Kuwait - Country Commercial Guide
Automobile and Automotive Parts
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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.

In 2021, Kuwait imported $2.84B in automobiles, becoming the 39th largest importer of automobiles in the world.  In the same year, autos were the most imported product in Kuwait. Kuwait imports automobiles primarily from: Japan ($969M), United States ($552M), China ($302M), Germany ($255M), and United Kingdom ($95.7M). The fastest growing import markets in autos for Kuwait between 2020 and 2021 were United States ($182M), China ($131M), and Germany ($51M). Statistics show that new auto sales in Kuwait amounted to 102,629 vehicles during the first 11 months of 2022 compared to 90,497 during the same period in 2021.


Table: Automotive Marketshare In Kuwait:
Exporting Country/RegionMarket Share in Kuwait
Japan 34%
United States 19.5%
China 10.5%
South Korea 9%
Europe 3.34%


Sport-utility vehicles (SUVs) are the dominant vehicle type in Kuwait, and Kuwait has an excellent market for high-end luxury and vintage automobiles. An increased number of low-priced Chinese brands are entering the market generally. used in construction and food delivery business.  This is a new trend as previously Korean brands dominated the service industry.

The automotive sector has recovered from the global-pandemic low and now posts an increase in sales of 13.4 percent between January 2022 and November 2022. The automotive aftermarket is growing in Kuwait and other GCC countries by about 14% per year. This growth was spurred by grants for retirees and global pandemic front-liner workers, as well as an allowance for government employees to trade excess leave for cash.

Kuwait’s large used car market is increasing the demand for spare parts and maintenance services.  The estimated dollar value for the total market for spare parts is more than $130 million dollar out of which $50 million is for American spare parts.

Electric Vehicle Market in Kuwait

Kuwait’s small size should 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 to heavily subsidized gasoline being widely available. There are currently no policies or incentives to support or encourage the purchase of electrics vehicles. Charging infrastructure in Kuwait is sparse and unregulated. The government is developing plans to for an electric vehicle infrastructure during which electric vehicle companies can build brand recognition.


Kuwait is a lucrative market for large-sized SUVs, luxury vehicles, performance parts, and custom interior and exterior design. Future prospects are in the utility vehicle sector. Top selling parts are heavy-duty shock absorbers, transmissions, cooling and air conditioning systems, and tires that meet extreme temperatures. Gear for camping and off-roading in the desert is also popular. 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.

Regional Automotive Trade Shows

  • The Kuwait International Fair (KIF) hosts an annual automobile exhibition in December.  Information can be found on the KIF  website.
  • The Dubai Motor Show  is the largest annual auto show in the Gulf. 
  • 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 each May and dozens of American companies participate. Automechanika Dubai Website

Visit the  SEMA show webpage for more. 

Web Resources 

For additional information on automobiles and the auto parts industry, please contact Commercial Specialist Rasha Al-Muhtaseb at rasha.al-muhtaseb@trade.gov.