By Ahmed Amer
The Egyptian government will be held accountable before history for damaging the Egyptian car industry, warned Chairman of GB Ghabbour Auto Raouf Ghabbour.
He said the country is missing out on significant opportunities, as week after week passes without the activation of the automotive industry strategy.
In a press conference to announce the tripartite cooperation agreement between Ghabbour, Aboul Fotouh Automotive, and Chery International, the chairman said Morocco benefits the most from the instability in the car industry in Egypt. He asserted that Morocco exceeded Egypt by tens of years, as Volkswagen will negotiate with Morocco to establish a car factory there.
Ghabbour said car manufacturers are making losses on a daily basis, but every manufacturer has a limit of losses. However, one day the factories will suspend their work, and consequently the manufacturers will withdraw.
He further explained that the monthly expenditures of the smallest cars factory in Egypt amount to about EGP 120m, and demanded the quick approval of the automotive industry strategy, and the imposing of customs to protect Egyptian products.
As for the creation of a viable automotive industry in Egypt, he said this begins with manufacturing the engine, or the gear box, or the body. However, this requires a minimum of hundreds of millions of dollars. Currently manufacturers face difficulty in opening letters of credit worth only $1m.
Ghabbour said his company has agreed with Aboul Fotouh Automotive and Chery International to exclusively distribute Chery vehicles in Egypt, and to be responsible for the marketing activities, import, and distribution to authorised agents, in addition to establishing service and spare-part centres, and assuming responsibility for the cars’ warranty.
He explained that Aboul Fotouh Automotive will carry out assembling the cars locally, on behalf of Ghabbour Auto, after which Aboul Fotouh Automotive will sell the cars it manufactures to Ghabbour Auto.
Ghabbour said Aboul Fotouh Automotive will serve as the authorised distributor of the car, whereby the cars will be offered in the showrooms of Aboul Fotouh Automotive, and the Aboul Fotouh Automotive after-sales network will continue serving Chery products, but under the umbrella of GB Ghabbour Auto.
He added that the car will be offered under its international name, Chery, instead of the local name Speranza.