Thursday, September 19, 2019 11:50 am
By Daniels Ekugo
West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), a new international trade exhibition, is set to bring the region’s automotive parts industry together under one roof in November.
For three days, an estimated 100 exhibitors from Nigeria and other countries will be gathering together to network, forge new business ties and show off the latest developments and products in the spare parts and services sector. Suppliers, dealers and manufacturers will also be able to discuss best practice for the industry and find out more about the developing local motor manufacturing industry.
With free admission, more than 3,000 visitors are expected to attend WAAS which opens its doors from November 6th to 8th2019 at the Landmark Centre on Victoria Island, Lagos.
Nigerian businesses are well represented, accounting for about 30 per cent of exhibitors. There will be national pavilions for Morocco and China, smaller groupings from Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and India, and a dozen more countries will also be represented.
WAAS is organised by BtoB Events, which has had two successful show launches in Lagos over the past year, Beauty West Africa and Food and Beverage West Africa.
BtoB Events’ Managing Director Jamie Hill is now looking forward to seeing the regional automotive sector come together under one roof as he launches WAAS.
“We have a wealth of international exhibitors looking to bring high-tech equipment to Nigeria for the first time and a large number of local exhibitors are looking to expand their business and increase exports to surrounding countries,” he said.
Having the largest population on the continent creates a huge market opportunity in Nigeria. BtoB has selected Lagos to launch the show as it recognises Nigeria is well placed to become the automotive hub of the African continent with over 11.5 million vehicles on the roads.
“With over 60% of vehicles on the road being over 12 years old, there is a huge aftermarket industry. The need for high quality and affordable spare parts is becoming increasingly important,” said Mr Hill.
“There is also a real hunger to boost the local assembly of vehicles across the country with the 2013 National Automotive Industry Development plan (NAIDP). With more assembly plants being set up, this again significantly increases the demand for spare parts. We are committed to supporting Nigeria reach its forecast of having 70% of new cars sold being assembled or manufactured domestically by 2050”.
WAAS has the official endorsement of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) and the show’s founding partner is ASPMDA (Auto Spare Part and Machinery Distributors Association).
Mr Hill continued: “ASPMDA represents the largest spare part market across Africa and acts as the re-export hub for sub-Saharan Africa. No other country on the continent can boast a trade hub such as ASPMDA with over 20,000 member businesses, so Nigeria immediately positions itself as the most important for foreign exporters.”
Leonard Okoye, Secretary of the Foreign Trade and Investment Committee at ASPMDA explained the Association “is supporting WAAS as an inroad to meet other manufacturers in the competitive market of automobile industry. The advice for stakeholders in the auto industry is that they should continue to attend all exhibitions because learning is a continuous process.”
To support Nigerian companies at the exhibition, the WAAS organisers are drawing up a small conference seminar to throw the spotlight on local businesses. “It is great to give the local companies a platform to grow their market share, increase exports and highlight that the Nigerian original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are not out of place amongst the global companies,” said Mr Hill.
“At the same time, local entrepreneurs will be able to meet with their overseas counterparts and see what the global aftermarket industry has to offer with a range of products from across four continents.”
While the exhibition is fast approaching capacity, BtoB Events is still inviting applications from exhibitors and potential sponsors, who can find out more on the WAAS website at https://westafricaautomotive.com/ or by contacting Ken Baber on [email protected]
Anyone connected with the automotive spare parts and services industry – be it importers, distributors, manufacturers, assemblers, commercial garages, retailers, mechanics, fleet operators, logistics companies – can attend the show free of charge.