CAIRO: Egypt’s GB Auto said on Thursday it had started an exclusive agreement to import and sell Mazda-branded vehicles in Egypt.
GB Auto, Egypt’s biggest listed automobile assembler, said the Mazda franchise would increase its share of Egypt’s passenger car market to around 30 percent from 27 percent now.
Tie-ups between automakers are being advanced as a survival strategy for the industry to cope with fragile demand and overcapacity during the global economic downturn.
“We will launch with the Mazda3, which we will import completely built-up and bring to market in the second quarter of this year. This will be followed by the compact Mazda2 model, Chief Executive Officer Raouf Ghabbour said in a statement.
GB Auto manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai, Volvo, Mitsubishi and Bajaj. It said in October it would form a subsidiary to help buyers purchase Bajaj vehicles on credit, a move that would help it expand sales in lower income groups.
The firm posted a 64 percent drop in net income to LE 63.9 million for the third quarter of 2009 but said it saw an upturn in the car market.
It also said in October it was eyeing issuing five-year bonds worth LE 1 billion to fund regional expansion and new service centers in Egypt.
Mazda Motor Corp, Japan’s fifth-largest automaker, said in October it expected an operating loss of 12 billion yen for the year to March.
Its operating profit plunged 82 percent to 5.93 billion yen for the July-September second quarter. -Reuters