- Arthur D. Little pioneers with a study about truck industry providers in the Middle East, which will become a major growth driver in the coming years.
- For the first time, both European and Chinese manufacturers compete under the same conditions.
- The demand for budget trucks will decline, since higher-quality trucks from the mid-level and high-end segments are required. Chinese suppliers, recognizing the changing demand, are prepared to develop their model ranges.
After years with relatively low sales figures, the demand for commercial vehicles in various regions will rise. Strategy and innovation consultancy Arthur D. Little has explored the potential of various markets as part of a new study, "The Truck Industry in the Middle East: Strategic growth opportunities in an underestimated region." Now is an outstanding time to rebuild market presence in the Middle East, as structural shifts directly play to the advantage of high-quality truck manufacturers. However, dedicated strategies are necessary to leverage the growth potential, while the relatively new market entrants from China, in particular, need to revise their approaches to the region.
The Middle East’s commercial vehicle sector will grow at 47% percent for the next decade. High-end vehicles (+106%) and those in the medium price segment (+29%) will especially benefit from the upswing, because these correspond to the difficult conditions of the region. Budget trucks, with which Chinese suppliers have been the dominant players in past years, will lose their relevance. Nevertheless, it will be very difficult for European suppliers to regain their lost market leadership.
Duel for the future markets
Chinese manufacturers have invested in product quality and sophistication, as well as service. Conversely, Western brands will need to expand their presence in the Middle East, and possibly even (re-)enter markets with high-tech trucks calibrated to the region at price points that are still realistic. The duel between the two manufacturing regions is an important signal to other regions, especially the emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Africa. For Chinese and European manufacturers, these are extremely important as future growth regions.