When breaking down these global developments of the automotive industry to just the Middle East and North African region, certain trends and market indicators emerge:
In 2018, almost two million commercial and passenger vehicles were sold in the Middle East and North Africa region. Although the Middle East, North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa have the lowest rate of motor vehicle sales, those markets still confirm Toyota as the leading automotive producer; this is also the case for the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Council countries, including the UAE. During this time, Iran led the region in terms of passenger car sales, followed by Saudi Arabia and Israel. In the commercial vehicle segment, sales were strongest in Saudi Arabia, followed by Iran and Iraq.
Automotive production in the Middle East and North African region is dominated by Turkey and Iran, with 1.5 million and 1.01 million production units respectively. The majority of automotive producing countries In the Middle East and North Africa focused on passenger cars, followed by light commercial vehicles.
The outlook for the automotive industry in the Middle East and North Africa bears potential for growth with regard to both sales and production. Highlighting the United Arab Emirates as an example, it is interesting to see that the oil-rich country is not only keen on importing high-end and sports vehicles, but also wants to establish itself as a production hub for luxury sports cars in the near future. Investing in the establishment and promotion of manufacturing, new technologies, and R&D is a significant step towards diversifying the economy of the Gulf Cooperation Council sub-region. This would connect the region further with the global economy, where the automotive industry is an important indicator for the economic performance of a country.