OUTLOOK EME Explores the Latest Automotive Insights with AMENA

EME Outlook is a digital and print publication aimed at boardroom and hands-on decision-makers, reaching an audience of more than 395,000 people across the region; with operations in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Their flagship regional magazines showcase the best of business, focusing on innovators, disruptors, market leaders and success stories, providing their readers with unique insights into the operations of top businesses across the globe.

We are delighted to partner with EME Outlook for the latest MENA Automotive Spotlight, click this link to know more.

Moreover, for the latest issue of Europe and Middle East Outlook magazine, check this out.

AMENA and its Vision

Connect, collaborate, create. AMENA’s vision since its inception in 2018 is “to raise industry standards through thought leadership, market intelligence, and knowledge sharing.”

Having been in the automotive industry for over 30 years, 10 of which were spent in the Middle East, founder and Chairman Alan Whaley sees a need for a unifying professional body in the MENA region. He sought opinions from various leaders and organizations, and their response led to the establishment of AMENA.

The Automotive Association of the Middle East & North Africa, or AMENA, stands as an independent automotive association for manufacturers, importers/dealers, suppliers, and professionals in the automotive industry in the MENA region. The association’s ultra-current understanding of the regional market offers a wide range of business strategies, advocacy, content creation, and event production and facilitation.

“The purpose of AMENA is to enable prosperity and success for manufacturers, dealers, partners, and professionals in the automotive industry in the region.” Whaley expressed.

AMENA and its Key Objectives

AMENA’s involvement in various projects and issues in the automotive industry has helped the association execute its key objectives. Even with the challenges of the new norm, its active engagement in future mobility became a driving force.


Back in 2018, AMENA hosted the Region’s First “Women in Automotive” Forum. This initiative focuses on diversity, leadership, and service for women in the automotive industry. The initiative enables women to highlight their best practices, success stories and transform the misconception of women in the industry. It also hosted the Innovation Zone 2020 for Automechanika Dubai (the largest international automotive aftermarket trade show in the Middle East).

When asked about the most exciting part of working within MENA’s automotive market, Whaley answered, “We actively enable prosperity and success for manufacturers, dealers, partners, and professionals in the automotive industry across the region. We deliver on this promise through insights and intelligence, collaboration, professional development, knowledge sharing, networking opportunities, and advocacy.”

AMENA and its Challenges

It is undeniable that the automotive industry is drastically changing. As Whaley pinpoints, “Customer expectations are changing rapidly both in terms of the way they buy and the way they give their loyalty, both of which involves re-engineering customer journey and touchpoints and digital transformation.”

Nevertheless, AMENA has many ways to respond to the rapid transformation of the industry. It includes a movement towards Autonomous, Connected, Electric, Shared Mobility vehicles (ACES). And most importantly, the response to customer’s behaviour and expectations.

Specifically, in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, the biggest challenge for the association is changing the old school thinking with everything returning to the new normal. They resist change, knowing it will cost organizations and individuals if they don’t respond to it. However, in some cases, some organizations are adapting well and advancing in their journey. And some are unfortunately way behind and haven’t done the first step.

AMENA’s Projects and Future Overview

AMENA’s untiring efforts to serve the automotive industry have created the first Automotive Academy that aims to lead the industry in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) times. In addition, it also focuses on developing and equipping leaders of the automotive industry.

These efforts continue with AMENA Academy’s partnership and Hult Ashridge Executive Education, an internationally recognized business school.

You can add your valuable feedback as this will help shape the future of the automotive industry and how well we prepare our leaders, this link is a short survey that will take three minutes.

There are also documentaries in production that share best practices and highlight success stories in the MENA region.

Over the years, the rapid change in the course of the automotive industry also changed the perception of people. Whaley stated, “The automotive industry is going through its most significant transformation since its inception over 150 years ago. Learning from some of the most remarkable lessons history has taught us, a crisis is always followed by chaos. Chaos is the ultimate double-edged sword. Some companies lose their competitive edge, and others gain unfair advantages and dominate their arenas.”

The automotive industry has always had its inevitable changes in all factors. With every transformation comes new challenges and new opportunities. A professional body like AMENA will not only let manufacturers, dealers, partners, and professionals survive but thrive.

Connection, collaboration, creation. That is what AMENA is all about.

MENA’s Challenges and Possibilities

MENA’s automotive industry is no exemption to changes. This is evident with the radical transformation of the industry over the years. With the growing network of manufacturers, importers, suppliers, professionals, and consumers in the region, its industry is undeniably changing.

Such a dilemma is associated with the unexpected emergence of the COVID-19 outbreak. Apart from the unprecedented impact on the economy, it has been identified that the downward trend in the auto market is due to the ongoing pandemic.

Consumer-facing industries have difficulties in online transitions, hence, a significant decline in sales. It also weakened the demand for transportation as mobility is restricted.

Nevertheless, the industry is also giving rise to new opportunities to adapt to the “new normal”. The restriction brought by the pandemic has bred innovative transformations that lead towards digitalization. For example, MENA retailers are now considering the potential virtual showroom and a possible online car sale.

MENA’s Automotive Industry

There have been a lot of factors that contributed to the decline in the auto market. That includes the presence of the pandemic that affected global car sales.

One of the world’s fastest-growing motor industries between 2010-2015, Saudi Arabia experienced a decline from its new car sales by 60% and showroom visits by 80% during the year 2020. This resulted in a severe impact on the service and aftermarket sectors as average spending per vehicle fell by 25%. As a result, the MENA region’s third-quarter sales fell by 29.6% across 2020 with 1.04 million sales.

However, even with the decline in the market, Saudi Arabia stands as a promising region within its sector. Since Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman lifted the ban on women drivers in 2018, the country recorded an increase in passenger vehicle sales. Hence, female consumers see to contribute to the transformation of the industry.

Growth Potential in the MENA Region

The growth potential in the MENA region is raking in for both sales and production. It highlights Morocco, UAE, and Egypt among countries to have significant growth in the region.

In North Africa, Morocco has been seen with potential growth as it flourishes itself to become the kingdom’s top exporter. The country has recorded over 24.4 per cent of its major exports.

UAE is also looking to establish itself as a manufacturing hub for luxury sports cars. Being one of the notable importers of high-end sports vehicles, it preceded the aims of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region in support of economic diversification. UAE is also one of the countries to represent major drives for significant growth.

Egypt may still be recovering, but its market also indicates a boost in its domestic production capacity. This is after German automaker Mercedes-Benz announced plans on building a new vehicle assembly plant to the Egyptian auto market.

Even with the gradual shift of syncing with the current situation that is evident with potential growth, it is undeniable that the region still calls for a unifying voice. Therefore, the automotive sector needs a professional body that delivers and advocates for the various players and stakeholders within the industry. 

Did you know that AMENA Academy offers bespoke Automotive training courses for the MENA Region and Around the Globe? Find out more: https://www.amenaauto.org/academy/