Relatively high living standards in GCC countries, cheap petrol prices at the pump and growing economies and populations have all largely contributed to the strong growth of the automotive sector in the UAE and the Gulf region.
A recent UAE Ministry of Foreign Trade study showed that in 2010, the UAE automotive market was worth USD11.1 billion, a 19.7% increase on the previous year. With no domestic manufacturing industry, the sector focuses on the import for local sale and re-export of vehicles and the associated sub-sectors of auto parts and accessories supply; vehicle maintenance and repair; trading, maintenance and repair of motor cycles and auto finance.
We have acted for a number of automotive manufacturers including Ford, Jaguar LandRover, General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai Motors, Aston Martin, BMW, Rolls Royce, Lotus and Harley-Davidson and provide a full range of corporate, commercial, employment, intellectual property, regulatory and competition advice from our offices across the region.
Common issues encountered by clients in the automotive industry include commercial agency law issues arising from the appointment and termination of local agents/dealers, queries regarding warranty and product safety requirements, recall obligations under local consumer protection laws, combating counterfeit accessories and spare parts and import and re-export issues under local customs laws. With our close contacts with the relevant regulatory authorities in the region we are particularly well placed to provide fast practical commercial advice to clients on all issues impacting the automotive sector.