West Africa Automotive Show anticipates huge visitor numbers for launch
New international trade show opens on November 6th with 100 exhibitors
West Africa Automotive Show (WAAS), a new international trade exhibition, is expecting more than 3,000 attendees from the automotive maintenance and repair sector.
Running from November 6th to 8th at the Landmark Centre on Victoria Island, Lagos, WAAS is free to attend and will bring together the regional automotive sector under one roof. Car parts manufacturers, assemblers, and distributors from Nigeria and across the world will be promoting the latest in technology, products and services and leading the discussion on innovation and best practice in the industry.
The target audience for WAAS comprises the assemblers, commercial garages, retailers, mechanics, fleet operators, and logistics companies of Nigeria and the West Africa Region. The show will also be of interest to enthusiasts for custom-car building, autostylists, and those looking to see what the latest is in body kits.
The three-day event means stakeholders will be able to discuss international trends in automotive parts design and manufacture, find out more about the implications of aspects such as the move towards zero-emission, and forge links among the entrepreneurial local motor manufacturing industry.
WAAS has the backing of the largest spare part trade association in Africa, the Auto Spare Part and Machinery Distributors Association (ASPMDA), which is a founding partner for the show. It is urging its 20,000 members to attend, saying: “The advice for stakeholders in the auto industry is that they should continue to attend all exhibitions because learning is a continuous process.”
Leonard Okoye, Secretary of the Foreign Trade and Investment Committee, ASPMDA, said: “ASPMDA is supporting WAAS as an inroad to meet other manufacturers in the competitive market of the automobile industry. In an event like this our members have the opportunity to get better prices and better quality of spares.”
A number of local car parts dealer associations are also supporting the show including the New Auto Spare Parts Dealers Association, Nkpor, the Abuja Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association (AMSPDA), New Motor Spare Parts Dealers Association, Yangobra Kano, and the Residents Automotive Components Dealers Association of Nigeria, RACDAN.
Export and import opportunities will be a key component of the show. Around a third of exhibitors are from Nigeria, while the overseas contingent is truly international. Morocco and China will have national pavilions, while Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and India will also have significant representation. Exhibitors from a further dozen countries are also taking part.
One exhibitor from Lithuania in northern Europe is the motor salvage company UAB ‘Pabaltijo automobiliu prekyba’ which has indicated its commitment to invest in Nigeria. “If our business operation reaches a certain level of growth and scale, we would consider setting up an office in Nigeria,” said UAB director Darius Luksevicius.
There are two significant factors supporting UAB’s interest specifically in Nigeria, as Mr Luksevicius explained: “The most important advantage for is the language. We value that we will be able to communicate with our customers and partners in English. Another vital advantage of Nigeria is its geographical location, located in the middle of Africa with seaports. It’s very attractive for import/export business operations.”
WAAS is organised by BtoB Events, which has already had two successful show launches in Lagos over the past year, Beauty West Africa and Food and Beverage West Africa. Such is the regard for the expertise of the organisers, WAAS has the official endorsement of the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC). This was established by the Nigerian Government “primarily to initiate, recommend and supervise policies and programmes for locally manufactured vehicles and components.”
BtoB Events’ Managing Director Jamie Hill is looking forward to seeing so many attendees having the chance to meet face-to face with local and international companies and build new business ties.
“WAAS is a fantastic new opportunity to bring together the automotive parts industry and the mechanics, dealers and suppliers who use and retail these key components. There will be thousands of products on display, many of which will be showcased for the first time,” he said.
“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 looking to expand their business and increase export to surrounding countries.
“I think it is key for participants to see what the global aftermarket industry has to offer with a range of products from across four continents being presented onsite. On top of this, it is also great to give the local companies a platform to grow their market share, increase exports and highlight that the Nigerian OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] are not out of place amongst the global companies.”
Admission to the event is free.