Egypt's GB Auto eyes Tata partnership
Cairo, November 13, 2010
GB Auto, Egypt's biggest listed automobile assembler, said it was negotiating with India's Tata Motors to sell its vehicles in the Arab world's most populous market.
Egyptian automakers, most of which assemble foreign brands using imported parts, were hit hard by the global financial crisis last year, but sales are now growing at pre-crisis levels, partly thanks to a government plan to offer affordable cars to taxi drivers.
'We are in advanced phases of negotiations with Tata Motors, and we think that we are very close,' chairman and CEO Raouf Ghabbour told a conference call.
GB Auto manufactures, assembles, imports and distributes vehicles for Hyundai Motor, Bajaj Auto, Mitsubishi Motors, Volvo AB and Mazda Motor.
'We are working on partnering with other auto suppliers. The origins that we thought of were India and China,' Gabbour said.
The firm said on Monday its third-quarter net profit rose 11.4 percent year-on-year to 71.4 million Egyptian pounds ($12.4 million), bolstered by higher passenger car sales in its home market and in Iraq.
Tata Motors, India's largest truck and bus maker, reported consolidated net profit of 22.23 billion rupees ($786 million) for the fiscal second quarter ended September 30, compared with 220 million rupees a year earlier.-Reuters