts and entertained over 1,200 virtual racers in our Toyota 86 Coupe simulator.”
Sarah Junghardt, Manager, MINI, BMW Group Middle East, added: “We invited visitors to express the NOT NORMAL side to their personalities by posing for unconventional photos in the MINI photo booth. In total 1,628 people dressed up and revealed their fun side and now we are calling on them to ‘Tag & Brag’ about their experience on MINI Middle East Facebook and Instagram. In addition to the fun paparazzi-style photography, MINI generated almost 1,400 new contacts making this Dubai International Motor Show our most successful to date.”
The 2013 edition of the motor show saw a number of Chinese motor industry heavyweights using Dubai as the launch pad to spur international growth, citing the emirate’s strong business reputation and geographic location as a key driver in spearheading MENA expansion strategies.
One of China’s top five motoring manufacturers, BAIC, used the show to unveil its brand to the world for the first time outside its home market and also announced a strategic partnership with local importer, Gargash Motors.
“This was our first step in exploring the overseas market and Dubai was our first and only choice,” said Haiyang Dong, President and CEO, BAIC International. “It’s the centre of the region and the financial heart, so it was very important to show our product and our strengths here.”
Elsewhere, JAC Motors made its regional debut at the show, while Chery International, which has gone into partnership with Al Habtoor Motors, promoted its new fleet.
A biennial event, the 13thDubai International Motor Show will take place in November 2015, with a number of manufacturers already committed to participating. For more information,

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