A UAE-made Shaali N360 car at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.
Dubai - Dubai International Motor Show a spectacle with a wide range of buying options
Whether it's a family looking to buy their first car, a young millennial seeking to upgrade his or her current vehicle, or a racing enthusiast eager to purchase the latest supercar, Dubai International Motor Show 2017 welcomes them all with a wide range of buying options.
Mercedes-Benz loyalists flocked to the stand to check out the latest that the German brand has to offer. Many were drawn to the E 300 Sedan priced at Dh241,853, while others were more interested in the GLA 250 4MATIC, which is priced at Dh161,000. Families looking for a deal at the Nissan stand had the choice between the Micra priced at Dh42,500 or the Sentra and Altima priced at Dh55,900 and Dh75,900, respectively.
Mazda is also looking to cater to families with its CX-3 priced between Dh71,900 and Dh94,900, in addition to its Mazda 3 sedan and hatchback, which has a price tag between Dh63,900 and Dh89,000.
Speaking to Khaleej Times about some of the choices in the market, Shehab Gargash, CEO and managing director of Gargash Group, said that Mercedes-Benz has always had a very broad appeal. "You have everything from a Dh100,000 car, to a Dh1,000,000 car. Mercedes is unique in that it is a luxury brand that caters to everyone. It is for this reason that we have such a loyal brand following in the region as well."
In addition, he noted that Mercedes-Benz vehicles have a strong brand value. "At the end of the day, you buy the car and use it, but towards the tail-end of your investment, it will still have value." Speaking on the current state of the market in the region, Gargash said: "Commercially, these are not the best of times for the car market. Generally, in the overall economy, it is not the best of times as well. Having said that, it is an economic cycle, and there will be no long-term impact from the slowdown in the market. We believe that the years ahead will see a bit of a pickup in the market."
"It is simply a matter of supply and demand, where, if people have delayed buying a car, then they will only delay it for so long," he added. "Eventually their existing car will get older and [will be] due for replacement. So, we are seeing a slowdown, but it is not a systemic problem; only a normal business cycle slowdown in the industry across all brands and segments in the industry." Looking at the demand for cheaper cars, Gargash noted that there is a niche for quality, entry-level Chinese products. Chinese manufacturers, he said, have come a very long way in a very short time. GAC is a prime example of this trend.
"The demand for Chinese vehicles has picked up, because they are filling a gap that has been left by the Japanese and Korean brands that have become too expensive. They are no longer seen as low-cost cars that you could pick up; their products have gotten better, but they have also gotten pricier. The Chinese are filling that gap by bringing a dependable and affordable product," Gargash said.
Fadi Ghosn, chief marketing officer at Nissan Middle East, offered an interesting view on buyers and their preferences currently in the market. While small sedans such as the Nissan Sunny are always popular with young families looking to purchase their first car, many other families are looking to purchase a small SUV to suit their needs.
"About 10 years ago, families had to buy sedans because of just how big SUVs are," he said. "However, today there is a lot of movement from sedans to SUVs, and we see this in our showrooms... This is an increasing trend because manufacturers are looking at what customers want and they have found that small SUVs are increasingly popular with many customers. The idea that an SUV is a big car is now outdated and there is much more choice available to people in the market."
Enrico Atanasio, director of brand for Audi Middle East, also spoke to Khaleej Times about the success of the Audi brand and its popularity with luxury buyers.
"We have strong expectations for the new 2018 Audi Q5 and new SQ5... given the immense popularity of the luxury SUV segment in the region. The Middle East is also one of the most important markets for Audi's luxury models."
A Japanese-made Kuhl Racing car at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.
Shehab Gargash, CEO and managing director of Gargash Group, at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.
A GMC Yukon SUV at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.
A Lincoln Navigator Presidential at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.
The Mazda pavilion at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.
A Rolls-Royce car at the Dubai Police stand at the Dubai International Motor Show at the Dubai World Trade Centre on Wednesday.