Kuwait - Country Commercial Guide
Automobile and Automotive Parts

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-09-13


Kuwait is a significant importer of new American automobiles and is the eighth-largest U.S. export market for automobiles worldwide. Due to the low cost of fuel, as well as local tastes, there is a high demand for large automobiles such as trucks and SUVs. With U.S. automobile exports (excluding military vehicles) to Kuwait valued at $574 million in 2020 this is the largest sector for U.S. exporters in the consumer market.

Table: Automotive Marketshare In Kuwait

Exporting Country/Region

Market Share in Kuwait



United States




South Korea




With 43% of the market, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) are the dominant vehicle type in Kuwait. Also, Kuwait is an excellent market for high-end luxury and vintage automobiles. An increased number of Chinese brands are entering the market. Selling at very low prices, Chinese brands are used among others in the construction sector and food delivery business the segments which were previously dominated by Korean brands. There are around 78 international car brands in Kuwait with an Asian majority, including 11 Japanese companies, 22 Chinese brands, 9 American brands, 7 brands from the United Kingdom, three Korean brands, and 15 European brands.

The automotive aftermarket is growing in Kuwait and other GCC countries by about 14% per year. Local experts estimated the total market value is $2.3 billion in 2022. Having a large used car market is helping to increase the demand for spare parts and maintenance services.  The estimated dollar value for the total market for spare parts are more than 130 million dollar out of which 50 million is for American spare parts.

Electric Vehicle Market in Kuwait:

Given the small size of Kuwait, it would make an ideal candidate for electric vehicles as a car could be driven from one end of the country to the other on a single charge. However, in Kuwait and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries, sales of electric vehicles are very low, due in part to low-cost, subsidized petrol being widely available. Besides the financial difficulties that consumers face to be able to purchase, there are currently no policies or incentives in place in Kuwait to support and encourage the purchase and use of EVs. Charging infrastructure is currently sparse and unregulated. Kuwait is currently in the process of developing plans regulations to govern electric vehicles and develop electric vehicle infrastructure.

Electric vehicle companies can use this time to help to create an environment to support EV infrastructure as well as build their brand. It will be critical highlight the value, reduced emissions and safety of choosing EVs over petroleum cars. Infrastructure and government support will be essential to make this happen, so public-private partnerships must be formed for increased penetration.


Kuwait is a lucrative market for large-sized SUVs, especially for heavy-duty shock absorbers, transmissions, cooling and air conditioning systems, and tires that meet extreme temperatures. Luxury automobile manufacturers will also find strong demand in market. Given Kuwait’s leading position in supply chain and logistics services to Iraq, local companies are selling large volumes of trucks to serve logistics companies catering to U.S. and coalition forces in the region. Most auto dealers note that the utility vehicle market demonstrates tremendous volume growth.  

Automotive Trade Shows

  • The Kuwait International Fair hosts an annual automobile exhibition in December. Information can be found on the KIF website http://www.kif.net/en). The largest Gulf auto show takes place in Dubai. Visit the Dubai Motor Show website for more information. 
  • The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Middle East Development Conference is the premier automotive specialty products trade event featuring specialty equipment. The show is held annually in March in Abu Dhabi. For more details, please visit the SEMA Middle East website.  
  • Automechanika Dubai is the region’s largest and most comprehensive trade and networking exhibition for the automotive aftermarket. The show is held annually in May and dozens of American companies participate in this show. Please visit the Automechanika Dubai Website
  • Automechanika Frankfurt is the world’s leading Trade Fair for the Automotive Industry. Automechanika offers a unique spectrum of products from the fields of automotive parts, car washing, workshop and filling-station equipment, IT product and services, accessories and tuning. It takes place every September. Visit the Frankfurt Automechanika webpage for more details. 

The U.S. Embassy Commercial Section typically recruits buyers to the SEMA show in Las Vegas. Visit the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) SEMA show webpage for more information about the show. 


For additional information on automobiles and the auto parts industry, please contact Commercial Specialist Xavier Muthu at Xavier.Muthu@trade.gov