Despite two years of recession, the car market in Egypt witnessed a significant increase in prices, causing a wave of popular frustration among purchasers.
Chevrolet, Kia and Hyundai and Suzuki car prices increased by EGP 1,000 to EGP 11,000 in the last three months alone.
Some cars experts attributed the high increase in prices to the increase in US dollar exchange rate ($1 is sold at 7.15251 EGP), and denied the allegations that dealerships are compensating their three-year losses by hiking up the prices.
The head of cars division at Cairo Chamber of Commerce Efat Abdel Atty said that price rises are a response to the soaring price of dollar exchange rate.
“The prices of everything in Egypt are growing faster; the food, the clothes and the fuel which pushed the ministry of transportation plans to raise the metro ticket as well,” Abdel Atty said.
Moustafa Abo Ghali, a dealer of Chinese cars stated that the increase in prices is due to the high demand of purchasers, especially on the low-fuel consuming cars.
For Ahmed Abdel Hamid, a 24 year-old scriptwriter at the media production city, it is very exhausting to use the public transportation everyday from Hadayek Zaytoun neighbourhood, 22.4 km away from his work in 6th of October City.
“After the increase in fuel prices I’m in need of a fuel-saving car, but I was shocked with the provocative prices of cars recently,” Abdel Hamid said.
Abdel Hamid thought about getting a car via the instalments system but found that he would pay significantly more for the car that way and was concerned that the repayments would drag him into a downward spiral.
Akram Samy, a 28 year-old married reporter, showed his frustration towards the “crazy prices” which have wasted his dream of a cosy car ride with his small family.
“In my opinion the increase in car prices is due to the rise in US dollar exchange rates, but still there is a noticeable appetite thanks to the instalment systems provided by nation-wide banks which can ease things” Samy said.
He continued: “But after the recent subsidy cut and fuel prices increased, it has become the norm to buy a car, unlike the past, as many prefer fuel-saving cars with lower prices which raised their prices reaching similar ones to the luxurious brands”.
Car dealer Abo Ghali forecasted an increase in the prices in the coming period saying “we are witnessing economic stability especially after the popular demand on purchasing the Suez Canal certificates.”
“I think the demand on the Chinese cars will be higher than before, due to their lower prices,” Abo Ghali added.
With regard to brands, Chevrolet topped the list of sold cars marking around 5,300 in sales in June compared to 3,500 sold units in the same month last year. Hyundai ranked second with approximately 4,400 sold, up from 2,475 in June 2013.