Female Drivers will Reshape the Saudi Arabian Auto Market, Aftermarket

A huge influx of female drivers in Saudi Arabia from June 2018 will have a dramatic effect on the kingdom’s auto market and aftermarket.

Posted in Industry Updates

The Saudi Arabian automotive market – and soon to follow the country’s aftermarket – has been turbocharged this summer when Saudi Arabian women started applying for driving licenses from June 2018.

The influx of an estimated 90,000 to 150,000 women getting driving licenses annually will have a dramatic effect on the Saudi Arabian auto market and aftermarket. Approximately 85 percent of Saudi women who say they plan to get a license also said they plan to buy a car.

Adding this number of potential new drivers to the nation’s roads in a short period of time is unprecedented in Saudi Arabian history. It’s expected to lead to dramatic auto market growth in the number of vehicles in operation, which will translate to aftermarket growth in the ensuing years.

There are an estimated 4.5 million women in Saudi Arabia between the ages of 20 to 34 years old, and approximately 1.5 million women are employed in the kingdom. These women are expected to be leading the charge among women in applying for driving licenses.

It is unknown how many women will buy and operate their own car and how many will add a car to the family’s fleet of vehicles to meet the needs of the growing number of family members who are suddenly eligible to drive.

While demographic number crunchers can debate the exact number of vehicles that will be added to Saudi Arabian roadways, aftermarket businesses – both parts distributors and auto service repair facilities – need to embrace this trend so that they can capitalize on it.

For example, are distributors prepared to handle the expected surge in the sale of aftermarket parts that will occur in the years after June 2018? Do they have enough parts suppliers that can provide them the right part at the right time at the right price? Do they have enough warehouse space and employees to handle a growing inventory of auto parts that is likely to result from many more cars on the road?

Auto repair facilities will need to evaluate if they have enough service bays and properly trained service technicians to handle the expected increase in business. Service writers need to prepare to work with what is expected to be an increasing number of female customers. It stands to reason that an increase in female drivers will translate to an increasing number of women aftermarket customers. Sales training for service writers may be helpful to help them learn key selling points that they should offer to men and female customers.

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