Globalization: China, Thailand, Indonesia & Korea race for middle-east “Booming” auto-parts market

As car parts is hot for competing Asian in the middle-east & businessmen asking who will come out ahead-all the really smart guys are asking is for phone numbers from car

  • By Pooky, Thai Intel’s economics journalist

In Thailand, there has been a long-running debate about “How Real” is economic data and opinion given by experts on the state of Thailand’s economy-since Thailand is one of the most censored and politicized country globally at the moment.

Take the Japanese Tsunami situation with many Thai government planners and also industry expert coming out to say that the Japanese crisis will not impact Thailand greatly.

Then the situation deteriorates and some investigative journalist began to write seriously, instead of pumping out propaganda.

But one Thai journalist recently noted, that there is a very long wait for many Japanese cars in Thailand these days because the most important parts that feeds much of the Thai auto industry comes from Japan. One investigative Thai journalist says, for example, that the wait for a Honda CRV is about 3 months because of the lack of parts.

What is fundamentally very negative about Thailand is this denying of the Reality of Situations.

This denial, based perhaps on the Thai political crisis making everyone overly sensitive to negative information, means that Thailand is not addressing management with concrete steps, but has in fact, just simply use public relations to manage everything.

Thai FDI, much of it in the auto parts industry, has picked up a tick, but it is not much. Thai press, off course, headline the figures to make them look rosy. But the figures is not that impressive, especially if measured against Thailand’s competitors. And what is coming to Thailand are those that becomes un-competitive for Japanese and Americans to produce-meaning, low value added parts.

Blame it on the Thai political crisis, but the fact is Thailand is really in no position to drive hard bargains against foreign MNEs to fully benefit Thailand-as Thailand has been weak and for a few years now, have been on the begging end of the equation-to global businesses.

Counter that with Indonesia, for example, the country has a very long track record of strong bargaining position with foreign interest-based on a society that is very much united and strong-banded together under a booming economy, and also booming democracy.

The following is a press release from UAE:

The region’s largest automotive aftermarket exhibition, Automechanika, opened amid renewed interest from international principles in the Middle East and Africa‘s commercial potential over the coming decades.

“We work with primarily Asian manufacturers, and they are very interested in this region, as its ability to absorb product has real impact on the extent to which they can continue to expand capacity in their Asia-based factories,” said Asad Badami, managing director of A-MAP, a Dubai-based global auto parts whose principles base themselves in China, Indonesia, Korea, and Thailand.

All indications are that the Middle East, Africa, and Central Asia auto market is growing, and growing quite rapidly.

Dubai’s outstanding reputation for ‘ready stock’ is the main reason behind its enduring reputation for excellence in trading, a reputation Badami says his group has thrived on over the last decade.

“Auto parts distributors and dealers, particularly those from emerging markets, are interested in the ‘availability factor’ more than anything else. They want quality brands at a fair price, but they are especially interested in being able to acquire the parts they need quickly, easily, and from partners they can trust to deliver for them in days not weeks, and without necessarily being made to ‘bulk buy’ to agree a fair price,” said Badami.

A-MAP, which has grown by 300 percent since 2009 and is expecting to double in size by 2013, is currently expanding into new markets, having already established operations in Africa, Asia, and North America. The company believes that its participation at Automechanika will enable it to ‘see and be seen’ in an increasingly competitive sector.

“Automechanika in Dubai gets bigger and better every year, and we know from attending past events that visiting delegates are people we want to meet. Over the past year, we have seen our business grow exponentially, and we firmly believe that this growth is rooted in the many international relationships we have worked hard to develop,” added Badami, whose A-MAP company trades Solite batteries, Asimco brake pads, Fenix and Achilles tyres, and RBI rubber products, among others.

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