INFINITI Motor Company has revealed the new QX80 full-size luxury SUV for the first time, at this year’s 2017 Dubai International Motor Show.

Further advancing INFINITI’s market-leading presence in the full-size luxury SUV segment, the QX80 takes INFINITI’s ‘Powerful Elegance’ design language in a bold new direction, creating a powerful, contemporary and commanding aesthetic.

“The new INFINITI QX80 has been designed and engineered to allow customers to travel everywhere in luxury. It strengthens the brand’s position in the global full-size SUV segment, which currently accounts for more than half of all full-size luxury car sales around the world. The new model will further enhance our profile in an area of the market that prizes modern exterior design, high-tech cabins engineered for relaxation, and effortless, empowering performance. The fact that we held the global reveal in Dubai reinforces the strategic importance of the Middle East for INFINITI.” Said Christian Meunier, INFINITI Global Division Vice President.

The QX80 has a refined and spacious cabin that features high-quality materials, a hand-crafted finish and advanced drive-assist technologies. With a taut yet comfort-oriented suspension, and ample performance from its 5.6-litere V8 engine, the new QX80 gives drivers an assured feeling of control and confidence at the wheel.

In 2016, the outgoing model accounted for 8.96 per cent of INFINITI’s global sales, with more than 20,708 units sold around the world. Production of the new QX80 has started.

A healthy outlook for the Middle East’s auto spare parts and service industry has put the global spotlight on Dubai this week, as the region’s largest automotive aftermarket exhibition got underway.

Running for three days at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Automechanika Dubai 2016 has opened for business, featuring 2017 exhibitors from 58 countries, a seven per cent increase on the previous edition in 2015.

The solid growth in exhibitors has underlined the positive sentiment as Middle East vehicle sales are set to rise, from 3.2 million in 2015 to 4.4 million in 2020 according to analysts Frost & Sullivan (F&S), bringing the total car tally on regional roads to 44.5 million, up from 34.8 million in 2015.

The combined growth of car sales and spare parts demand has attracted the attention of the world’s leading aftermarket brands at Automechanika Dubai 2016, as they showcase their latest wares and innovations to an expected audience of more than 30,000 trade buyers from 135 countries.

“Automechanika Dubai is accustomed to setting new records every year, and 2016 is no different,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of the show’s organiser, Messe Frankfurt Middle East. “In its 14th edition this year, Automechanika Dubai has passed the 2000 exhibitor mark for the first time. Compare that to the 119 exhibitors at the inaugural show in 2003, and it’s clear we’ve come a long way.”

“What sets Automechanika Dubai apart is that it serves as a crucial knowledge platform to analyse industry trends, opportunities, and fresh perspectives, view the latest products available in the market, connect with existing contacts, and of course, seek new business partners,” Pauwels added.

Spanning 15 halls at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Automechanika Dubai covers six core product groups: Parts & Components; Electronics & Systems; Repair & Maintenance; Tyres & Batteries; Accessories & Tuning; and Service Station & Car Wash.

With 90 per cent of exhibitors based outside of the UAE, Automechanika Dubai 2016 is also the most internationally representative in its 14-year history, highlighted by 25 Country Pavilions, including debut pavilions from Japan, Peru, the Netherlands, and Iran.

Spearheading the international exhibitor charge are country pavilions from Germany and Italy, with 103 and 78 exhibitors respectively, USA (58 exhibitors) Brazil (25 exhibitors), Korea (88 exhibitors), Turkey (75 exhibitors), South Africa (16 exhibitors) and Japan (11 exhibitors).

Automechanika Dubai returns with the Truck Competence Initiative in 2016, highlighting more than 1000 exhibitors that service the truck and commercial vehicle segment, from truck parts, systems, and electronics, to workshop equipment, body repair and care.

Also returning is the popular Automechanika Academy on 9th May, where a power-packed line-up of experts and thought leaders will share their insights into the most important aspects of the regional spare parts and maintenance market. Three network events covering Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Africa will also shine the spotlight on doing business in three of the most exciting markets for the global auto aftermarket community.

BodyShop News’ local magazine, BodyShop News Gulf, is exhibiting at Automechanika Dubai and has received a very warm welcome from people associated with the collision repair industry.

Look out for a full report in the next issue of BodyShop News.

Hankook Tyre is about to kick off the new motorsport year with a top-flight event. The tenth anniversary of the 24-hour racing spectacle in Dubai (January 8-10, 2015) sees the premium tyre manufacturer making its debut appearance as the event’s exclusive tyre partner and headline sponsor.

The international season-opener in the United Arab Emirates doubles as the flagship event and curtain-raiser for the ‘24H SERIES powered by Hankook,’ recently granted official international series status by the FIA. That means championship points will be up for grabs in Dubai and the five subsequent events in the driver and team classifications as well as the Ladies’ Cup. Moreover, the ‘24H Series powered by Hankook’ is the only endurance series to feature more than one 24-hour race (24H Dubai, 24H Circuit Paul Ricard, 24H Barcelona).
Hankook Tyre will provide Ventus F200 slicks and wet weather tyres to approximately 100 entries via 15 shipping containers, ranging in sizes from 17-inches for compact touring cars, to 19-inches for the biggest GT3 racers. “The world’s most famous racers will be on hand in Dubai for these exciting races,” says Hyun Bum Cho, President & Chief Marketing Officer/Chief Corporate Management Officer at Hankook Tire. “We look forward to taking part in this high-profile event and supporting all the teams with our high-technology and performance tyres in our role as chief partner and supplier.”
The Dubai 24-hour race was launched in 2006, with current Mercedes-Benz Motorsport boss Toto Wolff and DMSB (Germany’s motorsport governing body) President and former German F1 and DTM legend Hans-Joachim Stuck among the team that drove a BMW M3 to victory at the inaugural event. Apart from BMW, only Porsche and Mercedes-Benz have won in Dubai thus far. Then as now, this motorsport event has the power to thrill with its diverse mix of spectacular GTs, fast touring cars and 24H specials. Amateur drivers and teams likewise remain a vital presence on the starting grid.
The 5.39km Dubai Autodrome ranks among the most advanced tracks in the world due to its extremely challenging driving layout and climate. The track’s high-speed straights and 16 tight turns demand the driver’s undivided concentration for the race’s entire 24 hour duration, while the weather forecast is looking ideal, in the low- to mid-20 degree range.
Hankook has also been the exclusive tyre partner of the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters), the most popular international touring car series since 2011, and has supplied teams racing in some of the world’s most grueling endurance races including Le Mans, and Nurburgring 24 Hour.